Genre/Influences: Cinematographic, ambient.
Content: Leila Abdul-Rauf operates from San Francisco. This multi-instrumentalist contributed to numerous projects leading her to work with interesting artists and I here especially think of Tor Lundvall.
Joining the big Malignant family will probably increase her popularity as a solo-artist while it also appears one of the most surprising and I even dare to say unexpected releases on Malignant. “Insomnia” has been released on the sub-division Antibody, but it especially is the kind of reverie and delicacy of the production that surprise me. Malignant Records and the different sub-labels are mainly characterized by dark-ambient, death-industrial, noise and other terror-like music genres.
Leila Abdul-Rauf” however reveals a dark touch, but the compositions are more into a kind of delicious and mysterious evasive perspective. It sometimes sounds a bit spooky –like featured at the opening/intro cut “Midnight”, but the main essence of the work invites the listener to embark for a rather relaxing trip. There’s a kind of enlightening sensation running through this work reaching a kind of harmony between mysterious sound spheres and space-like sonic travels. The tracks were accomplished with refinement and delicacy.
It all sounds pretty cinematographic as well and I here refer to cuts like “Clock Glows”, “Edges Of A Mirror” and “Absence.” Several tracks remain pretty short, which also is rather typical for some soundtrack-minded compositions.
“Insomnia” has been compared with the work of Tor Lundvall, but I noticed a less desolate and abandoned impression by Leila Abdul-Rauf. I have to admit that some of her vocals are maybe a bit comparable, but globally speaking this work is not overwhelmed by elements of obscurity. It just remains pretty mysterious, and a little less intriguing. I also like the contribution of several guest musicians adding an artistic touch to the album and playing instruments like guitar, e-bow, violin and even vocals (on “Pull”).
Conclusion: A real surprising work enlarging the sound horizon of Malignant and revealing an enjoyable wafting sound experience.
Best songs: Pull”, “Clock Glows”, “He Sits In His Room”.
Rate: (Elise Din:7)Elise Din.
Label: www.malingnantrecords.com / www.facebook.com/malignantrecords