CD Title: Vortex
Label: Rare Noise Records (2018)
Rating: Avant-Prog with a touch of King Crimson
The Swiss quartet known as Sonar are back with a new release entitled Vortex featuring guest David Torn on guitar and various electronic looping. As on previous releases there are no keyboards present replaced instead by layers of sound created by, in this case three guitarists. Vortex features six instrumental compositions, mostly on the longish side totaling just under an hoursí worth of music. Each track is groove-laden with powerful bass lines and hypnotic drum patterns creating a solid rhythmic foundation and then the guitars work to provide intricate lead lines and in this case additional electronic sounds and textures. Let me come back to that word hypnotic because itís a recurring feel throughout as these compositions each provide some instrumental riff that is practically trance inducing all the while multiple melodies float in and out of each tune. The music gives off a serious, intense vibe, building in intensity with repetitive riffs at certain points coming close to discord or dissonance but not really crossing over the edge for very long before returning to the primary groove. You would think based on what Iíve described the music would be ďloudĒ and yet itís not. There are many times where for all that intensity the music is actually quite soft and composed leaving lots of breathing room for instrument sounds to come and go. This is music that easily fits in the Avant-Prog category, experimental and adventurous. My guess is that itíll also appeal to fans of contemporary King Crimson. If that sounds like you, Sonarís Vortex should be an easy recommendation.