It’s a well known fact that, for most artists, following up a debut album is no easy feat. ‘Althaea’, Trailer Trash Tracys' second studio release since 2012’s ‘Ester’, explores completely different global sounds — mainly those of East Asia (Filipino carnival and Japanese tropical music) and Latin America. All while maintaining TTT’s experimental off-kilter electronic elements and expansive aural vibrations.
With the focus mainly placed on the instrumentals, it’s a conceptual album designed to flow effortlessly from one track to the other. Opener ‘Smoked Silver’s light string work blends with undertones of funk and left-field computerised rhythms, making for an all-consuming intro that lures you in, before melting into ‘Eden Machine’. Introspective, it’s a bundle of pure escapism, radiating sublime ambience before ‘Gong Garden’; a song which sounds straight out of the ‘80s — conjuring up the golden era of Talking Heads.
Unfortunately after the first five songs ‘Althaea’ begins to lapse into the gloomy abyss of background lounge music — at times feeling lacklustre. Although the outro ‘100 Aspects Of The Moon’ manages to add a little lift over its three minutes and 37 seconds. Even if the laid-back and relaxed atmospherics are endearing, there’s plenty of room to push the musical perimeters which the London duo fail to take advantage of. Nevertheless it’s a record woven with plenty of delicacy and one that probably warrants a few replays before you reach a final opinion.
Words: Lois Browne
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