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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars the big beat theory
On J.A.C. Tosca continue close to where they left off two years ago on Dehli 9; we get the great packaging in artistic concept and design, except no bonus disc. No matter. This album is equal or better. Since Kruder and Dorfmeister are credited with the first ever downtempo album, everything from G - Stoned since is about beats.
Tosca's variance on the beat theme has...
Published on 5 Jun 2005 by Russell E. Scott

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7 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing...
From its "warm leatherette" CD cover through to its last track there is something distinctly odd about Tosca's latest offering. It should be really good, certainly going by Richard Dorfmeister's enviable track record and his excellent last two outings - the brilliant "A Different Drummer Selection" and Tosca's "Dehli 9" - but it's not up there and quite why is difficult...
Published on 23 Jun 2005 by nicjaytee


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars the big beat theory, 5 Jun 2005
This review is from: J.A.C. (Audio CD)
On J.A.C. Tosca continue close to where they left off two years ago on Dehli 9; we get the great packaging in artistic concept and design, except no bonus disc. No matter. This album is equal or better. Since Kruder and Dorfmeister are credited with the first ever downtempo album, everything from G - Stoned since is about beats.
Tosca's variance on the beat theme has been to front their songs with various guest vocalists in part to a major degree of success. On J.A.C. we get the same group as on Dehli 9 but expanded to give a broader scope and vision inspired by the dedication to their sons - Joshua, Arthur, and Conrad. Thus the album title and if we are to believe, the finest Internet coffee house and hair salon listening ever. With this, their fifth studio album, we can assume that the duo of Dorfmeister and Huber as Tosca are G - Stoned finest stallions in the stable. When we get to the races, our hard earned cash is best bet on them to win, place, or show. If there was a state fair contest for best beats, someone from the G - Stoned family would walk with blue or red ribbons everytime.
Reading some advance critical reviews from critics who make their money penning their opinions, one could surmise that Tosca had been fed a steady diet of milk toast. I disagree though. There is definitely some high grade fiber and roughage. On Dehli 9, Earl Zinger on Wonderful was one the highlights. His appearance on J.A.C. is the exact opposite effect. Superrob is a minor irritation though when the overall impressions and observations conclude multitudinous 'easy listening' at it's finest.
I suspect this album to be joyously received abroad with extensive more airplay in Europe than here stateside since as a society, Americans as a whole are to revved up to appreciate a lot of the musical nuance and subtlety. The roller coater images and carnival like photos in the CD cover almost mock American self-image and recent cultural history as irony. Intended or not. Being a G - Stoned nut, maybe my opinion shouldn't count, but Vienna as a hotbed for original and affecting music should never be discounted.
Compared to the similar and recent U.S. release, Cosmic Game by Thievery Corporation, this disc will hold it's own and hopefully wear well over time, justifying `classic' status. Downtempo is not a genre. It's a celebration of lifesyle and mindset.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Probably their best, 29 Jan 2009
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This review is from: J.A.C. (Audio CD)
Rondo Acapricio: with its locked in bassline, this opener features plenty of Tosca's trademark swirls and echoes. There's a sample of a lady at a poetry reading which is faintly amusing but you kind of think they could've come up with something better, and it detracts from the music slightly. 6.5/10
Heidi Bruehl: You've probably heard this song at a high street coffee shop, somewhere. Samia Farah offers some neat guest vocals but this is mostly unremarkable. So far quite an uncertain start to the album.
Superrob: Yay, Earl Zinger. This is not quite as good as 'Wonderful' (and features almost exactly the same beat), but this ought to at least get your head-nodding. Anna Clementi adds some gorgeous harmonies on the chorus. 8/10
John Lee Huber: Starts off with an indie guitar before slotting into a grinding tempo. More strong vocals and some pretty quirky lyrics too that throw phrases like Captain Beefheart. 7.5/10
Pyjama: The first genuine instrumental on the album. Features some excellent walking bass and jazzy cymbals. Sonorous organs and washes dominate, and the tempo is well-controlled throughout. Pretty good. 8/10
The Big Sleep: Wow. If you have good pair of speakers, look out for the bass at the start of this one. More up-front vocals on this one, but though the distorted stuff is cool, they're too up front at times and ruin the chilled aspect. Although the music is pretty good, it drags on for a while and becomes a bit annoying. 5.5/10
Damentag: A definite success that rescues the pace of the album after the drawn out last track. The way the retro synths are used on this one is very reminiscent of Daft Punk, a kind of knowingly geeky space-funk. 7.5
Naschkatze: Eerie, trip-hoppy atmosphere on this one. Lots of backwards guitar and African percussion, and then the modulated organs and synths washing over. Easily the most electronic song on the album so far. 'Shooby-do-wap-bap' vocals make this very difficult to place genrewise. 8.5
Zuri: Possibly the best song on the album and one of the best Tosca instrumentals. Impossibly mediterranean sounding acoustic guitar and one of the best selected vocals ever (even though there's no lyrics). The genre of this song is again difficult to place: there's elements of Balearic, Jazz and Folk all blended together. 9.5
Sala: OK, this is turning into a deep electronic album! Lots of gorgeous loops on this one, though after four minutes it cools down into a super-minimalist drone. Not sure if it's entirely successful but the first half is almost as beautiful as 'Zuri' and remind me a bit of Susumu Yokota's Sakura album - worth checking out. 8.0
Forte: Nearly the shortest song on the album, but also one of the best. The Balearic feel is again to the fore, although Tosca have given it their own spin. 8.5
No More Olives: Deeply contemplative, and again, very reminiscent of Yokota's 'Sakura'. Like on Sala, we have a mysterious melody and african-style percussion, but this is even more minimalist. There's a gorgeous Barry-De-Vorzon-on-the-Warriors-esque synth for most of the song, and more tasteful guitar. 8.0

