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fyeahmetal This is an exciting evolution in Leila's solo work! While this record still has plenty of atmosphere, it's less about blanketing ambience and more about well-placed, discrete sounds. Basically, it's more composed than ambient. Leila's haunting vocals come to the fore more than ever, and the glockenspiel parts remind me of the Blade Runner soundtrack's more tender moments. This might sound odd for music like this, but the weighty, spacious mastering is really good! Favorite track: Distortions in Phantasy IV: Disembodiment.


In Hellenistic philosophy, phantasiai are our impressions, the ways in which the world is represented through our senses, preceding actual thoughts. This is where music-making lies for me: in the space between senses and thoughts, having the power to express where words fall short. What I believe to be the coldest and most sinister album I’ve released under my name to date, Phantasiai is comprised of two suites, each containing four movements, composed almost entirely from modulated live trumpet, glockenspiel, and vocal performances.

I encourage listeners to create their own stories about Phantasiai, but here is my own. The first suite, “Distortions in Phantasy,” describes a character being seduced and consumed by a powerfully addictive phantasy, one so destructive, the body, mind and spirit are annihilated beyond recognition. As the album moves between tracks I through IV, listeners may experience a gradual sensation of seeking deeper into an abyss.

In the second suite, “The I Emerges,” the character experiences a renewal in which what little is left of the former self is vaporized through a crucible of sorts, then re-organized into a new physical and spiritual existence. The pain of the loss experienced by the former self is gone, but adjusting to the new self is an uncomfortable and disorienting experience, with reality perpetually coming into question.


released July 16, 2021

All songs composed, recorded and produced by Leila Abdul-Rauf.
Guest vocals on "Imago and Mirror" by Loki.
Mastering by Cyclic Law.
Artwork by Matthew Jaffe.
Layout and design by Heresie Studio.
CD released by Cyclic Law.
Vinyl co-released by Cyclic Law and Cloister Recordings.

© & ℗ 2021 Leila Abdul-Rauf, Helix-Loop-Helix (ASCAP)


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L e i l a A b d u l - R a u f Oakland, California

Multi-instrumentalist and composer Leila Abdul-Rauf enters a world all of her own weaving brass, piano and various other textures into filmic soundscapes that echo the sounds of memories faded through time. Songs are not so much composed as captured from dreams. Time and space are distilled down to the remains of distant memories and hidden emotions, melded into a symphony of ethereal melancholy. ... more

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