• rafael toral Wave Field (LP, £19.75)

    label: drag city

    Released in 1995 ‘Wave Field’ was a departure from the first album into new composition methods involving the dirty textures of rock guitar, sounding in the open ears of many listeners (like Jim O’Rourke, who issued the disc in the US on dexter’s cigar) as a synthesis of disparate elements - a nexus where Alvin Lucier, Sonic Youth, My Bloody Valentine and Eno blend together. Here, the clangorous potential of the guitar was emphasised, giving a metallic edge to the two extended pieces and ‘radio edit’ coda. The jacket paid subtle tribute to My Bloody Valentine, which, along with the radio edit, suggested a harmony between musical directions as wildly disparate as minimalist experimental and rock. Today, such a paradoxical intent is more widely considered as a part of the artist’s purview. This allows the sound of ‘Wave Field’ to sit perfectly among the forward reaching music of today - as it continues to evolve in our ears, moving ever towards the next conception of listening space.

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