Violence Of Discovery And Calm Of Acceptance . Rafael Toral
“Silence and sound interact in these pieces to great effect; the listener treasures the continuous ebb and flow of this wondrous music. Highly recommended.” (Richard di Santo, Incursion)
The follow up to this outstanding artist’s "Aeriola Frequency" cd from 1998 featuring 10 tracks recorded between 1993 and 2000 and comes in wonderful full-colour sleeve designed by Jon Wozencroft. The cd version of this album was released on the Touch label.
“More oceanic 'calm of acceptance' than 'violence of discovery', these ten Ambient meditations on treated electric guitar, gathered from the last seven years, are like a series of exquisitely poised and iridescent ragas. Hailing from Portugal, Toral's work has been compared to that of Robert Fripp in its exploration of the melodic colour of drones, loops and overtones, using only guitar and analogue equipment. Slow, broadly arcing and snaking coils of sound unfold like a gargantuan reverberating wind chime, or a labyrinth of vast organ pipes. Two or three drones will twist alongside each other, causing harmonic clouds that tremble and melt without setting up much rhythmic interference.
The effect is deeply colourist. Whether it climbs its way out of the growling depths, or shimmers into appearance like a scraped gong, each track moves into the same kind of pitch range and lets the Aurora Borealis work its sonic wonders. (…) The final track steps off into post-rock territory, with, for the first time, a downbeat strumming of plangent chords and a fuzzy background drone (provided, believe it or not, by a recording of 'silence' from a space shuttle mission, broadcast on the web), which raises the spectre of My Bloody Valentine. Bliss with ballast.” (Matt Ffytche, The Wire)
Rafael Toral was considered in the 1990s "one of the most gifted and innovative guitarists of the decade" (Chicago Reader). He has collaborated with Jim O'Rourke, John Zorn, Alvin Lucier, Evan Parker, David Toop, Sonic Youth, Fennesz and many others, having played across Europe and the US, Canada and Japan. He's a member of the electronic orchestra MIMEO, alongside Keith Rowe and Peter Rehberg, and continues his long-term work with Sei Miguel.