Space Quartet

Rafael Toral  acoustic and electronic feedback, amplifier, direction | Hugo Antunes  double bass | Nuno Morão  drums and percussion | Nuno Torres  alto saxophone, electronic instrument

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Electronic music with a human touch – that’s what Rafael Toral proposed himself to do when he started with the Space Program. Or electro-acoustic music, to be more exact, because his adapted amplifiers and other feedback and sinusoidal devices are combined with conventional instruments, played by fellow Portuguese musicians Nuno Torres on alto sax, Hugo Antunes on doublebass (note their superb opening section in “Black and White”) and Nuno Morão on drums (his swing in the pure-gold final section of “Landing in Copenhagen”, among other suprising grooves, is stranger than Ringo’s). “Freedom of Tomorrow” is not a statement but a question (yes, “tomorrow is the question”, always true) a new opus from the Space Quartet, entirely recorded live, in concerts taking place in Coimbra, Portugal and Copenhagen, Danmark (*). Toral’s “jazz-like phrasings” and the overall quartet dynamics gain from it, presenting “Freedom of Tomorrow” new steps of the ongoing explorations of this unique quartet. And unique because what you find here – if not already knowing it from previous albums – has nothing to do with the use of electronics in fusion, avant-jazz or free improvisation. Quoting Rafael Toral himself, here’s a bunch of new metaphors «to the many dimensions of the notion of space in our lives». No, not necessarily the Space in which Sun Ra inhabited. That would come with no surprises. This other music is made of surprises, from the first minute to the last.

(*) The CD version also contains a track recorded in Braga, Portugal.


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Tracks A1, A2, B2 by Toral, Antunes, Morão, Torres | Tracks B1 by Rafael Toral

Side A recorded live at Casa das Artes Bissaya Barreto in Coimbra on October 5, 2019 | Side B recorded live at ALICE in Copenhagen on November 13, 2019
Cover photo by Carlos Fernandes | Back cover photo by Nuno Martins Design, produced and mastered by Rafael Toral | Executive production by Pedro Costa for Trem Azul




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