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Many great reviews of our new CD Black Light are appearing worldwide.

Black Light is one of Guitar Moderne's Top Records of 2015.

"Black Light is a mesmerizing, motorizing post-Afro, post-minimal, post-Crimsonian-Frippian trip into the contrapuntal, intricate, very rocking sound of two guitars, electric bass and drums getting into interlocking hockette....This is music that will grab you right away and you will forget whatever labels you might give it. It is superior and undeniable! It puts you in a zone and keeps you there. Put some time in with this band, especially with Black Light. I do not jest, you will go to a great place." Thanks to Grego Applegate Edwards for his enthusiastic
review of Black Light on his Gapplegate Guitar and Bass Blog.

Thanks to all who have included our new CD Black Light on their best of 2016 list.

Thanks to Robert Steven Silverstein for his Black Light review and interview with Stephan Thelen on

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"Black Light is as perfect an album and as fulfilling a musical experience as one could hope for. It creates chaos by being precise. I called it progressive Sufi music and believe it to be a gem that will energize and relax in equal measure. Sonar is the sound of progressive rock/jazz of the highest and most exquisite quality and Black Light is an album that will enrich the lives of people who listen to music rather than those who merely hear it." Thanks to Reuben Klein for voting Black Light as one of eight albums of the year on

Thanks to Annie Grossmann, deputy editor at Prog Sphere, for listing Black Light as one of the best CDs of 2015.

Sonar's music "explores deep dark corners of the psyche in a manner that few other groups are capable of." Thanks to Roger Trenwith for his Black Light review on The Progressive Aspect.

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"Rarely does a band come along that is doing something genuinely unique; that defies easy comparison. Cue Sonar, [...] a quartet from Switzerland that consists of guitarists Stephan Thelen and Bernhard Wagner, Christian Kuntner on bass, and Manuel Pasquinelli on drums. Their music draws influence from among others King Crimson and Steve Reich, but sounds like neither. Combining the ethos of minimalism in a rock band setting, and utilising a unique system of tuning the guitar in tritones, the result is surprising. Your first listen will leave you puzzled as nothing seems to be happening here. The songs go on for ages, and all sound the same, at least that's what I first thought. How wrong I was." Matt George,

"I'm not sure what just happened, but this is one of the most inspiring things I ever listened to. I had my head full of strange and surreal imagery just because of this completely unique approach of unconventional music. I felt like being caught in a labyrinth of melodies, haunted by 'the unknown'" Ernesto Lucev, Bandcamp commentary

"On its third album the Swiss instrumental quartet pushes its singular sound to new heights - both musically and sonically... Sonar's music manages to groove despite its asymmetrical metric complexities - and sometimes groove hard - due to drummer Manuel Pasquinelli's uncanny ability to coax out core pulses and render them intelligible to the tapping toes and sympathetic hips of even uninitiated listeners. Sublime!"
Thanks to Barry Cleveland for his excellent review of Black Light on

"[Black Light] has enough energy stored in it to power a small Midwestern town for the foreseeable future and isn't easy to categorise, but it's hard to turn off....every track is a small masterpiece."
Thanks to Reuben Klein for his enthusiastic review of Black Light on


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Sonar is very proud to announce the release of their third full-length album Black Light.

Cuneiform Records, one of the finest labels for forward-looking music, released the album on CD and vinyl on October 16, 2015.

The CD is available in a standard version or with a limited special edition slipcase, available on the band's Bandcamp site or at live gigs including the CD release event.

The vinyl version is a double LP in a gatefold sleeve with two bonus live tracks, also available on Bandcamp or at live gigs.

The album was recorded and mixed by the 3 time Grammy Award winning producer David Bottrill (Peter Gabriel, Tool, King Crimson) and mastered by John Cuniberti.

"this is one terrific album that should absolutely not be missed - mathematical music that still manages to touch the heart and soul, even as the group's four members are some of the most focused and selfless players you'll hear this - or any other - year." John Kelman (All About Jazz).

