Rafael Toral‘s „Spectral Evolution“

Is this true?
Am I listening to what I am listening?
Is it necessary to study rocket science
to explain what‘s going on here? No.
This album is a wonderful example of
experimental music, well,
extremely experimental music
fuelling the deepest impacts.
No words required, though there
will be … words. And with all
echoes, sources, programs (at hand),
we take that other route and
just listen. Believe it or not.

What the Portuguese  musician creates, is something completely illusory and delightful, juxtaposing the straightforward imagery of its cover. Comprising a near 43-minute soundscape – delivered as one continous whole, but separated into 12 movements – the album depicts the  textures and rhythms of nature with an almost cinematic scope. „Changes“ feels like the flutter of a wing dissected in slow motion intricacy, while „Descending“ swoops the mixture into gorgeous thermal decline. The magic is in Toral‘s delicately affecting cycles, which succeed in extracting graceful, almost relevatory beauty from the world‘s ubiquitous sources. (Electronic Sound, March 2024; release date: March, 1; vinyl / cd / dl)

As a teenager, one of my beloved pieces was a slow, trance-like track named „Set the controls for the heart of the sun“, full of soft pulses (I think it was on Pink Floyd’s long player „A Saucerful Of Secrets“), and as soon as I started listening (still a child, and with child-like curiosity) I was „inside“. Now (a parallel of sorts and mood) it took some minutes and moments of asking myself „where am I?“, to be part of Rafael Toral’s „mind trip“, but from then on, after removing some obstacles (mostly internal dialogue) I was part of the crew. Let’s speak about floating. Safe journey! (m.e.)

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