editorial review

Rafael Toral’s debut declared to the world the advent of a brilliant and original musical talent, but the world hardly took note — who was paying attention to Portuguese avant-garde guitarists in 1994? Six years after its original issue, this revised edition (two tracks have been replaced, another expanded) of Sound Mind Sound Body is even more time-stopping and gorgeous. Toral was inspired by John Cage, Brian Eno and My Bloody Valentine, and he reveals their influences with his skilled manipulation of temporal extremes, gradually evolving dynamics, and processed sounds. “AER 4” and “AE 1” are lush, liquid pieces that function equally well as engaging compositions and ambient soundscapes. Toral’s manipulation of digital glitches on “Loopability I” foreshadows the work of artists like Pole and Oval, and he evokes the calmof a Zen rock garden on the generously proportioned “AER 7 E,” which arises out of an exquisite latticework of decaying harmonics.
Bill Meyer