Tosca

J.A.C.
(Studio K7)

This fourth collaboration between Rupert Huber and Richard Dorfmeister is a family affair -- the letters J.A.C. represent newborn sons (Joseph, Arthur, Conrad; Huber's wife had twins). This could clue us in to the lullaby-sounding quality of "Heidi Brühl," with slightly polished guitars creating an airy soundscape behind Samiah Farah's delicate vocals. The vintage nu-jazz backdrop represents another interesting twist in Tosca's work: the integration of untouched live instrumentation into an electronic world. All previous records bared hints of adult contemporarism, though their side-by-side debuts, Different Shades of Honey and Suzuki in Dub, were well endowed for dance floors. The brilliance of "Markus Kienzl Dub" and "Massi Dub" reappears with "Rondo Acapricio." Heat-seeking bass lines sizzle underneath an overtly dubbed rhythm section as hypnotic-leaning tendencies arrive fully formed. Unfortunately, Dehli9 happened, and silly nonsense like "Me & Yoko Ono" is revisited on J.A.C. The sappy "Damentag" is too kitsch to fit into this set properly. Never ones to displease, Huber and Dorfmeister more than recover on the stomping "John Lee Huber" and big-beated "The Big Sleep." To verbally grasp that last track, think Morphine's casual, cocky vocal slides set against slide-guitar technotronics.

 
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