Tosca


(Copyright © 1999 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )

K&D: The K&D Sessions , 6/10
Peter Kruder: Peace Orchestra , 6.5/10
Tosca: Opera , 5/10
Tosca: Suzuki , 6.5/10
Tosca: Dehli9 (2003), 6/10
Tosca: J.A.C. (2005), 5/10
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Dance-music was a matter of style for Austrian producers and disc jockeys Richard Dorfmeister and Peter Kruder. They made a name for themselves with their remixes of work by Wiliam Orbit, Bomb The Bass, Lamb, Depeche Mode, Roni Size and Madonna. While the results were similar to traditional acid-jazz and trip-hop, the duo made a reputation for their meticulous reconstructions (not just remixing) of songs (especially High Noon). Heavy on the bass, light on the jazz, not afraid of toying with bossa nova and waltz, K&D elevated the art of remix to genre status with their laid-back double-disc The K&D Sessions (K7, 1998), thereby coining a unique style that sounds like a cross between Kraftwerk, Miles Davis and Steely Dan. While the effort is monumental, the result is no more than an album of covers.

Peace Orchestra (K7, 1999) is Peter Kruder's solo project, and finally a collection of his own compositions. The Man Part One is his laid-back manifesto, but the album triumphs with the most animated tracks, like Marakesh, Domination Shining (vocals by Chilli Bukasa). The trancey Who Am I and the dreamy The Man Part Two are impeccable but also somewhat generic. The nine-minute Double Drums is perhaps the best expression of the new aesthetics (cosmic trip-hop?) The album was followed by the single Root Down (Compost, 2000). Kruder proved to be a superb production mannerist the way some baroque poets were superb writing mannerists, but not necessarily great poets.

Dorfmeister has a side project called Tosca (with Rupert Huber). Tosca offers a watered-down version of K&R's sound. The funky appeal of their singles Chocolate Elvis and Fuck Dub extends beyong the museums of the art of the remix. Opera (G-Stone, 1997) is a gently atmospheric work.

Suzuki (G-Stone, 2000) is possibly the best exposition of Tosca's funk, hip-hop and dub experiment. majestic tracks like The sensual and languid Suzuki, that excels at smoothly manipulating the vocal and percussion tracks, the electronic bossanova lounge shuffle Honey, the subdued, crystalline dub vortex of John Tomes practice a highly refined form of hypnosis. The aggressive constructs of Annanas (propulsive funk beat, more vocal games, floating electronic flourishes), Orozco (exotic-tinged techno music with jazz-funk keyboard licks), Busenfreund (a drum'n'bass locomotive with neoclassical piano and surreal noises), and the seven-minute Caribbean-tinged fibrillating The Key aim more obviously at the dancefloor. Boss On The Boat concocts the most infectious rhythm, borrowing the atmosphere from spy film soundtracks and slick 1970s soul-funk suites.

The Different Tastes Of Honey (2001) offers 13 remixes of Honey and Suzuki In Dub (Studio K7, 2001) offers more remixes.

Peace Orchestra's Reset (G-Stone, 2002) is the Peace Orchestra album remixed by other musicians.

Tosca's Dehli9 (K7, 2003) is a double-cd album that is truly two different albums packaged as one. The first one offers the same old story: elegant, jazzy, soothing downtempo. It is futuristic muzak, but still, ultimately, muzak. Mostly, the duo seems very careful not to introduce any new element in a recipe that has by now mastered like an old French chef. La Vendeuse de Chaussures de Femme and Mango di Bango are the exceptions, but hardly revolutionary. The second disc is devoted to Huber's ambient piano compositions, and he is not exactly Brian Eno.

Elegance is about the only attribute one can apply to J.A.C. (G-Stone, 2005), a work that seems to come out of an assembly line so precise and calculated their downtempo music sounds. Rupert Huber and Richard Dorfmeister have coined the equivalent of classical music for trip-hop: one senses that Rondo Acapricio, John Lee Huber, Pyjama and Naschkatze is what Handel or Mozart would be composing had they lived in the 2000s. Heidi Bruehl and Superrob feature guest Vocalists such as Chris Eckman (Walkabouts) and Earl Zinger, with mixed results.

(Translation by/ Tradotto da Paolo Latini)

La dance-music e' una questione di stile per i disc-jockey e produttori austriaci Richard Dorfmeister e Peter Kruder. Si sono fatti un nome remixando pezzi di Wiliam Orbit, Bomb The Bass, Lamb, Depeche Mode, Roni Size e Madonna. I risultati non andavano oltre la tradizione dell'acid-jazz e del trip-hop, ma il duo si fece una reputazione per la propria capacita' di ricostruire meticolosamente le canzoni , piu' che remixarle (specialmente High Noon). Bassi pesi, jazz illuminato, ben disposti a giocherellare con la bossa nova e col valzer, K&D hanno conferito all'arte del remix uno status di genere con il loro doppio album The K&D Sessions (K7, 1998), e quindi hanno coniato uno stile unico che sembra essere un ponte tra Kraftwerk, Miles Davis e Steely Dan. Ma al di la' dello sforzo monumentale, il risultato non va oltre l'album di covers.

Peace Orchestra (K7, 1999) e' un progetto solista di Peter Kruder, e finalmente una collezione di sue composizioni originali. The Man Part One e' il suo manifesto "laid-back" , ma l'album trionfa con le sue tracce piu' animate, come Marakesh, Double Drums Domination, Shining (con la vice di Chilli Bukasa). La trance di Who Am I e la sognante The Man Part Two sono impeccabili, ma hanno quel tanto di generico. L'album fu seguito dal singolo Root Down (Compost, 2000). Kruder da' prova di essere un eccellente produttore manieristico, esattamente come alcuni poeti barocchi erano eccellenti scrittori manieristici, ma non per questo grandi poeti.

Dorfmeister si e' creato un progetto parallelo chiamato Tosca (insieme a Rupert Huber). Tosca offre una versione annacquata del sound di K&R. Il fascino funky dei singoli Chocolate Elvis e Fuck Dub si estende al di la' del museo dell'arte del remix. Opera (G-Stone, 1997) e' un lavoro delicatamente atmosferico. Suzuki (G-Stone, 2000) e' forse una migliore esposizione degli esperimenti di Tosca con il funk, l'hip hop e il dub, specialmente in tracce maestose quali Suzuki, Honey, e Doris Dub. The Different Tastes Of Honey (2001) offre 13 remix di Honey e Suzuki In Dub (2001) ne offre altri. Suzuki In Dub (Studio K7, 2002) e' ancora un altro album di remix.

Reset (G-Stone, 2002) a nome Peace Orchestra e' l'album Peace Orchestra remixato da altri.

Dehli9 (K7, 2003) a nome Tosca, e' un doppio CD che, in realta' raccoglie due diversi album in uno. Il primo narra la stessa vecchia storia: downtempo elegani, jazzati e variegati. E' muzak futuristica, ma, comunque, sempre muzak. Per lo piu' il duo sembra stare attento a non introdurre nessun nuovo elemento in una ricetta che sembra essere di un vecchio chef francese. La Vendeuse de Chaussures de Femme e Mango di Bango sono le uniche eccezioni, ma ben lontane dall'essere rivoluzionarie. Il secondo disco e' dedicato alle compisizioni pianistiche ambient di Huber, ma non e' esattamente Brian Eno.

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