The Swiss quartet SONAR has quickly gained international reputation for creating a unique blend of forward-thinking instrumental music imbued with power, tension and emotional identity. With their slow-build approach to dramaturgy and avoidance of conventional forms, they focus on collective group efforts and a deeper kind of interaction amongst their members Stephan Thelen (guitar), Bernhard Wagner (guitar), Christian Kuntner (electric bass) and Manuel Pasquinelli (drums).
For their internationally acclaimed fourth album “Vortex” (RareNoiseRecords), Sonar made an unexpected move by adding the expressive, experimental and deeply emotional playing of US guitarist and producer David Torn to their precise and disciplined polyrhythmic groove tapestry, thus adding the yin to their yang.
For this new vinyl release, legendary producer, remixer and bass guitarist Bill Laswell remixed and reconstructed two tracks from “Vortex”, also adding electronics and his signature bass guitar.
How did this (again unexpected and unlikely) collaboration happen? Sonar's guitarist and composer Stephan Thelen tells the story: “My friend and music journalist Anil Prasad wrote an e-mail telling me that he was meeting Bill Laswell for dinner and wondered if I would want him to ask if Bill would be willing to do two Sonar remixes. Since Bill has always been one of my favorite musicians, I of course said yes. Then things went really fast. Bill agreed to do it, but he wanted to do them soon, because his schedule was about to get very tight. I talked to the band, we decided which two pieces Bill should remix and then sent the multitracks to James Dellatacoma, Bill's engineer. Exactly 9 days after Anil's e-mail, we had two stunning remixes in our dropbox.”
In Anil's words, this is a “Zürich-New York sonic summit where minimalist groove meets maximum dub.”
released April 17, 2019
Remixes created at Orange Music, West Orange, NJ, July 3 - 6, 2018
Bill Laswell: mix translation, bass, electronics
Engineering: James Dellatacoma
Original tracks available on "Vortex" by Sonar with David Torn
RareNoiseRecords RNR 087 (CD & LP)
Published by RareNoisePublishing (PRS)
David Torn: electric guitar, live looping
Stephan Thelen: tritone guitar
Bernhard Wagner: tritone guitar
Christian Kuntner: tritone bass
Manuel Pasquinelli: drums
“Vortex” written by Stephan Thelen
“Monolith” written by Stephan Thelen and David Torn
supported by 41 fans who also own “The Bill Laswell Mix Translations”
As I very much liked his regular Fractal Guitar albums, I couldn't refrain from getting this collection of removes and unreleased recordings.
It might also have helped, that I read a Bill Laswell interview the other day :-) Carsten Pieper
supported by 34 fans who also own “The Bill Laswell Mix Translations”
As time has wore on, I've found I come back to this album often. The soundscapes, the mood, everything fits just right. Love the Tranceportation Vol's but this maintains its newness. Can't recommend it enough. electricsight74