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l'altra | Music of a Sinking Occasion (Aesthetics)
The title track and opener of l'atra's second album is an typical Chicago-style instrumental with programmed drums and Rob Mazurek's distinctive trumpet weaving through it. Much of the remainder of the album, however, takes a less predictable route, centering around the twin vocals of Costa and Anderson, often stretching their minimal lyrics a little thinly over elongated dream-like backing. It's part Jessamine, part Damon and Naomi in that respect, and thus bordering on the self-indulgent. On Room Becomes Thick, they loosen up a little, Costa's a lead vocal of the semi-spoken kind (with Mazurek taking an equally mic-shy solo) and Anderson's fragile vocal breaks on Slow as Cake a brief and beautiful gem amid a mostly humourless, very understated affair.

Matt Dornan
CWAS #6 - Autumn 2000

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