Three on the Radar :: Andi Otto, Tosca, Tornado Wallace

The start of 2017 provided a hefty dose of downtempo electronica, dub and balearica. Here are three records you need to hear.

Andi Otto :: VIA (Pingipung)

Andi Otto, mostly known for his work as Springintgut, released his fourth solo album, VIA, in late January. It’s his first album under his real name. Already from the first two tracks on VIA it’s obvious that Otto draws influence from a wide and colorful musical spectrum. He takes elements of modern electronica, classical music, dub, Indian classical-infused music, maybe even a bit of jazz and ’70s synth music, and dexterously weaves everything into his own eclectic and quite peculiar sonic universe. Throughout eleven tracks, the German producer and cello player manages to stimulate the mind and arouse the soul with rich, mystically futuristic sound design full of nuance, groove and gradually revealed depth. The album features collaborations with Indian singer MD Pallavi and some lovely synth magic by Sybren Danz. Otto invites us to dive into something new and refreshingly unfamiliar yet warm and embracing.

Tosca :: Going Going Going (!K7)

There’s a state in every band’s career during which it is in its best form, techniquewise. This is usually coupled with a lot of experience, comes after many years of performing, producing and development and occasionally results in a new album that marks a return to the band’s roots only with sharper performance and more polished production. Unfortunately, in many cases albums of this kind don’t hold the strong creative flame and soul of their creators’ past and most successful albums. Fortunately, in the case of downtempo electronica veterans, Tosca, Going Going Going, their new album, marks a return to their dub roots with sharper performance and more polished production but also holds the creative flame and soul of past records that gained them fans all over the globe. The duo is not only at its best form techniquewise, but also creatively. Dub, downtempo electronica, lounge, dub techno and jazzy vibrations pulse vigorously and imaginatively throughout the entire album. The topnotch production intensifies the emotional and atmospheric gymnastics. It’s an intricate yet highly seductive work that flows with the grace and aura of mysterious, spacey luminous dreams. Familiar and cozy yet refreshing and unpredictable, dreamy but not sleepy, uplifting, dynamic and busy yet not overwhelming. Definitely Tosca’s best and most impressive work to date. A sumptuous display of beautiful musicianship.

Tornado Wallace :: Lonely Planet (Running Back)

It’s so easy to get totally addicted to Tornado Wallace’s new album, Lonely Planet. There’s something so alluring in the sound, behavior and musicality of the seven compositions assembling the album. Wallace is known as a balearica expert, but Lonely Planet effortlessly blends characteristics of all kinds of genres into a cohesive, pulsating journey. Balearica, shoegaze and electronica are wrapped in a psychedelic vintage glow and tropical space seduction. These are multilayered, timeless sonic structures full of mystery and bubbling, swirling sorcery. Deep, majestic, wonderful. Wallace returns with 37 minutes of highly engaging otherworldly beauty.

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