J.A.C.

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Much has changed since Austria’s 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 Zinger’s vocals, while “John Lee Huber” is a fierce Latin jazz romp riding Huber’s 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].

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