Much has changed since Austrias Richard Dorfmeister and his partner Peter Kruder all but invented the stylish downtempo instrumental funk that paved the way for careers of such like-minded beat-craftsmen as Thievery Corporation. First off, Dorf has a new partner pianist Rupert Huber and is also a new dad, both of which are celebrated here. Guest vocalists and bumped-up BPMs heat up the lazy Viennese downtempo sound without losing its cool, while a dub-y, jazzy mood inflects the whole album. Superrob is bouncier and a little whimsical with Earl Zingers vocals, while John Lee Huber is a fierce Latin jazz romp riding Hubers keys. While downtempo artists like Thievery Corporation seem torn, however engagingly, between sampled cool and live-instrument heat, Tosca celebrates fatherhood (literal and musical, apparently) with a confidence and sure-footedness that makes this as dub-house danceable as it is satisfying for living room play.
Hobey Echlin writes about music for Metro Times. Send comments to [email protected].