This is a very strange album. The first half is filled with your typical Tosca vocal tracks, your Earl Zinger guest slot and coffee room music that steers a bit too close to convention for comfort. But following 'The Big Sleep' onwards you have six instrumentals that are individually fascinating and give the album a terrific depth. The feel of the album becomes very mediterranean and ambient, particularly the last four tracks.

What impressed me most is that Tosca seem to have found a way of melding different genres and giving their music are more organic feel. It's probably their best album.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Smoke in the slow-dance-floor!!!,, 24 Aug 2005
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Rafael Cova "Kid X" (Caracas, Venezuela) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: J.A.C. (Audio CD)
The exquisite sound of Tosca return, with tracks full of intelligent beats, from jazzy downbeat, cinematic blues and mellow house sound styles. The work of Richard Dorfmeister and Rupert Huber is so deep that creates a cold and warm atmosphere at same time. Featuring the most beautiful vocal performances from Earl Zinger and Valerie Etienne, Samia Farah, Chris Eckman and Diana Lueger, Stefan Graf Hadik Wildner and the greatest "Anna Clementi" and Farda P. 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. Huber and Dorfmeister have found both a fresh understanding of the art of understatement and a newly reformulated, breathtaking musical authenticity. Like the new life around them, J.A.C. similarly breathes new life into the characteristic sound of Tosca. Besides the ever-present and celebrated Tosca mood, this new sound resonates with the vibrations of live instruments translated with a liveliness that captures the immediacy of creation and improvisation at its peak. It's this live, real instrumentation that marks the sound of the new Tosca album the most significantly. Everything in a beautiful Digi-Pack CD with printed faux black leather sleeve.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tosca's Inner Child grows up!, 10 Jun 2005
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Darren Janes "darrenloopy" (Amsterdam, netherlands) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: J.A.C. (Audio CD)
Have been patiently (!) waiting for the lastest Tosca album, and the wait was worth it!
If you're a Tosca/G-Stone fan you can recognise how the sound has evolved over the past three albums, very much like the evolution of Thievery Corp (See: Cosmic Game), where the songs are both easy to listen to, but also take you deeper into the grooves with each listen.
It is great to come across a production that sounds like they put some thought and creativity into every part of the production, as well as pioneering new depths in beat/percussion. So, there are some benefits to maturity, after all!!! ;-)
In a nutshell, JAC is both familiar territory as well as being utterly fresh!
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7 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing..., 23 Jun 2005
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This review is from: J.A.C. (Audio CD)
From its "warm leatherette" CD cover through to its last track there is something distinctly odd about Tosca's latest offering. It should be really good, certainly going by Richard Dorfmeister's enviable track record and his excellent last two outings - the brilliant "A Different Drummer Selection" and Tosca's "Dehli 9" - but it's not up there and quite why is difficult to pinpoint. Its production is again of the highest order, a lot of its tracks are driven along by genuinely "funky" back-beats and it's layered with the catchy melodic hooks that the best downtempo electronica/jazz should be. All good stuff, but what's missing is that creative edge that pushes it out of the boringly lush waters of "lounge" music that a lot of downtempo albums fall into. And, where it does keep its head above water it either sounds like a languid retread of "Suzuki" & "Dehli 9" or, as in the first track "Ronda Acapricio", it's all a bit too clever to work.
A hard assessment on an album that's perfectly pleasant to listen to but then the problem with being "the best" is that a great deal is expected. Unlike Thievery Corporation's latest release, "The Cosmic Game", which pushes this style of music forward, "J.A.C." is a disappointing and probably deliberate step into the middle of the road from an artist who can and does deliver ground-breakingly good music... it'll probably sell huge amounts as a result.
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2 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Back to their best, 6 Jun 2005
This review is from: J.A.C. (Audio CD)
Just bought the cd. Funky and tight. Tosca at their best. Buy it now!
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J.A.C. by Tosca (Audio CD - 2005)
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