LEILA ABDUL-RAUF: BrooklynVegan Premieres “Distortions In Phantasy III: Suspension” Video; Fourth Solo LP By Vastum Guitarist/Vocalist, Phantasiai, Out Now + Northwest Terror Fest Set Confirmed

photos by Dawn Howard

Oakland, California-based multi-instrumentalist LEILA ABDUL-RAUF presents a new video for “Distortions In Phantasy III: Suspension” through a premiere hosted by BrooklynVegan. The song is found on her fourth solo LP, Phantasiai, which saw release in July.

LEILA ABDUL-RAUF has been a key member in dozens of musical entities since the 1990s, including Vastum, Ionophore, Cardinal Wyrm, Fyrhtu, and more in recent years. Over the past eight years she’s showcased her talents as a multi-instrumentalist through four varied solo efforts, and in July of 2021 she released her most haunting, ominous unaccompanied album yet with Phantasiai. Weaving layered textures into drifting filmic compositions, the album conjures dreamlike, ambient hymns while channeling ethereal melancholy. Far more brooding than prior solo outings, with a deep sense of romanticism and dark classical inspiration, Phantasiai showcases another new direction of exploration of this vastly prolific musician.

Fully composed, recorded, and produced by LEILA ABDUL-RAUF, Phantasiai was mastered by Cyclic Law. The record was completed with stunning cover artwork by Matthew Jaffe and graphic design by Heresie Studio.

The newest video from Phantasiai was created for the ethereal movement “Distortions In Phantasy III: Suspension,” using footage filmed by ABDUL-RAUF’s Vastum bandmate Daniel Butler and David Brenner of Gridfailure whom she also collaborates with regularly and directed/created the video.

With the new video, ABDUL-RAUF reveals, “Deadness seeps through the veins of this void we built… signs of life fade as the third movement of ‘Distortions in Phantasy’ sinks further down into an ever-darkening atmosphere of ominous brass layers as death-knell vocals swirl — a psychic nadir before total self-obliteration takes hold in movement four.”

BrooklynVegan writes with the video’s premiere, “It’s an eerie, ethereal song, and the video — filmed and directed by Grildfailure’s David Brenner with additional filming by Leila’s Vastum bandmate Daniel Butler — fits the vibe perfectly.”

Watch LEILA ABDUL-RAUF’s new “Distortions In Phantasy III: Suspension” video first through BrooklynVegan at THIS LOCATION.

Phantasiai is out now on CD and digitally through Cyclic Law, and the vinyl edition — a co-release between Cyclic Law and Cloister Recordings – is currently in production.

Find the album, including vinyl preorders, at LEILA ABDUL-RAUF’s Bandcamp HERE, the Cyclic Law webshop HERE, and the Cloister Recordings shop HERE. Also watch the previous video for “Distortions in Phantasy I: Lure,” created by Ionophore bandmate Jan Hendrich, HERE.

Having performed her first fully solo live set in Oakland last week, LEILA ABDUL-RAUF has been confirmed to perform at the 2022 edition of Northwest Terror Fest, taking place in Seattle June 30th through July 2nd, joining the likes of Ludicra, Repulsion, Suffocation, Acephalix, Panopticon, and many others. Watch for additional performance updates and more to post in the months ahead.


6/30-7/02/2022 Neumos & Barboza – Seattle, WA @ Northwest Terror Fest [info]