Vital Weekly

A new step in the Space Program of Rafael Toral. This program was launched in 2004, “questioning how to perform music in a post-free jazz mind-set, using strange sounds from electronic instruments.” In small line ups, ten musicians – one of them being Evan Parker – contribute by playing a diversity of acoustic instruments. Toral plays modified MS-2 portable amplifier feedback, modified MT-10 portable amplifier and delayed feedback resonance empty circuit and electrode oscillator with modular filters. The electronic sounds are very close in a way to the ones of acoustic origin. They make one fluid continuum. In most pieces acoustic sounds dominate. Track “II.VII” is an exception to this rule, this one seems of pure electronic origin. In eight very different pieces Toral and his collaborators explore their research on the borders of free jazz and ambient-like music. Resulting in a music that is very original and not to be reduced to free jazz, or any other known idiom. Because of the use of many instruments, a first thing that can be said is that it s is a very multicolored whole. The music is more about creating space then a lapse of time. It feels like being at strange, exotic places instead of being engaged in a dynamic process. For this reason the music lacks drama, pulse, groove, extraverted power. Which does not mean however that nothing is happening here. On the contrary. The pieces have clear musical structures full of subtleties. Toral shows a very personal style and power, and paints beautiful and unusual panoramas. (DM)