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Monday, December 05, 2005

Last night's gig: TOSCA! mixed feelings on this.. background: Dorfmeister and his former sparrring mate Kruder may be the two most influential artists of the 1990s in developing the downtempo genre which became omnipresent by the early 00s....I've always enjoyed Tosca - Dorfmeister's partnership with Huber- the most.. particularly the "Suzuki" album which was eons ahead of the pack... the most important thing about these Austrian freaks is they sorta created or updated the Jamaican dub scene marrying those heavy bass beats with almost ambient (Wyatt's piano on Eno's late 70s ambient pioneering work Music for Airports is a touchstone to my ears) piano and modern drum loops... in any case Tosca's sound really did take over the world as I learned in 2003 on a trip to Maputo, Mozambique all places where their work Dehli 9 was playing in a small restaurant overlooking the Indian Ocean....So I had a lot of expectations going in to last nights show.. i mean A LOT! particularly as these guys never come to America and seem to avoid it like the plague.. at the same time their latest release J.A.C. seemed for the first time to indicate a lack of fresh ideas and for the first time I thought the sound- largely coopted and absorbed by the environment- seemed a bit of a retread.. Action cut to last night.....the set started with Huber playing the keys in a manner reminiscent of some serious german composer a la Wanger.....he played seemingly synchronized to the light show... he played for about 25 minutes slowly building up and up.... at the time i felt rather bored although towards the end the tempo picked up.... and there was something special about hearing something bordering on classical music at the 930 club....the crowd by the way was the international DC crowd... different languages and accents flew all around me throughout the evening.... then Dorfmeister made his entrance to wild raptures... he looked the european sophisticate part even sporting a scarf as he made his way to the turntables/dj set up on the middle of the stage.. he started with a classic Tosca song I think was from susuki and i loved it .. the first few songs seeemed like classic tosca tunes (huber left the stage by the way as dorfmeister entered) and i dug it....the tempo started to ease up... the guy who sings on wonderful (zinger i guess) came out and sang a song yelling the typical "WASHINGTON DC!!!!"s....I loved the first hour of things although Dorfmeister kept increasing the tempo and eventually left the down tempo behind or any pretense of it.. he was always true to the heavy bass...eventually some jamaican singer came out and i thought

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