sonar eXperience Reviews

Passend zur Bandcamp Veröffentlichung der „sonar eXperience“ habe ich ein paar Reviews zusammengestellt, die damals in verschiedenen Magazinen oder Online Publikationen erschienen sind:

Leser des Kleingedruckten in Booklets kennen den  Namen Jörg Schaaf aus den Credits der jüngsten Klaus-Schulze-CDs,  und Konzertgänger werden sich an den RAVE-O-LUTIONär an KS‘  Seite erinnern. Nicht verwunderlich wäre daher, wenn der Gießener  Elektroniker nach Jahren des Adlatentums auch mit seinem Soloalbum auf  den Pfaden des „Paten“ wandeln würde. Tut er aber nicht  – in der Zeit, die sich der Epiker Schulze für ein Intro nimmt, ist  Schaaf schon fertig. Und was er diesseits der Sieben-Minuten-Grenze inszeniert,  verdient nochmals Respekt; Titel wie – um nur zwei von 13 möglichen  Beispielen zu nennen – „Sonorous Supersonics“ (Track 2, 6:32)  oder „Wave Transmitter“ (Track 12, 5:30) sind vorbildlich ausbalancierte  Mixturen aus originellem Sound-Design und effektsicherem Sequencing, kühler  Intelligenz und brodelnder Emotion. Daß Schaaf meist düstere  Atmos bevorzugt, tut dem Hörspaß keinen Abbruch. Denn „Sonar  Experience“ ist wirklich, vor allem bei Einsatz hi-fideler Headphones,  eine extraordinäre sonare Erfahrung, auf die der vom Label Ninetysix  angebotene Stilbegriff „EMbient“ paßt wie Quasi zu Midi.
Albrecht Piltz/ Keyboards

You might recognize Joerg’s name as Klaus collaborator  on the Wahnfried album TRANCE APPEAL. This to my knowledge is his first  solo album and it is amazing. KS knows talent when he hears it and this  album will definitely appeal to all Teutonic electronic EM lovers. The  recording quality is superb, and the multi-layers of dense synthetic pulsations,  dark melodic themes and imaginative compositional shifts in arrangement  and atmosphere combine to create one of the most impressive albums to  come out of Berlin in some time. Great stuff!
Archie Patterson/Eurock

So far, Germany’s 96 Sounds has become known for  their Ambient Dub electronica excursions, with artists like Sanjiva, Genuine  and Bjorn Fogelberg. With their latest release, they open new doors without  closing any behind them. Jörg Schaaf is a contemporary of Klaus Schulze,  and apparently even had some influence on the master’s own musical endeavors.  Bringing a symphonic electronic space sense to the project, Schaaf covers  lots of ground in his musical meanderings, moving effortlessly back and  forth between different styles prevalent over the past 20 years of EM  development. Sequencers take off, sweeping phonics dwell and settle before  soaring off to nether realms, and all manner of effects cut through and  slice the time-space experience. His stack of synths seem capable of moving  in any direction at any time. The feeling of traveling through space dominates  certain passages, while big-time images and special effects hold down  the bottom. Easily one of ’99’s top imports, the „Sonar Experience“ is  a journey well worth taking. Fasten your seat belts & set the controls…
Lloyd Barde/backroad music

Beautiful in it’s darkness, perfect in it’s terror. The panic pouring from it attracts the listener from the very first instant; its bleak, confining ambiences, are born from the lowest of sounds and the most distorted effects. Sonar Experience is a quest through fear and the past; a past overcrowded with german sounds and perfect sequences in which textures are varied and twisted to the point that they reach the perfection of a Greek sculpture. Tangerine Dream, Schulze… their style is evoked yet reformulated; adapted to modernity, yet not perverted by it. A masterpiece reminding us that which is creativity: to know the past, mix it up, and from its sum, become innovative.
Laura S. García – Amazing Sounds

Trying to place the name? Well he was the other keyboard player on Klaus Schulze’s ‘Dosburg Online’. The first track ‘Awake’ sets a dramatic opening scene with what could be flight after flight of strange alien craft blasting past low overhead. ‘Sonorous supersonics’ takes over in gentle sequential yet melodic mode, reminding my very much of John Dyson on top form. This is a beautiful number which takes an ominous twist half way through. The sequences are always top notch as are the atmospherics at one moment joyous and the next sinister. ‘Fear I’ is a loud sonic blast of a bridging passage which takes us to ‘Turning point’ and what a cracking sequential, rhythmic chugger it is. Still highly expressive but with the sort of infectious quality that makes the body move to it on its own accord. The melodic pads really are wondrous to behold. A fantastic track which just gets better and better the further you get in. I just wish it could have gone on three times as long. ‘Fear II’ is another short, radical, haunting, bridging piece. 
‘Psychosis Beat’ uses more 90’s sounding drums though not too in yer face. It develops and gets more and more into every nerve, again causing the body to move. The pervading atmosphere dwells on the darker side. ‘Sequencia’ as its name suggests is something of a sequencer blast, with accompanying great melody, solar wind and laser effects mixed together in the most, oh yes! way. ‘Fear III’ is, you guessed it, another very short weird bridging section. ‘Eric’s Birth’, begins with a tinkling sequence and develops into a relatively happy track. ‘Nighttrip’ on the other hand starts like one of the weird bridging tracks but we are then back into 90s rhythmic territory, I didn’t too much like the melody and it was the first time a dance rhythm was used but never mind, skip. 
‘Laydown Sonics’ begins with some choice cosmic effects and gentle synth pads. It gets even more out in the ether as it progresses and is a superb drifter. ‘Wave Transmitter’ is another rhythmic chugger which steams us to ‘Last Point of Infinity’ which starts off with massed sirens then a firm, solid, menacing beat takes over but is softened by a piano melody, finishing a very enjoyable album off in a relaxed mood.
(DL – Synthmusic-Direct)

If you think it’s easy to record ambient, synthesizer-based music, go ahead and sit yourself down in front of the Korg. Now that you’ve fully embarrassed yourself, how about doing a bit of disaster control by showing everyone your smarts as you brandish Jorg Schaaf’s latest mechanized offering, Sonar Experience? Having previously worked with the talented Klaus Schulze, Schaaf has come of age, displaying a knack for creating unique compositions that sap your strength with a powerful, numbing sensory overload. While individually labeled as separate tracks, each composition on this CD interacts with its neighbors, producing a cohesive, motile object that reacts with your listening environment. Schaaf appreciates time and does a superb job letting his creations take form and quietly evolve into full-bodied beings. Reminiscent of Kraftwerk (sans vocals) at its finest, „Sonorous Supersonics“ glides along an imaginary Autobahn, gently maneuvering from lane to lane. While this ride is generally a comfortable one, an occasional foreign roadblock appears („Fear I“ and „Fear II“ for example), purposely disrupting your forward movement without entirely impeding your forward progress. Whether you’re just along for the ride, or interested in piloting your own mental adventures, Schaaf has the a propos soundtrack.
Splendid E-Zine

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