Isolationist drone music comes in various forms, but receives an even different treatment on the environmental ambient effort “Insomnia” by San Francisco-based multi-instrumentalist Leila Abdul-Rauf. The latter incorporates her ethereal voice pads (which remind slightly of the gothic vibe of Lisa Gerard and het DCD-project) with fluid brass textures, synths chords with lots of delay, piano and treated e-guitar.
The 39-minute result is a dreamy, mythical and atmospheric affair wherein melancholic and cinematic currents go by beside a few meditative moments. Rauf’s free form contemplative, slow morphing soundscaping has a noir-ish ambience that shimmers in a vacuum of time and space, finding its culmination as it dissolves in the vapourous hinterland of “Wane” and “Dark Hours of Early Morning” in the end.
All in all, “Insomnia” is an album filled by morphing spheres of gloomy elegance, resonating profound loneliness along several mesmerizing touches.These never become disturbing or experimental, but are no easy or comforting ride either. So keep in mind “Insomnia” demands some experienced ears.