Vital Weekly

For a number of years I have been enjoying the work of this Portugese guitarist Rafael Toral and found his work better and better with every new release. Highlight was the ‘Aeriola Frequency’ CD for Perdition Plastics, with it’s two slowly evolving pieces of feedback, guitar and electronics. Sounds captured inside electrical systems, and automatically transformed. This new CD has ten tracks which sort of use the same ideas as developed on his previous CD’s, but then in the context of a shorter piece. The power so far lies for me in the slow changes of his music, which of course is served best in a longer piece. Each piece uses just an electric guitar (except for one that also uses “the recording of silence during a Space Shuttle mission real time webcast”), but god knows how many effect box. Toral paints little pictures in sound, and if his previous releases were oil on canvas, this is sketches with pencil and paper. Usually fragile drone like music, that sets a certain atmosphere for a while and then moves on to the next one. ‘Optical flow’, the sixth track, is the first in which the guitar tinkles as a guitar. Delicate pieces and Toral succeeds well in doing his great things in a short context too. Beautiful stuff.

Frans de Waard