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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

(Clicka qua per la versione Italiana)

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.

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