New Release June 2020: Sonar w. David Torn present Tranceportation (Volume 2)

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.

Stephan Thelen

Tranceportation (Volume 2) is the next destination in Sonar’s ongoing musical journey as the Swiss-based band celebrates 10 years of cutting-edge music-making. 

Once again the quartet formed in 2010 have 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, utilising 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 instalment of compositions that seamlessly blend a pointillistic, metrical complexity with deep subterranean grooves that engage both the heart and the mind of the listener.

As with 2018’s Vortex, and last year’s Tranceportation Volume 1, the regular quartet of Stephan Thelen (tritone guitar), Bernhard Wagner (tritone guitar), Christian Kuntner (tritone bass), Manuel Pasquinelli (drums, percussion) 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. 

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 in the band’s journey and is scheduled for May 2020.

David Torn                    electric guitar, live looping
Stephan Thelen             tritone guitar
Bernhard Wagner         tritone guitar
Christian Kuntner          tritone bass
Manuel Pasquinelli        drums, percussion

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

Produced by Sonar with David Torn.

Recorded „live in the studio“ April 29 – May 3, 2019, at Mazzivesound Studio in Bellmund, Switzerland (

Engineer: Chris Diggelmann

Edited & Mixed by Stephan Thelen between May and July 2019.

Mastered by Serge Christen at Mazzivesound.

All compositions by Stephan Thelen with contributions by Bernhard Wagner, Christian Kuntner, Manuel Pasquinelli and David Torn.

All tracks arranged by Sonar. Sonar’s guitar parts arranged by Stephan Thelen and Bernhard Wagner.

Executive Producer for RareNoiseRecords: Giacomo Bruzzo

David Torn appears courtesy of ECM Records.

Thanks to Sara and Serge Christen, Alexander Vatagin and Markus Reuter. Thanks to Kanton Zürich Fachstelle Kultur for financial support.

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