Rafael Toral Violence of Discovery and Calm of Acceptance

This release has one of the most beautiful titles I have ever seen and has the music to more than back it up, making it one of my favourite all-time ambient recordings. Violence... is a live show done at Toronto's Now lounge, where Raffael's music was said to have shattered the glass frames of the pictures in the venue by hitting just the right frequency. Toral, accompanied by Rob Wannamaker, a notable improviser in his own right, uses modulating sounds to create a continuous, hovering, meditative album that's suggestive of wordless realisations of the sages. Though the process of composing this music appears fairly complex, the results are simple, uncluttered and graceful. Long moments of subtle tremoring noises occur with build-ups that materialise out of a seemingly existential void, accompanied by vestiges of resonating string instruments. From darker, fear-filled parts to scaling redemptive heights of emotional exhilaration, this recording seems to mirror the experience of life itself. Somehow, Toral and Wannamaker managed to instil a sense of awe and wonderment, which is always a joy to behold, but happens so rarely. (Touch)