J.A.C.

Studio Album by released in 2005
J.A.C.'s tracklist:
Rondo Acapricio
Heidi Bruehl
Superrob
John Lee Huber
Pyjama
The Big Sleep
Damentag
Naschkatze
Zuri
Sala
Forte
No More Olives

J.A.C. review

J.A.C. is the fourth album for the duo of Tosca. Viennese sonic chef Richard Dorfmeister may get more celebrity name recognition recording and remixing under Kruder & Dorfmeister than he does with Tosca, his partnership with childhood chum Rupert Huber. Still, it'd be foolish to call Tosca a side project. Kruder & Dorfmeister rarely disappoint, but Tosca albums are somehow more musical (they actually play instruments as much as samplers), more personal (the initials J.A.C. stand for the first names of the duo's new sons) and there's definitely a sense their pieces are saying something despite just a sprinkling of lyrics. This album is the most consistent formulation of both the carefree and the melancholic aspects of Tosca. The melodies quicken, the grooves are both fun loving and laidback. The duo brought in a cast of new artists to perform vocals on the songs including Samiah Farah from Paris, Chris Eckman, lead singer of Seattle based band The Walkabouts, former Rockers Hi-Fi MC Farda P, Londoner Earl Zinger of 2 Banks of 4 and Austrian rock legend Graf Hadik.

At the heart of Tosca is the layering of subtle drum kit samples with electronic four-on-the-floor beats, loopable synth effects, dub style electric bass and an eclectic taste palette that is both well-traveled and jazzy. If nothing else, the composite aural feel is lounge friendly and well suited to allow for both club dancing and background ambiance while dining or studying. It's uncanny how just how much mileage these guys get from small, easy gestures, like the simple bass riff that drives the opening head-nodder Rondo Acapricio. On the one hand it sounds borrowed, something you've heard a million times before in some overplayed rare groove classic. But it's also a signature sound, identifiable as Tosca and relentlessly catchy. The Big Sleep goes pretty deep into its own navel before the funk of Damentag brightens the mood. A few more listens, and you'll notice more musical diversity and the easy way Dorfmeister and Huber segue from chilly (Naschkatze) to friendly (Zuri). Once J.A.C. is in your player, it may be awhile before you take it out.

The album is a mixture of unique qualities and stands by itself in the way it feels out an intrinsic affection for down tempo, dance beats and world and jazz music. The best part is that nothing feels forced or overtly formulated; every bout of vocal scatting, jazzy electric guitar coloring and organ chord arrangement seems to be the product of gradual mixing sessions. At the bottom of everything is a constant and ever-altering rhythm section: during one track, the feel could be electro-samba, the next track dub, a couple songs later a crawling, eerie midnight groove. Tosca are in full hypnosis mode for J.A.C., as the Dorfmeister and Huber again show off their mastery of jazzy ambience. J.A.C. is full of music that is light-footed and melancholic, cheerful and deep, relaxed and energetic. It's a sound that can be enjoyed everywhere, at any occasion.

(17.08.2005)
Rate review4.42
Total votes - 7


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