Bay Area multi-instrumentalist LEILA ABDUL-RAUF – known for her work in Vastum, Ionophore, Cardinal Wyrm, Hammers Of Misfortune, Fyrhtu, and many others – embarks on a run of Scandinavian tour dates for this week supporting her third solo LP, Diminution, which saw release earlier this year.
Diminution sees LEILA ABDUL-RAUF taking a more stripped-down approach to her uniquely haunting and shadowy soundscapes. While retaining a firm grasp on the feeling of urban desolation and early morning solitude, Diminution‘s tracks are generally longer than previous works and feel more spacious and open, where sparse melodies and gentle textural flow meet ethereal choral vocals, distant trumpet, delicate guitar, and luminous, yet melancholy drones and warm tonal drift. Another spellbinding work from LEILA ABDUL-RAUF for those seeking solace in quiet and introspective music residing just on edge of consciousness, Diminution was self-composed, performed, and produced, after which the tracks were mastered by Myles Boisen at Headless Buddha Mastering Lab, the album completed with artwork by Matthew Jaffe and layout by Kristoffer Oustad and James Livingston.
This week, LEILA ABDUL-RAUF will perform her solo material on European soil for the first time, with dates in Denmark, Sweden, and Norway. Selections will draw mostly from her recent album Diminution and will also include earlier works embedded within improvisational pieces. She is joined by Cardinal Wyrm and Fyrhtu bandmate Nathan A. Verrill who will be accompanying with multiple instruments, live sound captures, and visual projections.
“the brooding, ephemeral Diminution, sees her channel urban loneliness and emotional blight via a combination of delicate guitar, brooding trumpet, textural drones, eldritch chimes, and her own spare, startlingly sweet vocal stylings, which float above the mire like newly freed souls… It’s a gorgeous album, the kind of thing you’d put on when the clouds have gathered outside, your heart’s started to ache, and your last good lightbulb starts flickering.” The Quietus offered, “I’m struggling to think of many current acts travelling similar paths who are this tonally rich, their parts this carefully assembled… Diminution opens with its title track, which feels like a sort of flagship for the album: slow, gloomy, haunted piano entwines with elegiac trumpet, and very little else happens over six minutes but what one hears proceeds to envelop.”
Bandcamp Daily offered,
“The opening track on LEILA ABDUL-RAUF‘s third solo album, Diminution, feels like the aesthetic midpoint between depressive Danish post-black metal artist Nortt and meditative Norwegian trumpeter Arve Henriksen. Heavy, spaced-out piano chords ring out like field recordings from a haunted house, as a trumpet, swathed in effects, croons softly in the background.” Decibel Magazine notes how her music, “often veers in unpredictable directions,” noting how the new album, “draws on ABDUL-RAUF‘s feelings about the collapse of the creative class in early 21st century America.”