Rafael Toral
(Copyright © 2003 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )
Sound Mind Sound Body (Ananana, 1994), 5/10
Wave Field (Moneyland, 1995), 7/10
Aeriola Frequency (Perdition Plastics, 1998), 6.5/10

Portuguese guitarist Rafael Toral (Lisbon, 1967) debuted with Pop dell'Arte and recorded with them Free Pop (Ama Romanta, 1988). His homework eventually yielded the experimental Sound Mind Sound Body (Ananana, 1994). But Toral found a mission in life above all with the droning minimalism for solo guitar of Wave Field (Moneyland, 1995) and Aeriola Frequency (Perdition Plastics, 1998), his two most intense works.

Toral never quite achieved again that inspiration, and subsequent works have been mildly intriguing but never truly groundbreaking: the live Chasing Sonic Booms (Ecstatic Peace, 1998) in the vein of the jazz or post-rock improvisers, Cyclorama Lift 3 (Tomlab, 2000), which uses pure electronic resonance (no guitar), Violence of Discovery and Calm of Acceptance (Touch, 2001), a collection of guitar-based compositions that span several years, the 1987-90 anthology Early Works (Tomlab, 2002), the children music Electric Babyland / Lullabies (Tomlab, 2003), the live Engine (Touch, 2003).

Toral also recorded two albums with Mimeo: Electric Chair + Table (Gross, 2000) and The Hands of Caravaggio (Erstwhile, 2002), and one with No Noise Reduction, On Air (Ananana, 1997).

The EP Harmonic Series (Table Of The Elements, 2004) is one of his most serene works. Harmonic Series 2 (Headz, 2004), recorded live, is a 40-minute piece.

Space Solo 1 (Quecksilber, 2007) is a series of atonal improvisations for for home-built electronics that are eerily reminiscent of vintage sci-fi film soundtracks.

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(Copyright © 2003 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )
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