Sunday, December 16, 2012

Rafael Toral - Space Solo 1 (Taiga - TAIGA 2)

Rafael Toral is a Portugese experimental musician who can be considered an old school artist compared to the new generation of experimentalists. He still mainly adapts the tweaking and restructuring electronic music instruments rather than relying heavily on computer. Being an improvisational guitarist (And quite a good one at that), he has taken this approach to experimental music coming to points where he has literally pushed the boundaries of improvisation.

The Space Solo 1 album was originally released as a CD by Quecksilber label and later on reissued on limited edition red vinyl. The album consists of 5 tracks taken from 4 performances out of the Space Study tour. Actually the track names are mainly self explanatory like "Portable Amplifier" where he uses a modified MS-2 portable amplifier feedback with light-controlled filter.

"Portable Amplifier" is a track that was taken from the Space Study 2 performance in Lisboa. It starts with a mainly spacelike melody which directly resembles the movie "Space Odyssey", but from then on, it takes a totally different turn where Toral pushes the amplifier and the filter to its limits. The frequency levels are constantly altered and I am sure if I was a dog, I could have heard more of it. Closer to the end section of the track, silence is also added as a factor to the composition while small clicks and cuts shows you that you are still in the loop.

"Echo-Feed" is mainly composed of repetitive notes interconnected with spacey textures whereas "Bender" creates the image of a space fight simulator in the intro and turns back into a similar approach like "Echo-Feed", but this time the textures are quite limited. It is more like a Free Jazz Improvisation, but the instrument in question is not a saxophone, but a modified MT-10 portable amplifier. Actually it could have been quite interesting if this approach was fitted with some modern Free Jazz composers. "Electrode Oscillator" is all the more demanding of the compositions due to it's ever changing structure from clicks & cuts and high pitched notes to the use of more distanced elements. One point you feel like there is an electronic woody woodpecker around and next you sit in a room of ancient computers creating click sounds at the same time. The musical understanding is not suited to our standard learnings and therefore following the composition becomes a journey in it's own right. Even though Toral does not rely on classic musicla concepts and notations, from time to time it can be sensed that he still keeps track of them. Yet sometimes, it becomes all too evident that he is in a world of music of his own. A quite interesting and attention grasping world I should say.

To buy this record:

@ Ebay (Currently only CD versions are being sold)
@ Discogs

No comments:

Post a Comment