LEILA ABDUL-RAUF – DIMINUTION – CLOISTER RECORDINGS

While playing this I kept thinking back to the recent release on Cadbra Records, Thomas Ligotti’s ‘The Bungalow House’. Not so much the music on the audiobook itself, but more the descriptions of the sounds within the story. There is a delicacy, a hidden emotion, an agenda that is far deeper than the few notes played can convey. This has an incredibly stripped-down approach to haunting and shadowy soundscapes, early mornings with piano and a distant trumpet, all with the fog swirling around. This is music that is incredibly visual, instantly compelling, mysterious and fragile, all at the same time. This is something ethereal, whether there are vocals involved or not as if Kate Bush has been taken to her most experimental and distant edge.

Offers Abdul-Rauf of the new record, “By way of a desolate trainyard at night, forgotten objects in an abandoned room, and other near empty spaces past and present, I bring my third offering, ‘Diminution’: the diminishing value of art forms and processes, individual expression, and even human life itself to almost nothing in this 21st Century world, is like a fading out, or death on a large scale. In spite of this, a grounded psychic core remains in the void: a sense of freedom in the renunciation of all that is concrete. Some would say this is dark and lonely music, with urban overtones, while others feel a sense of light ethereality and calm in its shimmering moods. All interpretations are valid and true.” I’m not sure I’ve come across anything quite like this before, as it is almost as of Art Zoyd have become New Age and then combined that with some of the works of both Brian and Roger Eno (I know Roger’s older brother is more well-known, but search out ‘Fragile’ to see what I mean). I honestly don’t have the words as I’m not sure what it all means to me either, but I know that my musical world is a much better place for having come across it. Possibly yours will too. Have a listen yourself and see what I mean, https://leilaabdulrauf.bandcamp.com

9/10 – Kev Rowland

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