Space Solo 1 . Rafael Toral
2007. cd . dl . lp
The present album is the first in Rafael Toral's "Space Solo" series and the second materialisation of his "Space" program.
Whereas "Space" (Staubgold, 2006) featured an orchestral approach to composition (and thus a diversity of elements), "Space Solo 1" presents the listener with music which is narrowed down almost to a point. Everything is concentrated on a single element. The key feature of this music is that it was performed with a degree of skill, a commitment and a depth of exploration that could not be found on an orchestral record like "Space". On this album, Toral appears as a musician who simply plays an instrument on an individual, human and physical level.
One cannot help but notice that Toral is opening up a new dimension in music – and maybe also in language. When the renowned British music magazine The Wire recently ran a large feature on Toral's new project, the last sentence read thus: "It seems that mere words are far from able to convey everything a human being may wish to express." Toral's new project is just that: A new mode of expression.
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.
Toral's music is a jazz-inspired reevaluation of live electronics: "Despite working in a sound world that is cosmetically closer to R2D2's vocabulary than Louis Armstrong's or John Coltrane's, Toral has claimed a kinship to jazz because it models instant music making within a disciplined framework" (Bill Meyer, Dusted); "Toral is looking for nothing less than a totally fresh language to work in" (The Wire).