In 1987, Rafael Toral began making his own compositions and solo recordings. Thirty years later, these recordings sound remarkably prescient and perfectly timeless – almost fresher today than when they were first released. Rafael has spent the time since then developing his conceptions, with continued explorations in the many records that have followed. On the 30th anniversary of his start, Drag City is reissuing Sound Mind Sound Body and Wave Field, his first two long out-of-print albums, on vinyl for the first time.
Wave Field, released in 1995, 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 emphasized, 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 sounds of Wave Field and Sound Mind Sound Body 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.