Boomkat Product Review:
The fourth release in Rafael Toral's Space Program series and the second in its Space Elements sub-section, this new album by Rafael Toral finds the electronic composer combining with a new team of collaborators,most notably the great saxophonist Evan Parker, who fronts a rather large team of instrumentalists, manning brass, cello, percussion, guitar, vibraphone and synthesizer. Meanwhile, Toral himself sculpts sound with modified amplifiers, oscillators and feedback signals. The character of this music is incredibly tricky to pinpoint, and Toral's work seems to take inspiration from free-jazz as much as it does the extreme edges of electronic music. After a beautiful Ligeti-like microtonal start with 'II.I', the music starts to become freer and more kinetic through 'II.II' and 'II.III', with the former taking a Derek Bailey-inspired line in roving guitar figures. It;s the album's final phase that really stands out though: the echo-bathed tweets, hiccups and flutters of 'II.VII' hark back to the golden age of academic electronic experimentation whilst embracing the realtime spontaneity of improvised jazz. Highly recommended.
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