Tosca – No Hassle

January 01, 1970

(K7)

 

www.k7.com

Downtempo, trip-hop, ambient electronic music is so early ‘90s. These days, if
you hear it at all, it’s probably on a car commercial or at that new Asian
fusion restaurant down the street. Amazingly, Tosca still manages to make this
often preciously slick genre exciting and engaging. The duo of Richard
Dorfmeister and Rupert Huber – both electronica OG’s – have been at it for well
over a decade. And their latest album, No
Hassle,
feels as fresh as anything playing in the chill-out lounge circa
1994.

 

The album’s initial one-two punch, “My First” and “Elitsa,”
is a soft, lovely caressing blow. Both are heady, slightly psychedelic mixes of
loops and hushed vocal samples that are as tuneful as they are somnambulistic.
From there, the music picks up the pace a bit, entering the jazzy funk of
“Springer” and “Birthday.” But “jazzy funk” is really a misnomer, conjuring
images of cheesy synth-laden syncopation. This is acid jazz run through a Boards
of Canada filter, resulting in a hypnotic and graceful blend of organic and
electronic.

 

There is a lot going on in the layers of sound and
atmosphere that comprise Tosca’s body of work, even if it is basically ambient
downtempo. Tempting as it may be, Tosca should definitely not be relegated to
background music status.

 

Standout Tracks: “My
First” “Elitsa” JONAH FLICKER

 

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