Highly skilled and storied Portugese sound artist Rafael Toral makes a welcome appearance on Lawrence English’s Room40 label. The sound field Toral employs on this latest album is stark and clinical, but the tones vibrating within are etched deep with studious character, whether it’s a measured guitar drone or a clipped sax ramble.
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Well, what have we here? It’s only the second today of a double bill of releases from Lawrence English’s Room40 label out of Brisbane! I’m genuinely excited. Spoiling myself today, this one’s called Moon Field by Rafael Toral but performed -- it says on the sleeve of the review CD -- by Space Collective 3, slightly confusingly.
Rafael moves outward for this release, beyond his Space Program series and previous explorations lasting over a decade (it’s beginning to make more sense now). The man is -- apparently -- increasingly Space-obsessed. The three pieces on the CD overlap and interlock, and were played and improvised in a live setting with Ricardo Webbens on modular synths and Riccardo Dillon on electric piano. The trio create a hovering sonic collage, where tones float and keep you guessing in which direction they’ll head (if any). It opens with what sounds like (might even actually be) aliens talking to each other. The middle section, which they’ve called ‘The Horizon’, spreads and broadens out in sound to create an immense feeling of gravity-free space with free-jazz inspired flourishes on electronics and piano. Weightless listening to just drift to.
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- Moon Field by Rafael Toral
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