Rafael Toral

Chasing Sonic Booms

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This recording from experimental guitarist Rafael Toral comes on Thurston Moore's Ecstatic Peace label. It's fitting that the Sonic Youth guitarist would find appeal in the resonating ambience and symphonic drone constructions that this Portuguese composer effortlessly pulls from his guitar. Clearly Toral admires the work of Glen Branca and Phill Niblock, and their electric guitar symphonies have influenced this collection of compositions and improvisations profoundly. Although the avant-garde world is one of many attributes to this artist, this CD also exhibits his love for the electricity and energy of rock music. Hence, the post-rock label is as fitting as any. My Bloody Valentine, Sonic Youth, and Spacemen 3 spring to mind on the more amplified excursions, and Brian Eno's Music for Airports ambience is hinted at on the more subdued passages. During the latter moments the tones of his guitar gloriously chime like bells and are certainly not recognizable as being sounds of the six-string.

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