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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Lelia Abdul-Rauf - "Insomnia"

Artist: Lelia Abdul-Rauf
Album: Insomnia
Year: 2015
Label: Malignant Antibody
Genre: Ambient, Drone
Website:  www.malignantrecords.com


Malignant records takes a bit of a detour from their "typical" collection of sounds to release Insomnia as part of their Malignant Antibody line.


It's hard to place this record. While it's certainly drone-y, ambient, and beat-less, it's not terribly similar to the usual Malignant brand of dark ambient. I don't know anything about Lelia Abdul-Rauf, but I saw somewhere that she had some affiliation with Amber Asylum and that's actually a fairly useful reference point. Those same kind of dreary, organic atmospheres permeate this record. Some tracks, such as "Pull", utilize intelligible instrumentation (in this case piano) which definitely makes me think of music like Amber Asylum, although the majority of them contort sounds into nebulous masses of indefinable sonic texture which move and shift to tell tales from a realm of ether and dream. Insomina grabbed me immediately from the opener "Midnight" which is a somber piece with beautiful ghostly, indiscernible vocals over minimal blackened ethereal drones. Similarly, the bulk of these tracks conjure a comparative dreamy, floating feel - like drinking opium tea and floating endlessly through a melancholy, but attractive drug haze. Various tracks are accented by additional elements of a more or less defined nature; similar vocals appear here and there throughout the album which fit in perfectly (I actually wish there were more), as well as bits of organic instrumentation as I mentioned above. The entire album follows a single path from start to finish and fully explores this chosen territory/sound.
The only negative thing I can really say is that the album is quite short, not even reaching 40 minutes. Needless to say, that is merely a minor inconvenience.

An unexpected, but quite endearing album. Check it out if you want to float in an abstract opiate haze or drift through fragments of ancient and forgotten memories for while.

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