"Two guitar currents circulate and sparkle hypnotically, warm deep basslines hit with assertiveness and groove, drums pound with finesse and might. Luminous, alluring, dangerous....Sonar is a highly creative and original nocturnal entity constantly evolving in order to provide immersive and challenging instrumental music that stimulates the mind, body and soul."   Thanks to Nocturnal Ghost for the great "Sonic Exposure" on Igloo Magazine

"This album is PHENOMENAL. What I love about this music is how meticulously composed it is and in no hurry to develop; morphing continuously, slowly and deliberately. The grooves, syncopation and harmony are superb (Tritone-tuned guitars!) and the initial melody on "Orbit 5.7" absolutely crushes me. "Black Light" is an undulating polyphonic, polyrhythmic and polymetric mass of texture and mood. It's subtle, sophisticated and inspired. I very highly recommend checking it out. Listen with headphones whenever possible. Listen again. And again. Repeated listening will deliver more gifts than you could hope to receive after simply one listen. Or one-hundred..." (Matt Tate, Black Light Facebook review, October 2015).

"...this is above all deep textural music that evolves in several directions in many dimensions simultaneously. But it's not all simply texture, as melodies do germinate out of the skeletal rhythmics and bloom into colorful kaleidoscopic patterns while the framework behind them continues to evolve and morph into something greater in scope and depth. There is something new and magical revealed with each successive listen to this recordng, you'll never want to take it off, and if one is really obsessive, you may end up playing it over and over in a loop for hours on end."
  Thanks to Peter Thelen for his fine review of Black Light on

Thanks to Sid Smith for including Sonar (music and interview) on his Podcast No. 15 from the Yellow Room. Listen to the podcast on, the section with Sonar is from 24:15 - 40:20.

"Sonar has become one of the most convincing rock groups not only in Switzerland, but in the whole of Europe"
Thanks to Jean Paul Gavard Perret for his promising reviews of Black Light on Les blogs de l'art helvetique contemporain and les immortels.

Thanks to Gerald Langer for his review (in German) of our concert in Würzburg, Germany, and his review (in German) of Black Light. Gerald also shot quite a few photos of the Würzburg concert, which are all on his website Music-On-Net. Here are four of them:


Thanks to: Karl Ackermann for his Black Light review on the All About Jazz website, Thomas Kohlruss for his review (in German) of Black Light on and to Christoph Merki for his Tagesanzeiger review (in German) of our Black Light CD release event on September 29, 2015, at the EXIL club in Zürich.

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Sonar plays Don Li's Part 44 on June 27th in Bern, Switzerland. Check out the Orbital Garden website for details.

David Bottrill wrote about recording Sonar's new CD Black Light on his updated website. "The music is at once simple and complex, polyrhythms over melodies over thunderous bass and a drummer who can seem to split his own body in half to play in two or more different meters at once. Such a great time watching, helping to record and mixing them."

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Thanks to Markus Stegmayr for including Static Motion on his list (in German) of 10 Platten gegen akutes Hipstertum on the Alpen Feuilleton website. Thanks also to Maelstromzine for their review of Static Motion.

David Bottrill has finished mixing Sonar's new CD Black Light in Toronto and John Kelman has finished writing the liner notes in Ottawa, so this CD is a real Swiss-Canadian production.

Check out The Making of Static Motion on Vimeo

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January 2 - 5: Sonar recording with David Bottrill at Powerplay Studios in Maur, Switzerland.

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Thanks to all who have included Static Motion high on their "best of 2014" list: Sid Smith (SidSmith.Blogspot), John Kelman (All About Jazz), Nocturnal Ghost (Igloo Magazine), DJ Dogeye (Asheville FM), George Grella (The Big City Blog), Vasilis Pavlides (, Ettore Garzia (Blogspot), Leonardo MoonJune Pavkovic, Valmor José Pedretti Jr. and many others.

