Rafael Toral


Melodic without notes, rhythmic but without a beat, familiar but strange, meticulous but radically free, Rafael Toral calls it "post-free jazz electronic music". Riddled with paradox but full of clarity and space, it's been described as "a brand of electronic music far more visceral and emotive than that of his cerebral peers". To organize exploration of such territories, Toral launched the jazz-inspired, alien-sounding Space Program, a long-term research on performing possibilities, in 2004. More recently, direction work with other musicians became the Space Collective, a slowly developing open group ranging from duo to orchestra.

Space Collective 2 (duo) is performing at ATP, a core unit of electronics and drums featuring Afonso Simões (Gala Drop, Curia), one of the most requested free-thinking drummers in Lisbon.

Rafael Toral, formerly known for his drone/ ambient work with guitar and electronics and acclaimed records such as Wave Field (1994) or Violence of Discovery and Calm of Acceptance (2000), has been collaborating with Sei Miguel, Jim O'Rourke, Evan Parker, John Edwards, Joe Morris, Roger Turner, Christian Marclay, Sonic Youth, Rhys Chatham, Lee Ranaldo, C Spencer Yeh... In 1998 he became a member of MIMEO electronic orchestra. Its other members include Keith Rowe, Thomas Lehn, Marcus Schmickler, Christian Fennesz, Peter Rehberg. He has performed throughout Europe, Canada, USA, Mexico, South Korea, Japan, New Zealand and Australia.

Space Program discography:

Space (CD Staubgold, 2006; 2LP Taiga, 2007)
Space Solo 1 (CD Quecksilber, 2007; LP Taiga, 2008)
Space Elements Vol. I  (CD Staubgold, 2008; LP Taiga, 2008)
Space Elements Vol. II  (CD Staubgold, 2010; LP Taiga, 2010)
Space Elements Vol. III  (CD Staubgold, 2011; LP Taiga, 2011)

(photo by Vera Marmelo)