SONAR – Static Motion


Stephan Thelen: guitar; Bernhard Wagner: guitar; Christian Kuntner: bass guitar; Manuel Pasquinelli: drums

One-sided analyses of the influences behind Sonar’s aural physiognomy can be found practically everywhere, including the press release. Looks like King Crimson won the race hands down; indeed, at the risk of getting sued by Bob Fripp for libel, the title track does contain traces of “Fracture” in the melodic development. However, by dodging the uniformity of judgment around the web and merely expressing an opinion based on a full day spent with Static Motion, a few considerations immediately arise. The Swiss quartet plays tightly and with class; yet their sound is quite gelid, the music perhaps too mathematically adjusted to produce a genuine inflammation in this reviewer. In this case, the shopworn “less is more” motto doesn’t seem to vindicate what’s perceived as relative aridity on a stringently compositional level, interlocked odd meters and systematic utilization of tritones notwithstanding (…still with the “devil” myth, anyone? Last time I asked, Jesus Christ was practicing “One More Red Nightmare”). There are two/three tracks that I liked, with particular enjoyment of “Shadow Play”, “Vertical Time” and even “Continuum” – if we manage to forget about the gratuitous Tarkus quote. But, in general, what prevails is a lingering sense of finely performed but ultimately rather shallow minimalistic exercise, lacking the necessary depth for a permanence of this work in the heart’s memory in spite of a number of intriguing resonances and an unarguable cleanness of pronunciation.

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