George Grella wrote: The impossible record. Complex, minimal instrumental grooves that are so loping and locked in place that the slightest variation of articulation, the briefest solo, have monumental effect. Seventy minutes of watching the movement of the most beautifully made clock you've ever seen.

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In November 2014, we will be rehearsing material for our next CD, scheduled to be recorded in January 2015. Our goal is to have all pieces ready by December 11, when we play a complete run-through of the CD live at Bühne S (Bahnhof Stadelhofen) in Zürich.

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Thanks to Jean-Paul Gavard-Perret for his review (in French) of Static Motion on les immortels and for his poetic review (also in French) of Static Motion on les blogs de l'art helvetique contemporain.

Thanks to Pirmin Bossart for his fine review (in German) of Static Motion in the Swiss magazine Jazz'n'more.

Anil Prasad's article on Sonar in Guitar Player Magazine is now online.

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Sonar in rehearsal: writing music for a new album. We will play the entire album live on December 11 in Zürich before it is recorded in January 2015.

Thanks to Carlos Lügstenmann and Art-TV for their video portrait of Sonar on

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Thanks to Curt Cuisine for his review of Static Motion (in German) on

Thanks to admireArt for his review of A Flaw of Nature on

Thanks to Patrick Bruneel for his review of Static Motion (in Dutch) on

Very special thanks to Anil Prasad for his great article "Minimalist Mavericks: Sonar's Stephan Thelen and Bernhard Wagner Recast the Rock Groove" in the August 2014 edition of Guitar Player Magazine

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Thanks to admireArt for his review of Static Motion on

Thanks to Laurent Catala for his review (in French) of Static Motion in Noise Magazine

Read Pierre Durr's review of the "Musiques Innovatrices" festival in St. Etienne here

Read Sid Smith's Static Motion release event review for Prog Magazine (issue 46) here.

Thanks to Dogeye ( for writing about Static Motion. It figures on Asheville FM's top 30 chart and is their 5th best experimental album.

Thanks to Julian Eidenberger for his evocative review of Static Motion for

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Thanks to Michael Popke for his review of Static Motion for Shepherd Express

"An anti-hero's masterpiece ... a revolutionary shot across the bow ... an album that radically reinvents instrumental interplay ... with so many forms of contemporary music seemingly satisfied to simply regurgitate weary and weathered tropes, Sonar has defied the norm by crafting something singular and magical." Thanks to Jeff Miers (high-profile music critic for The Buffalo News (New York)) for his stellar review of Static Motion.

Thanks to Ingo Andruschkewitsch for the Static Motion review (in German) on

Thanks to Arno Oehri for his truly wonderful review (in German) of the Sonar gig in Liechtenstein on May 17th.

Thanks to Nogbad_The_Bad for a review of Static Motion on

Thanks to Robert Silverstein for a review of Static Motion and an interview with Stephan Thelen on

Thanks to Stefan Künzli for his article (in German) on Sonar in the Aargauerzeitung.

Static Motion is one of Prog Sphere's 10 best albums in 2014 so far.

Thanks to Michael Sutter for his review of our May 10 concert in Lucerne on

Thanks to Grego Applegate Edwards for writing about Static Motion on his Gapplegate Guitar and Bass Blog.

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Thanks to everyone who came to our CD release party on April 24. Markus Reuter opened the first set with a beautiful soundscape after which Sonar played 5 pieces (Tromsø, Static Motion, Twofold Covering, Landslide and Triptych). Markus joined us for the entire second set and together we played 4 pieces (Steel Cathedral, Continuum, Tranceportation and a new piece called Angular Momentum) as well as an encore (String Geometry). Our special guests were Sid Smith (who will write a review of the gig for Prog Magazine) and Anil Prasad, two of the most prolific Prog journalists who met here in Zürich for the first time. The gig was filmed, so you can expect a YouTube video of at least one of the pieces soon. On April 26, Markus, Tobias Reber and Sonar drove to a studio in Bern to record Markus' remarkable composition Falling for Ascension.

