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Violence of Discovery and Calm of Acceptance

by Rafael Toral

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    Jewel case. Photography by Heitor Alvelos, artwork by Jon Wozencroft.

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about

Considered by the Chicago Reader to be “one of the most gifted and innovative guitarists of the decade”, Rafael Toral has been developing in the last 15 years a unique sound world, having been as influenced by Alvin Lucier and Brian Eno as by Sonic Youth and My Bloody Valentine. Using the guitar as part of a complex electronic instrument, Toral has collaborated with Jim O’Rourke, John Zorn, Sonic Youth, Rhys Chatham and Phill Niblock and played in many European countries and in several states in the US. He’s also a member of MIMEO, the electronic orchestra featuring Keith Rowe, Christian Fennesz, Peter Rehberg, Kaffe Matthews and many others.VDCA is a collection of ten small pieces crafted by Toral with extreme precision and care through the last seven years. Using guitars and analogue technology, it can be described as Toral’s best work, embodying all the directions he explored in his previous critically acclaimed records, “Sound Mind Sound Body” [Moikai, USA], “Wave Field” [dexter’s cigar/drag city, USA] and “Aeriola Frequency” [Perdition Plastics, USA] but taking them into new dimensions.

LEE RANALDO: I think the most interesting thing about Raphael is that he lives out on the end of the world, which is about how isolated Portugal is, even for the rest of Europe, and that he has managed to forge some sort of interest and trajectory for himself in the esoteric realm of “new” music. He’s a young man forging ideas out of what he has heard and read about, and has a good set of ears and knows what he’s listening to. (He’s) rather scientific in his approach…

JIM O’ROURKE: Rafael is a really good guy with a good ear, I think, and a sense of timing and density that is a luxury to find. He is a swell, honest person too.

This is his first album for Touch. The highly evocative intricate and subtle guitar drones are captured in the beautiful photography of Heitor Alvelos, a Portuguese artist, and in the artwork of Jon Wozencroft.

The background noise on track 10 is a recording of silence during a Space Shuttle mission real time webcast. All other sounds were released by electric guitars. The album was recorded between 1993 and 2000 and mastered at Noise Precision, Lisbon.

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released April 2, 2001

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