CD Title: Live at Moods
Label: 7d Media (2018)
Rating: Great Live Sampling of the band’s Avant-Prog style
I’ve said it before that I normally don’t do reviews of live albums due to time and space, but there are exceptions to every rule and this is one. The new release from the Swiss band Sonar is entitled Live at Moods and for fans of Avant Prog this is a definite pick-up for the Prog collection. Featuring six tracks this fifty-seven minute live experience is full of juicy experimental goodness. Once again featuring the instrumental talents of David Torn, Sonar work through a collection of tunes from their catalog including three pieces from Vortex (“Waves and Particles”, “Red Shift” and “Lookface!”), a piece from Static Motion called “Twofold Covering”, a completely improvised David Torn solo piece called “For Lost Sailors” and “Tromsø” one of the first pieces that Sonarrehearsed together found on their first album A Flaw of Nature. The music of Sonar is made up of mostly longer tracks where all instruments set up a hypnotic grove foundation where then certain instruments or electronic loops take turns sitting at the forefront of the band’s sound scape. Expect to hear their stereotypical heavy rhythmic bass lines, trance like drum patterns, and intricate guitar lines all weaving a series of spacey, floating instrumental grooves incorporating contrapuntal and polyrhythmic elements where the tune builds to varying degrees of experimental intensity. At times sounding totally improvised and “off-the-floor” and at other times full of complex instrumental technique, it’s masterful and thoroughly enjoyable, even for a Symphonic Prog fan like me. Sonar’s experimental music has a way of crossing over musical boundaries in a way that I find quite appealing. As I’ve said before, this is definitely music that will appeal to fans of contemporary King Crimson, but I’d encourage you, if you haven’t yet checked out Sonar, well, Live at Moods is a great place to start.