La Makita Soma

Brighton Park

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La Makita Soma's second album expands the techno edges of the group's debut, Monkey Island, moving away from its amorphous soundscapes to a more concrete instrumental approach that arrives at the intersection of rock, electronica, and jazz. Many of the titles invoke specific locations -- "South on Western," "Glossalalia at 47th," "Lexington & Campbell," and "Spirit of 26th and California" included -- an odd choice given the pronounced sense of otherworldly dislocation the music strives to evoke; similar dichotomies snake through Brighton Park, chief among them a playfulness that often seems at odds with the music's rigorously intellectual approach. That's much of La Makita Soma's problem -- for all their thoughtfulness, the songs seem slapped together from too many disparate sounds and thought processes, and for all their adventurousness and prettiness, they don't really go anywhere. Although the disc has its moments, the group seems destined to forever lurk in the shadows of hometown heroes Tortoise, who play this same game so much better.

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