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Boomkat Product Review:
First vinyl edition of Wave Field; Portuguese artist Rafael Toral’s sublime sophomore study in liquified, resonant, processed electric guitar harmonics. Taken from the definitive CD version issued by Jim O’Rourke and David Grubbs’ Dexter’s Cigar sublabel of Drag City in 1998, which includes an expanded version of Wave Field 5, and now newly pre-mastered by the artist, with full remaster and vinyl cut by Rashad Becker at D&M, this is effectively the perfect jump-off point for the proceeding twenty-odd years (and counting) of his oeuvre.
Taking Alvin Lucier’s pivotal piece I Am Sitting In A Room, and the experience of acoustic infidelity at a Nirvana concert in 1994 as his cue points, Rafael uses his electric guitar to generate plangent, smeared overtones which keen and curdle in seemingly infinite space around an elusively shifting centre, locating a sound which is either ambient or noise, depending on the volume its played. The A-side’s 31 minute Wave Field 5 is arguably one of Rafel’s earliest, definitive masterworks, and shares this plate with the freer, shorter breadth of Wave Field 6, and the almost ambient-pop-noise of his lushly bitter, coruscating Wave Field radio edit.