Rainbows in the Dark: Leila Abdul-Rauf — “Phantasiai”

Phantasiai is an album that sets out to answer the age-old question that I physically cannot stop tumbling out of my accursed brain anytime anyone utters the phrase “I’m dying”: “Is it blissful?”  Well, according to multi-instrumental wizard Leila Abdul-Rauf, while it might be like a dream, the answer is a resounding “NO.”  The album is a high-minded journey through ancient philosophy, existentialism, performance art, and much more all wrapped up in dark textures and eerie beauty that showcase her immense talent at a wide variety of musical fields.  Just be careful of how deep you go.

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Rainbows in the Dark: postcards from new zealand — “we watched them devour, vol. 3: city islands”

I haven’t spoken much about it in this column, but 2021 has kind of been the year of post-rock for me, at least behind the scenes.  Spoiler alert, no less than three of my favorite non-metal albums this year have been post-rock albums and I see no signs of slowing that pace down for the second half of the year.  I’ve always had a love for the swirling, haunting and highly textural genre, and one of the relatively unrecognized titans of the scene has been postcards from new zealand, who, with their newest full-length, we watched them devour, vol. 3: city islands, have been cranking out a torrent of great releases to further the genre.

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Rainbows in the Dark: Swami Lateplate — “Doom Jazz”

I’ve been wracking my brain trying to come up with the perfect way to introduce Doom Jazz to you, the reader, but sometimes a thing is so perfectly described by itself that there is no need for any more elaboration on it.  What is Doom Jazz?  Well…it’s doom jazz, and for nine years the album by inventive and dynamic duo Swami Lateplate has been the gold standard (and maybe the only) example of this particular blend of genres.  So much so that Subsound Records has decided to reissue it and bring the world to a second look at a truly unique entity.

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Rainbows in the Dark: Arelseum — “Arelseum III”

Welcome back to a segment that I like to call What Has Colin Marston Been Up To, where we profile the latest and greatest in what Colin Marston has been up to.  Jokes aside, it’s easy to see why he’s the hardest working man in the game right now.  Just buy any album that he’s been a part of on Bandcamp and every first Friday of the month you’ll see just how much music he’s released and continues to release.  One of the projects that had me the most excited when it debuted was Arelseum, and the final piece of their trilogy Arelseum III finishes what they started in a meaningful way while paving the way towards the future.

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Rainbows in the Dark: Cold Cave — “Fate in Seven Lessons”

Welcome back folks!  Not only have we returned with more #content over here, but we are also back to something of the regularly scheduled Rainbows programming.  After a brief but thought provoking sojourn into the world of harsh noise, we return with something that is decidedly much less harsh and noisy, but no less evocative and artistic, in every sense of the word.  Synthpop/post-punk darlings Cold Cave seem poised to be the epitome of the modern-day resurgence of old-school cool, and on Fate in Seven Lessons, they show off a little bit of everything they bring to the table.

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