Rafael Toral

Spectral Evolution

Moikai • 2024

Some musicians just do their thing, stick to one thing, or develop it a little in this or that direction over time. Others deliberately create breaks that can sometimes be surprising. For guitarist Rafael Toral, it may have come as a surprise to some of his fans when, after immersing himself in the sonic possibilities of his instrument and producing relaxed drone epics like his 1995 album »Wave Field«, he suddenly swapped his strings for generators and amplifier feedback on »Space«, turning it into a whole »Space Program«. Instead of large surfaces, small, often spontaneously improvised beeps were the order of the day.

»Moon Field« in 2017 marked the beginning of his »third phase« in which he began to bring the previously separate worlds into direct exchange. In the meantime, he’s also playing guitar again. On »Spectral Evolution«, long forms and short gestures come together without any apparent compulsion, and new associations arise. The blue tit on the cover also helps to make these associations. Would you normally think of bird calls when listening to singing, electronic frequencies? All in all, this album is a bold combination of friendly openness with the courage to be eccentric. I think it’s fair to say that this is an evolution, both of drone and of »space music«, and it’s a damn fine one at that.