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Toral, Rafael

Space Collective 2 Live [CASSETTE + download]

Toral, Rafael: Space Collective 2 Live [CASSETTE + download] (Notice Recordings)

Electronics & drums in a duo from Portugese musician Rafael Toral and drummer Alfonso Simoes performing live at All Tomorrow's Parties in 2012, two extended improvisations that develop from slow psychedelic cries to blistering interactions of strong statements.

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product information:

Includes unlimited streaming of Space Collective 2 Live via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

Label: Notice Recordings
Catalog ID: NTR038
Squidco Product Code: 21500

Condition: New
Released: 2015
Country: USA
Packaging: Cassette
Recorded live at All Tomorrow's Parties 2012.


Rafael Toral-electronics

Alfonso Simoes-drums

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Artist Biographies:

"Rafael Toral, born in Lisbon, 1967 has been intrigued by the potential of sound and the functions of music since he was a teenager. As a composer and performer, he has been deeply involved with Rock, Ambient, Contemporary, Electronic and Free Jazz music in different periods of his life.

Working with electric guitar and electronics, in the 1990's he created a blend of Ambient and Rock and recorded acclaimed albums like Wave Field or Violence of Discovery and Calm of Acceptance. By the early 2000's he arrived to a sense of accomplishment about his previous 15 years of work, also realizing the world needed a different creative response. He decided to start something new, as radically different from the previous phase as possible. In a transition to vulnerable action, he launched the alien-sounding Space Program in 2004, using experimental electronic instruments. It's been an ambitious long-term project exploring an approach to electronic music based on silence, through decision making and physical gesture, in a way inspired by post-free Jazz. The resulting music, "melodic without notes, rhythmic with no beat, familiar but strange, meticulous but radically free - riddled with paradox but full of clarity and space", has been described as "a brand of electronic music far more visceral and emotive than that of his cerebral peers".

In the last 15 years he's been thinking and practicing an understanding of silence as "space", with a clear function in music creation but also as a metaphor for social relationships and a statement on information and sensory overload.

Performing solo or in numerous collaborations (including Jim O'Rourke, Jim Baker, Sei Miguel, Chris Corsano, John Edwards, Evan Parker, Tatsuya Nakatani, Manuel Mota, Alvin Lucier, Phill Niblock, Christian Marclay, Sonic Youth, Rhys Chatham, Lee Ranaldo, C Spencer Yeh, and many others), he has been touring throughout Europe, Canada, USA, Mexico, South Korea, Japan, New Zealand and Australia.

Also active in visual and spatial arts, Toral has produced video and several installations from 1994 to 2003.

In 2014 he relocated to the mountains in central Portugal for a more sustainable life. In 2017, having concluded the Space Program's recording series, Toral is entering a wider field with multiple directions and possibilities. From his mountain studio, he also offers mastering services."

-Rafael Toral Website (

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track listing:

Side A

1. 17:23

Side B

1. 13:38
sample the album:

descriptions, reviews, &c.

"Space Collective 2 Live commemorates Portuguese musician Rafael Toral's first U.S. tour in several years. Since the 1990s, Toral has been primarily known for his guitar work, but has since been working on the Space Program project, within which he has probed visceral and personal components of electronic music performance, and how they relate to the performer's experience, not to the resultant product.

These recordings, taken from a live set at All Tomorrow's Parties in 2012, find Toral performing with drummer Afonso Simões, developing sparse, deep textures with triggers and modular oddities. Smartly paced and absolutely blistering at times, this set touches on a variety of surprising tones: flute-like expressions, spacey warbles, and intricately patterned arpeggios that dissolve into drone sections with confrontational sonic palettes."-Notice Recordings

"Portuguese sound artist Rafael Toral is self-taught, something that, for three decades, has always reflected in the fearlessly exploratory spirit of his consistently striking output, once focused on richly-textured guitar-based drones, now on a hands-on praxis to even more rough and abstract electronic experimentation. It is fitting that Toral, who labored without much encouragement in the years leading up to his full-length debut Sound Mind Sound Body, would deliberately steer down a seemingly completely fresh path, considering how his work comes from a love of trying to forge new tools for new ways of speaking. The Space Program series, which Toral began to work on around 2003, is sometimes a solo effort, other times a collaborative one with any number of friends from the always-expanding Space Collective; what unites the project as a whole is its underlying goal to form a stylistic analogue to free jazz by way of rudimentary electronic tools (generally an oscillator and a modified amp meant for generating feedback controlled by light-sensors). Space Collective 2 is a recording of a performance by Toral and drummer Afonso Simões made at the 2012 All Tomorrow's Parties festival, finally seeing a physical release through a limited run of tapes off the always excellent Notice Recordings.

This may very well be the perfect entry point for one new to the Space Program. I actually saw Toral give a solo performance in October at The Projection Museum, an art studio and living space right at the edge of Northeast Portland on Burnside, at the invitation of a friend, and while one does get a very visceral sense of what Toral means when he says he wants to make a more humanized, meaningfully expressive version of electronic music by emphasizing a sense of precise control over his tools in his solo performances, something about this 2012 collective effort stylistically falls into a place, if for the fullness of its sound. As Side A gets underway, Simões gives Toral room to breathe, offsetting Toral's exploratory stabs into the silence with distant thunder. With an electronic shriek, the gates of sane madness open and that silence explodes into a whirlwind of violence, with Simões's frantic strokes keeping time with Toral's Braxton-like sonic attack. It's a startling synthesis to behold (the actual sight of Toral yanking piercing cries out of these unassuming-looking handheld boxes is mesmerizing, I might add), but at the same time it's one that makes one wonder why it was not stumbled upon before Toral took the leap. This is experimental electronic music operating at a higher level of deliberation and thoughtfulness than nearly everything else in sound synthesis and free improvisation- an essential document and a real pleasure to see getting a proper release."-Foreign Accents

Includes unlimited streaming of Space Collective 2 Live via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

Get additional information at Foreign Accents
Related Categories of Interest:

Sound, Noise, &c.
Duo Recordings
Electronic Forms
Percussion & Drums
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