Raphael's electro-acoustic arrangement of classical composer Faure's "In Paradiso" is hands-down one of the most weepingly gorgeous things I've ever heard, its lushness and luminous beauty surpassing all traditional performances of the piece.

artist:
Raphael

country of origin:
USA

style(s):
Ambient orchestral, ethno ambient, dream pop, spacemusic

decades active:
80's - 90's

essential releases:

  • Music To Disappear In (1988, Hearts Of Space)
  • Music To Disappear In II (1991, Hearts Of Space)

Reviewed by Mike G

San Francisco artist Raphael's second and third albums captured perfectly what contemporary spacemusic label Heart Of Space Records did so well in its 80's and 90's heyday. Broadcaster, label founder and record producer Stephen Hill understood that the pretty surfaces of music like Raphael's appealed to the growing new age market of the time, while the considerable riches beneath satisfied fans who also sought substance and depth.

Don’t let the title of these albums fool you; far from being listless muzak for relaxation Music To Disappear In (1998) and Music To Disappear In II (1991) are both delicate, fragile jewels. Featuring Raphael on keyboards with various supporting musicians, the music is in two major styles. One is the angelic orchestral atmospheres coloured by classical influences and strong harmonies; the other is the trance-like tribal dream dances propelled by sleepy, mesmerising tom-tom rhythms. The compositions are mainly originals, save the electro-acoustic arrangement of classical composer Faure's "In Paradiso" which is hands-down one of the most weepingly gorgeous things I've ever heard, its lushness and luminous beauty surpassing all traditional performances of the piece.

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