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No Hassle (Amazon US Exclusive Version w/Bonus DVD)
No Hassle (Amazon US Exclusive Version w/Bonus DVD)
Genre: Dance & Electronic
  •  Track Listings (12) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (14) - Disc #2


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CD Details

All Artists: Tosca
Title: No Hassle (Amazon US Exclusive Version w/Bonus DVD)
Members Wishing: 1
Total Copies: 0
Label: R.E.D. Distribution
Release Date: 4/28/2009
Genre: Dance & Electronic
Style: Electronica
Number of Discs: 3
SwapaCD Credits: 3
UPC: 730003724060

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CD Reviews

Changing times...
nicjaytee | London | 06/09/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Like their contemporaries Thievery Corporation, Tosca (i.e. Richard Dorfmeister & Rupert Huber) seem determined to move into a more laid-back, less challenging mode than the earlier works on which their reputation is based. Has the market changed or have they just got older? Certainly there's nothing on "No Hassle" that has the exuberant edge of Tosca's first three albums or Kruder & Dorfmeister's groundbreaking work in the late 1990s.

Bad news then? Possibly... if you're looking for more of Richard Dorfmeister's upbeat electronica/dance gems there's nothing here that fits bill and you will indeed be disappointed... but, then again, if you're looking for some superbly produced, at times hauntingly beautiful mood music then "No Hassle" will deliver exactly what you want. And, you get a lot of it: with the studio album being the more radio-friendly & up-beat of the two CDs and the live album, with its much slower ambient feel, being the more interesting and arguably more impressive outing.

The considered, concert hall style applause at the end of the live set shows just how far from the sweaty Ibiza clubs Tosca are these days and, because of this, it's pretty unfair to compare apples & pears. This is music for an older generation with Richard Dorfmeister using his consummate skills in weaving intricate sound patterns to produce lush almost cerebral musical landscapes rather than insidious dance-floor beats. It takes several listens to get into and because much of it follows the same ultra laid-back style it can drag-on a bit in parts but, even so, "No Hassle" is up there with the very best of this type of music.

Star rating? Well it all depends on where you're coming from. If you're into high quality "chill out" music then the studio CD is a four star plus outing. If you're into more thoughtful ambient music then the live CD deserves the same. But, if you're into Tosca & Richard Dorfmeister's earlier stuff you may be be struggling to give it three."
A cruise you'll want to take often
Christopher J. Bushnell | Raleigh, NC USA | 08/09/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Among all genres of music, No Hassle is already one of my favorite records. A range of tempos and grooves strike a delicate balance between soothing and stimulating the listener. As has been pointed out elsewhere, Dorfmeister and Huber tapped a small pool of instruments to create these sonic textures. This unity makes the album more durable for electronic fans and more palatable for the uninitiated.

The first four tracks on the main disc are particularly strong. "My First" is a gentle ride away from wherever you are, followed by "Elitsa," a slow-swinging tune that conjures up passionate and romantic visions of the tropics. The brightness level then comes up for "Springer" and the care-free "Birthday," complete with a splash of thoughtful lyrics. The rest of the record will surprise and intrigue you, until things wind down with the lush "Mrs. Bongo." The title track is a last strange trip back toward reality. The "live" disc is a tasteful but very similar rearrangement of the record, with ambient transitions.

No Hassle charts a different course from previous Tosca offerings, and marks a new high for Dormeister since his immortal work on The K&D Sessions. You will love spending time with this record, including the digipak itself, which is just as nice to be around as the music."
3.5 Stars - Tosca tries something new, but the results are a
Steward Willons | Illinois | 06/15/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)

"This kills me: I'm a huge Tosca fan and have been since "F*** Dub" came out in 96, but this album is just too bland for my taste. Tosca are always mellow, laid back, chill - whatever word you like - but there was always a musical intensity from the creative act of composition. On "No Hassle," the music goes from mellow to borderline dull. Worst of all, it sounds like something a great number of downtempo artists could knock out easily, not the work of Richard Dorfmeister - one of the all-time greats of the style.

The music is lovely, but it feels superficial compared to "J.A.C." and "Suzuki." There's nothing as funky as "Opera" and it's just not as flavorful as "Dehli 9." The track, 'Springer' comes close, but not too close. The entire album feels rather uninspired, like Tosca decided it was time for a new album and they had to force out some mellow grooves. Granted, for many artists, this would be a pretty great album, but for Tosca, this is decidedly below their usual caliber.

For one thing, the dub elements are firmly in the background. You've got tracks like "Oysters In May" that have a dub flavor, but again, it's not nearly as dubby as their early work. I'm okay with a group shifting styles, but this doesn't feel like a step forward, or even a step sideways. I think Tosca can do better than this.

Tosca describe this album as 'introspective' and a 'sea of sound' where the listener is encouraged to let it flow gently over the top as it soaks in. This is an apt description, but it also describes a lot of their other work, which is stronger. If they're going to ask me to lay on my couch and listen with my eyes closed, they'd better be sure there's enough musical interest and variety that I won't fall asleep.

I'm pretty disappointed by "No Hassle," but that's partially because I expect a lot from Richard and Rupert. Undoubtedly, many will find this a very pleasant album. Tosca fans should buy this (obviously), but be sure to manage your expectations. Other fans of downtempo and dub would do well to check out "Suzuki" or "Opera" before "No Hassle." From what Tosca say about this particular album, it seems that they were deliberately going in a new direction. I hope that their next album is more of a return to their usual high level."