Retro Noise

I’m suprised Rafael Toral’s name isn’t currently more prominent in…well, in any musical circles, but especially noise and improv. I still hear about him from time to time, and he’s clearly still pretty active, but I don’t know, it just feels like he should be talked about more. Part of it might be that he tends to get lumped in with the Branca/Chatham school of symphonic/classical dissonance, or even the Eno/Kranky wing of ambient drift, and while he can certainly hold his own with those camps, his stuff is way more diverse than that, and often pretty annhilatingly noisy. This collection of mid-90’s collabs and live stuff is perhaps the best example – all kinds of far-out, sky-seeking sounds on this one, from the spacey insanity of “Sky Rocket” (with Jane Henry on tearing violin), to the air-piercing screech of the radio performance “X-1,” which would easily fit on, say, a Chondritic Sound release, to the fuzzy, detonating rip of “Super Sabre” (linked below), taken from one of Toral’s first solo live gigs. I think he’s a perfect candidate for inclusion in a future No Fun Fest – Carlos has done a heroic job of incorporating the old guard into that amazing festival, and like Smegma, Borbetomagus, To Live and Shave in L.A., etc, Toral is an essential noisemaker who needs to be heard by anyone who hasn’t.

Retro Noise Monthly