One of my close friends is a photographer and she took this picture of me and my mom at our house. I like it very much.
Edit: Follow the URL below to buy a print!
Tosca is a down-tempo electronic music duo based in Vienna, Austria. This is not surprising, as Austria has become one of the forefronts of a certain style of turntablism that has developed in recent years. The first Tosca record, “Opera” is a fitting title for a group that named themselves after the tragic Italian opera performed at the dawn of the 20th century. While each share a slightly melodramatic quality, the comparisons end there. Fit and technically trained, Richard Dorfmeister and Rupert Huber respond to the nearly light speed evolution of technology in a calm and steady manner. There is a sense of a singular and syncopated motion that encompasses the album. Individual cuts like “Worksong” remind the listener to stay calm get used to the rhythm at work. (Side note: goes well with coffee). This is essential urban journey music, good for driving, and not unlike stepping out of a subway and into an Indian restaurant to eat some Chicken tikka masala. Five minutes after stepping out of the Indian restaurant, you find yourself in an eclectic and worldly borough. “Suzuki”, their second album, flirts with full use of the chromatic scale funk present on “Opera” and broadens it, without too much waste. This move allows a comparison to the legend of Boards of Canada, only much less frightening. A major theme revolving around both records are beatbox vocal samples, and they are the most tangibly immediate sound making experience that Tosca has in their set. It is a soundtrack to a film that hasn’t been made yet, for the observant astronomer who looks at a message within the perimeter that the group has created, though the listener may not have any idea what that message is. And in terms of a listening environment, I don’t think headphones are as effective for Tosca’s music as being engrossed in an acoustic environment in which the air and music around your body is the conducting medium for their sound, and you can react considerably.
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Pan American is the solo side project of Mark Nelson, who is one of the members of the guitar-based group Labradford. On “The River Made No Sound”, his third record, Nelson brings ambient melodies adrift and in a new light, floating up to the shoreline. Dub influences emerge gently and continue throughout the record. A metaphysical clock propels each song’s distinct ticking pattern in codified synchronicity. Quiet humming modulates around a constant pulsing rhythm that is quite reminiscent of the minimal European techno group Basic Channel. Both Pan American and Basic Channel treat their music like a verb, or a channel of action leading the listener somewhere. Field-recorded samples appear to be temporary markers of movement. Samples are important here because they add to the physicality of a record that continuously stretches, like a musical rubber sheet of space and time. Now and then blissful washes of fuzzy white noise round the edges of each track and cover it in a soft screen. What is left out is expressed through conscious omission on Nelson’s part and what is exposed is basic, yet original sound. While I can’t speak to the vision of the artists themselves, I feel as though projects like Labradford and Pan American require a form of crucial listening – deep. The river may not have made a sound, but the impression Pan American leaves on this album is an observable gift that simultaneously gives and receives.