It was 2010 that the group SONAR was born. The two Zürich-based guitarists Stephan and Bernhard met one evening when Stephan was playing and Bernhard was in the audience. They immediately found that they shared many common interests, so it wasn’t long before they started playing together.
They key idea for the musical concept came, when Stephan remembered that he once tuned his guitar in tritones in order to perform a piece that otherwise would have technically impossible to play. They found that the natural harmonics of this tuning had a very unique, mystic sound quality.
The next step was also rather bold, at least for these two individuals, who had played extensively with effects and loops all their life: they decided to put away all their electronic gadgets and concentrate on the clean sound of an electric guitar.
Further decisions were to radically concentrate on polyrhythms and isorhythms and to avoid intentional virtuosity in favor of group interplay.
Knowing that Sonar needed a very deep bass sound to counterbalance the high-pitched guitar harmonics, Stephan invited his friend Christian Kuntner from Radio Osaka, a band they had both played in.
Bernhard had met a young drummer, Manuel Pasquinelli, at one of Nik Bärtsch’s workshops, thinking that he would be the perfect drummer to play the polymetric beats that they were imagining.
At the end of their first rehearsal, it was perfectly clear that this project would be very exciting and that exactly the right people had found each other.
After about half a year of rehearsals, Sonar played a few concerts in Switzerland and went straight to the studio to record « A Flaw of Nature », an album that was released in 2012 on Nik Bärtsch’s Ronin Rhythm Records label. Thanks to Nik’s connections around the globe, Steve Feigenbaum, head of Cuneiform Records (USA) became aware of Sonar and eventually signed them to his label. Thanks to the wide distributional net of Cuneiform, Sonar’s 2014 album « Static Motion » and their 2015 follow-up « Black Light » (produced by David Bottrill) led to international acclaim, dozens of excellent reviews and concerts in the USA, UK, Germany, France, Austria, Rumania and (in 2017) Japan.
SONAR recorded their new album VORTEX in February 2017. We had the great pleausure of having David Torn producing and guest-starring and the results blew our minds (hopefully, they will blow yours too!). Thank you, David! Dude! Also thanks to D. James Goodwin, who did a great job as a sound engineer. The album is going to be released in January 2018 by the London based Label RareNoise.
The Band had a fantastic tour of Japan that started April 17 in Kyoto and ended April 23 in Yokohama.
End of august, beginning of september 2017, the band will be on tour in CANADA and the US (Montreal, Quebec, Toronto, Chicago, Kingston, Chapel Hill (prog-day Festival).