RAFAEL TORAL – Space Elements Vol. III


Given that I never listened to the first two volumes of Space Elements, and that my favourite Toral music has always been lying in droning albums like Wave Field and Violence Of Recovery And Calmness Of Acceptance, this record is still quite perplexing. The essential concept is not complicated: self-built instruments producing bizarre sounds – mainly deriving from oscillators, feedback, sinewaves and assorted kinds of noises – in conjunction with the work of other musicians improvising with the Portuguese artist, who stresses the point that none of the appliances “responds accurately to the performing action”. This means that intentions and outcome are, in general, wholly different. More often than not the ensuing patchworks appear as the end result of children at play with tools completely extraneous to their usual methods. At times, this process engenders funny concoctions of sci-fi tinged freedom; elsewhere one smiles meekly, muttering “nice guy, Rafael” before opening the player and slipping another CD into it without a hint of remorse. Though the emancipation from genres, styles and restrictions of any kind is the principal goal here, this has to be filed under “mere curiosity”.

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