Ayal Senior’s Medusa imprint has been releasing a steady stream of handmade goodies for a few years now. Most of these artifacts are available in ultra-limited runs and feature members of Toronto’s loose and prolific underground music scene. Lately, Senior’s been branching out, releasing blown-out missives from the likes of Ashtray Navigations, U.S. Girls, Woods, and Steve Gunn. A recent name drop by David Keenan in The Wire’s Collatoral Damage opinion column is likely the first of such beams of recognition for Medusa. Here’s a label that may just take over the world.
Officially released in early 2011 at Rafael Toral’s show at the Somewhere There music space and gallery in Toronto, Live at Outfest, by Toral’s three-piece “jazz” combo Space Collective 3, is a wild romp through the extraterrestrial avant garde. The collective consists of Toral wielding his numerous hand-built electronic instruments, Riccardo Dillon Wanke manhandling the Fender Rhodes and Afonso Simões taking on drumming and percussion duties. Recorded live at the eponymous Out.Fest 2010 in Portugal, the three fifteen minute pieces that make up this cassette form a sort of galactic free jazz – a commingling of Toral’s alien electronic improvisations with the relatively straightforward instrumentation from the other two performers.
Wanke and Simões together are the perfect foil for Toral, highlighting the subtle way in which his electronic machines wail, purr and shriek. Furthermore, aside from a brief 15-minute foray into controlled ecstasy in the second third of the performance, the energy on display in Live at Outfest is completely through the roof. This tape is the second best thing to actually witnessing what must have been an utterly mind-blowing show.