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: Ionophore — “Knells”

Here we are with another non-metal release that I think is interesting and fitting for the physical and emotional climate.  Things are starting to warm up over here, piles of snow are melting and the sun is shining brighter and longer as the days go on, and yet, there’s still a vaguely distressing sense of dread that sort of spoils the peace and ambiance that naturally comes with winter standing on its last legs.  If you want to know what the exact soundtrack to that feeling is, look no further than Ionophore and their fourth ambient, avant-garde album Knells.

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