Thanks to Ettore Garzia for his review (in Italian) of Static Motion on

Thanks to Doug Simpson for his track-by-track review of Static Motion on Audiophile Audition

Thanks to Mr. Badlands for his review (in German) of Static Motion on

Thanks to the enthusiastic audience at the Perlaton Vol 2 Festival in Zürich for making the first gig of our tour such a memorable event.
They proved once and for all that you can dance to our music, even if it's in 33/8.

Thanks to Roger Trenwith for reviewing Static Motion in detail on The Progressive Aspect

Thanks to Nikola Savic for calling Static Motion "one of the five great albums you should hear in 2014" on Prog Sphere.

Thanks (again) to Mike Chadwick for playing the track Twofold Covering on his excellent JazzFM program The Cutting Edge.

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"...the music is stripped down to bare bones, although those bones articulate a structure of remarkable
depth and complexity, built from complex polyrhythms and tense, ambiguous tonalities... There is, as intended, great tension and power in the music. One of the most remarkable, rigorous, and truly original records I've yet heard."

Thanks to Oliver Arditi for his stunning review of Static Motion

"With progressive rock experiencing a significant resurgence, Sonar remains a rare outfit looking ever forward, with unrelenting emphasis on the true meaning of the word "progressive." There may be no 'trons, epic songwriting or instrumental pyrotechnics, but Static Motion - a clear evolution of Sonar's core concepts first heard on A Flaw of Nature - is an
album whose slow-build approach to dramaturgy, couched in intrinsic minimalism, reveals plenty more with each and every listen."

Thanks to the prolific John Kelman for his review of Static Motion on the All About Jazz website.

Thanks to Dave Lynch for his review of Static Motion on

Multissimo Obrigado to Renato de Moraes for his review (in Portuguese) of Static Motion on

There are 3 reviews of Static Motion on the Greek website We don't speak Greek, but - judging from the (sometimes hilarious) Google translation - they say some interesting things.

Thanks to Jochen Rindfrey for his review (in German) of Static Motion on

Thanks to François Couture for his review of Static Motion on his Monsieur Délire Blog

Thanks to Frank von Niederhäusern for his review (in German) of Static Motion in the Swiss cultural magazine Kulturtipp

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"Static Motion bewitches with unique sonic rituals that beautifully combine mystery and power. This is simply captivating music by four skillful guys who think outside of the box and defy classification..."
Thanks to Nocturnal Ghost for his great review of Static Motion in Igloo Magazine

Thanks to the mighty Sid Smith for his review of Static Motion in Progrock Magazine and on his own blogspot.

The track Zero Tolerance (from Static Motion) was used on the HELMUT LANG Fall 2014 Collection Runway Show. Click here if you want to see how the models cope with a 33/8 rhythm (The track starts at 5:35)

We are genuinely touched by the large number of people who have written to us to give their respect and appreciation. "Life-altering", "utterly luxurious", "a new perspective" were some of the generous words that were used to describe
our music. Thank you all for your support and for inspiring us to continue to do what we believe in.

Thanks to Dana Lawrence for her review of Static Motion on Sea of Tranquility

Thanks to Mos Eisley Music for their review of Static Motion (in German)

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Cuneiform records announces the release of our new CD Static Motion on January 21.

The CD can now be also ordered directly from our BandCamp site.

A tritonic salute goes to the one and only Anil Prasad, not only for writing the liner notes for
Static Motion, but also for his new interview with Sonar on, the first and longest-running online music magazine.

"Minimalism Perpetually on Edge - Sonar's "Static Motion" is the featured CD review on the Caught in the Carousel website.
It is also featured in Stereo Embers Magazine. Thanks to Dave Cantrell for an amazing read.

