Tosca

Odeon

Format: CD, Download, 2LP
Release Date World: Tuesday 02nd April 2013

If geography has an impact on music, then Vienna has coloured Tosca’s music at every turn. Over the course of a career spanning two decades, the Austrian capital has inspired Richard Dorfmeister (of Kruder & Dorfmeister fame) and Rupert Huber to make electronic mood pieces coloured with Mitteleuropean melancholy. It’s a bittersweet juxtaposition that is much in evidence on the pair’s new album, ‘Odeon’. It opens with the hazy strings of ‘Zur Guten’, which ebbs into the oozing keys and pizzicato steel string guitars of ‘What If’, which features a smokey vocal from Sarah Carlier. Lead single ‘Jayjay’ is a haunted combination of sombre piano chords, rolling drums and weird, otherworldly vocals from JJ Jones. It’s the pivotal track on a record that sees Tosca tapping into gothic atmospheres. It’s darker than their previous five albums, more downbeat, at times ambient. It’s unlike anything else out there at the moment. Is there a reason for this sombre tone? Nothing specific. “Obviously our music is influenced by our experiences of life — it couldn’t be any other way — so in some senses it’s a kind of diary, but there weren’t any single incidents that caused the record to be that little bit darker,” says Dorfmeister. If anything, the exact opposite is true: life has been good. “Over the last year I think we’ve both learnt to be more generous and to understand our own limitations and other people’s” says Huber. A case of musical yin and personal yang, then. The album’s name, meanwhile, comes from the venue in Vienna where Tosca debuted the new material in October. The performance went so well they decided it would make a fortuitous name — the music/place interface in action once again. The performance features as a bonus disc on the deluxe version of the album, which will be available exclusively via !K7’s webstore. More than anything, ‘Odeon’ is the sound of a band at the top of their game. A good time for them to release a career retrospective then. Dorfmeister reflects on the band’s history. “It sounds like a cliche, but we’ve never really thought about other people’s music when we’re writing our own,” he says. “We try and create our own sound. We really have always been like that. And I think we’ve developed a trademark sound because of that.” They certainly have. It’s been called ‘the Vienna sound’. And, in updated form, it still sounds like nothing else.