Rafael Toral – Space Elements Vol. III (2011)

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Toral plays experimental electronic instruments like electrode oscillator, modified MS-2 pocket amplifier feedback, glove-controlled computer bass sinewaves, filtered feedback circuit,  modified MT-10 portable amplifier, modulated noise, modular synthesizer and tamtam.  Sometimes it sounds like R2D2 are talking to you. Strongly interested in phrasing, he calls his style “post-free jazz electronic music”, described as “a brand of electronic music far more visceral and emotive than that of his cerebral peers”. His music actually it’s kind of abstract, but interesting, you never really know what to expect in the next moment. And some of these experiments are quit exciting. The music is not congested, it’s airy, Toral know to use the silence and he’s colored it with interesting noises and all sort of elements to create atmosphere without being overwhelming. 

“Space Elements Vol. III” completes seven years of Toral’s Space Program. Toral’s Space Program researching performance possibilities, articulating silence and sound in a thoughtful, yet physical way. Formerly known for his drone/ ambient work with guitar and electronics and acclaimed records such as Wave Field (1994) or Violence of Discovery and Calm of Acceptance (2000), he has radically renewed his approach to music, launching the jazz-inspired and alien-sounding Space Program in 2004.

Space Program:

Space (2006)
Space Solo 1 (2007)
Space Elements Vol. I (2008)
Space Elements Vol. II (2010)
Space Elements Vol. III (2011)

Toral’s long time connection with Sei Miguel is central to the development of the Space Program. Other collaborations include Jim O’Rourke, Evan Parker, John Edwards, Joe Morris, Tatsuya Nakatani, Manuel Mota, Roger Turner, David Toop, Alvin Lucier, John Zorn, Phill Niblock, Christian Marclay, Sonic Youth, João Paulo Feliciano, Rhys Chatham, Lee Ranaldo, C Spencer Yeh, Trevor Tremaine, Dean Roberts… In 1998 he became a member of MIMEO electronic orchestra. Its other members are Keith Rowe, Thomas Lehn, Kaffe Matthews, Marcus Schmickler, Jérome Noetinger, Christian Fennesz, Peter Rehberg, Gert-Jan Prins, Cor Fuhler and Phil Durrant. Since 2008 he directs the Space Collective, a slowly developing orchestral group.
Alongside Toral, on “Space Elements Vol. III” the personnel consist of: Afonso Simões: drums; Riccardo Dillon Wanke: rhodes piano; César Burago: maracas; tamborim, shakers, cowbell, claves, kokiriko; Tatsuya Nakatani: percussion; Victor Gama: acrux; Marco Franco: drums and Toshio Kajiwara: lap steel guitar.

8 tracks, an interesting journey in the experimental, avant-gard area of contemporary music. Worth to try!

Rafael Toral – Official Site
Rafael Toral – on MySpace
Rafael Toral – on last.fm

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