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SONAR with David Torn Tranceportation (Volume 2)



SONAR’s ongoing musical journey continues with Tranceportation (Volume 2), as the Swiss-based band celebrates 10 years of cutting-edge music-making.

Once again the quartet formed in 2010 has joined forces with internationally-respected experimental guitarist,  David Torn, to deliver an album brimming with a sound that’s marked by bold, resonant creativity.  

The group’s polyrhythmic approach, utilizing various elements of tension, release, space and dynamics rewrites the rules about what guitar-dominated music is capable of achieving.  Sonar’s founder, guitarist Stephan Thelen, whose work has been performed by the Kronos Quartet, brings forward a further installment of compositions that seamlessly blend a pointillistic, metrical complexity with deep subterranean grooves that engage both the heart and the mind of the listener.  

“Throughout my life, music has served as a means of transportation for me – something that can take one’s mind on a journey beyond the constraints of space and time and into beautiful, strange and unknown worlds,” says Thelen. “An intense way to experience this, and one I recommend for this album, is to find a comfortable chair and a good pair of headphones, close your eyes and go for the ride.” 

Sonar Volume 2

As with 2018’s Vortex, and last year’s Tranceportation (Volume 1), the regular quartet of Stephan Thelen, Bernhard Wagner, Christian Kuntner, Manuel Pasquinelli are joined by Grammy-nominated guitarist David Torn.  

Torn ‘s in-demand playing and production work have seen his name alongside artists as diverse as David Sylvian, k.d. lang, Tori Amos, Madonna, David Bowie, Jeff Beck, Laurie Anderson, King Crimson’s Bill Bruford, and Tony Levin, as well as numerous jazz luminaries including Don Cherry and Jan Garbarek. 

Torn doesn’t hide his delight at working with Sonar, regarding his highly idiosyncratic live-looping and freewheeling, acerbic soloing as a kind of glue that strengthens the passion and energy within Sonar’ s music.  “99.9% of what I do is completely live with the band. Most of what I do isn’t soloing. It’s bringing in textural events that can sometimes go on for minutes… and then the solo voice becomes almost like the cherry on top.” 

Moving with the crisp metronomic precision that’s the cornerstone of the sonic architecture, textural waves and wild harmonic contrasts form a propulsive, urgent dialogue that’s constantly in motion and constantly evolving – much like Sonar itself. Recorded in Bellmund, Switzerland during a marathon five-day session that yielded over 80 minutes worth of material. The first half of the recordings were released as Tranceportation (Volume 1) in November 2019. Volume 2 completes that particular cycle. 

SONAR with David Torn – Photo Credit: Filip Dingerkus


1. Triskaidekaphilia (9:45)
2. Tranceportation  (12:42)
3 .Slowburn  (10:02)
4. Cloud Chamber (9:40)  

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