The multi-media website Sound Colour Vibration called Sonar "one of the most exhilirating listens of 2014 ...their snake-like harmonizing a fascinating gift to the spectrum of modern rock music. There's a raw energy that resides within
the fabric of the groups core, jolting out of very intricate rhythms and melodic patterns to project a non-traditional sense of collective energy. Highly technical and expressive, this is some of the best rock music I have heard in years."
Read the whole article here

Thanks to Mike Chadwick (The Cutting Edge, Jazz FM), Gregory Kampf (La Villa Strangiato) and many other wonderful people
for playing tracks from Static Motion on radio stations throughout the world.

Thanks to Michael Ross for his article "Introducing: Sonar" on his excellent website

Thanks to Gerald Langer for reviewing Static Motion (in German) on

Thanks to Peter Thelen for reviewing Static Motion on
Peter also recently reviewed our first album A Flaw of Nature: you can read that review here.

Thanks to Federico Chavez for his review (in German) of A Flaw of Nature on

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Cuneiform records has released STATIC MOTION (the title track of our upcoming album) on YouTube.

The video was produced by Nordhang Film and shot at the band's rehearsal room in Zürich.

About the CD, Anil Prasad ( wrote "I'm honored to have written the liner notes for Static Motion, the upcoming release by
SONAR on Cuneiform Records. It's truly outstanding music with a deep story to tell. Releasing in January 2014. I think you'll find it
to be one of the most intriguing instrumental albums you've encountered in a long time."

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Back from our Spring 2013 Tour...We had a fantastic time with 8 concerts in Switzerland, Germany and England
plus 4 days of recording at the great Ocean Sound Recordings Studio on Giske island in Norway. Thanks to all the wonderfully
supportive people who came to our concerts. Read two reviews of our April 30th concert at the Vortex in London:

Ian Greatorex review: here
Mike Bearpark review: here

Watch a live performance of "A Flaw of Nature" ( the title track of our first album) on YouTube
(filmed by Michael Taylor at Band on the Wall in Manchester, 2 May 2013)

Watch a live performance of "Twofold Covering" ( a track that will be on the new album) on YouTube
(filmed on iPhone by Graham Bailey at Band on the Wall in Manchester, 2 May 2013)

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Download the Sonar February 2013 Newsletter here

Thanks to: Ian Greatorex for listing A Flaw of Nature as the 6th best prog album of 2012 on ,
La Villa Strangiato (progressive rock/jazz radio show in Canada) for playing Sonar tracks,
Vasilis Pavlidis for listing A Flaw of Nature as the 3rd best album of 2012 on  (Greece),
Aris K. ( Music Portal Greece, Off Radio) for listing A Flaw of Nature as the 8th best album of 2012,
Robert Steven Silverstein for a new Sonar review and interview on

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"Live at Bazillus" recorded at the Bazillus club in Zürich. This show was also the release party for our first video "Tromsø", directed by Pascal Reinmann. Watch it on YouTube or Vimeo.

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Recording the EP Skeleton Groove in Bern on June 10th.

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Thanks to Mike Chadwick for frequently playing Sonar tracks on his excellent Sunday evening program The Cutting Edge on JazzFM (6/13/20 May). Mike is one of our great heroes: he later helped us to play at the Band on the Wall in Manchester and at the Capstone Theatre in Liverpool. He also continued playing Sonar tracks on JazzFM (8 July 2012, 13/20 January 2013, 10 March 2013, 8 December 2013, 26 January 2014, 30 March 2014)

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CD release party for A Flaw of Nature in the EXIL club in Zürich. Our special guest was Sid Smith (who wrote the liner notes) and who introduced us in a legendary speech.

Thanks to John Schaefer for including a Sonar track (Slow Shift) on his WNYC New Sounds podcast from April 30th 2012. John competently talked in detail about the music and its background.

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Recording our first CD A Flaw of Nature in Bern on August 13th and 14th.

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First four gigs in Zürich and Bern.

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First rehearsal on Sunday, November 21st 2010.