Just when you thought downtempo was dead...

... both Thievery Corporation and Tosca dropped new albums last month. Both duos have been making music together since the mid 90s and both certainly have a distinctive sound. It's a good thing I like that sound because neither veered far from their trademarks in these releases.

The Temple of I&I by Thievery Corporation

The production duo of Eric Hilton and Rob Garza have long relied on electronic elements, live instruments and strong vocals and this album is no different. The dub reggae influence is more consistent and the roots reggae feel permeates throughout. I look forward to listening with a cool drink on a warm beach sometime soon. The only "ding" on the album is that is sounds so reminiscent of previous work as to feel a bit anonymous. Is that a bad thing if you like the prevous work? I can't decide... give it a listen and decide for yourself.

Going Going Going by Tosca

It's something about the bass and guitar that makes a Tosca song instantly recognizable. The Austrian duo released their 8th full length album in February and it's quite lovely, if a little anonymous. Similar to the Thievery album, I was just expecting more. The phrase that comes to mind is "anonymous ambience". I like the keys, the guitar chords and the mid tempo rhythms, I really do.... it just feels like I've heard it all before. That said, when the sun finally comes out, this album has my backyard's name all over it.