Fatherhood turns the life of a man upside down. Especially during his primal years. Suddenly there is someone in the house who needs to be taken care of 24-7. And, there are new sciences to be mastered: Swaddling, the cooking of baby food and dealing with the troubles of teething. In short: A new man is born.
That is also why three male names (albeit abbreviated) grace the title of the fourth album by Tosca, "J.A.C." which stands for "Joshua, Arthur, Conrad". These are the names of the sons of the two Viennese producers Rupert Huber and Richard Dorfmeister, a.k.a. Tosca. Between the release of their last album "Dehli 9" and their new masterpiece, the two became fathers, Rupert Huber even twice. As all Tosca albums relate to biographic events in the life of Huber and Dorfmeister, the birth of their sons was naturally the most appropriate for an album dedication.
Thus, "J.A.C." is not music for babies. Rather, music for ladies. Moreover, the album is perhaps the most consistent formulation of the both carefree and melancholic sound of Tosca. The melodies quicken, the grooves are funky and laidback and the variety of musical styles are marked by a wide choice. The album breathes the characteristic sound of Tosca, yet it is shaped by a fresh understatement and a breathtaking musical authenticity.
No doubt, the uplifting joys of paternity had a great influence on the album. An equally important factor in the creation of "J.A.C." is the fact that Tosca has become a proper band. In 2003 and 2004, Tosca had their debut as a live band. Huber and Dorfmeister on sampler, piano and guitar, supported by a drummer, a bass player and a percussionist. On the microphone, the singers of Tosca, Earl Zinger, MC Farda P and Graf Hadik gleamed. The audiences lucky enough to witness the live shows went nuts.
It’s this live experience and the increased interest in the digitally untouched sound of real instruments that marks the sound of the new Tosca album the most significantly. It’s there right in the first two or three tracks. Besides the characteristic Tosca mood, the sound vibrates from liveliness. A liveliness that most of all emerges from jamming. In the digital age, jamming has become an almost forgotten form of musical interplay which Huber and Dorfmeister cultivated more than ever for "J.A.C.". It’s not only shown through the selection of instruments which Huber and Dorfmeister played, but most of all, the sampler as the central instrument was put aside and replaced by the flexible techniques of hard-disk recording: a technique which allows to record music in many takes, out of which in post-production the best passages can be edited. It is an ideal device for capturing magic musical moments.
Moreover, there are new voices on "J.A.C.". The Egyptian-French singer Samia Farah from Paris sings with her Billie Holiday-esque voice on the wonderful "Heidi Bruehl". Chris Eckman, lead singer with Seattle based band The Walkabouts sings on "John Lee Huber", a track for which Eckman paraphrised a John Lee Hooker-Song on Rupert Huber. Additionally – as heard on Dehli 9 – the former Rockers Hi-Fi MC Farda P, London’s Earl Zinger and the Austrian rock legend Graf Hadik appear on the microphones.
To put it short: "J.A.C." is a great piece of music and an excellent new Tosca album. It’s quite likely that this album will be one of summer 2005’s big albums. It’s music you will run into everywhere. Music that is light-footed and melancholic, cheerful and deep, relaxed and energetic. It’s a sound that can be enjoyed everywhere, at any occasion. The three sons of Huber and Dorfmeister can be very proud of their fathers.