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Space Elements Vol. II . Rafael Toral


staubgold digital 5
2010. cd . dl

Space Elements Vol. II is the fourth release in Rafael Toral's ongoing project, the Space Program. Following the first "Elements" release, this volume features a new set of collaborators: Evan Parker (soprano sax), Manuel Mota (guitar), Afonso Simões (drums), Stefano Tedesco (vibraphone), João Paulo Feliciano (rhodes piano), and Ruben Costa (digital synthesizer), as well as returning guests Sei Miguel (trumpet), César Burago (percussion), Fala Mariam (trombone), and Rute Praça (cello). Space Elements Vol. II displays a melodic quality that, along with a refined management of silence, marks a new area and consolidates the Space Program's complex network. Its spaciousness is explained in Toral's liner notes: "While finding ways to make decisions on sound emission, it became evident to me that such sounds should have a reason to exist, they should be essential and necessary."

Dan Warburton's writing in the Wire about Space fits Space Elements Vol. II perfectly: "The melodic logic that drives certain instruments within "Space" also recalls birdsong, with dense, convoluted runs of twittering melody ending in single piping notes, as spontaneous as Messiaen's birdsong transcriptions were painstaking and meticulous."

Rafael Toral

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).