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Duda, Mariusz: Claustrophobic Universe

Not content with sitting next to the Riverside, or in bearing his Lunatic Soul, Mariusz Duda has also in recent times released music under his own name, with the distinction being that it is more electronic based than any of his other outlets. Admittedly, that’s not something a million miles removed from some occasional work from Riverside but with Claustrophobic Universe - which is in itself the second such offering in what is set to become Duda’s lockdown solo triptych - he really has gone the whole hog.

The album itself is based round the notion that we all live in a claustrophobic universe of our own, as our head spills out into the planet around us. Conspiracy theories, ecological counterpoints and the like are also wordlessly discussed - and I’d suggest debunked - through spartan and unsettling music where repetition and structure are vital in creating the barren landscapes that Duda asks you to wander through.

Interestingly, even in this setting, the likes of “Escape Pod” and its plaintive, yet forceful piano holds many of the hallmarks you expect from the man behind this music. Little motifs and progressions whispering of Riverside in a way that doesn’t distract but certainly makes anyone previously acquainted with Duda and what he does feel right at home. However, for me, this album is all about the journey, all about the connections and the disconnections that run from piece to piece and throughout the overarching concept. Resulting in a series of compositions to immerse yourself in and to be experienced as a whole and not as individual outings on a playlist, with context and setting being almost as important as the Jarre-ian, Schulze-isms of “Lemon Flavoured Stars” or “Knock Lock”.

Mariusz Duda continues to impress through the breadth, style and quality of his work and as all of those aspects expand into the further reaches of his mind, so the legacy he is creating grows ever more inspiring.

Track Listing
1. Knock Lock
2. Planets In A Milk Bowl
3. I Landed On Mars
4. Waves From A Flat Earth
5. 2084
6. Escape Pod
7. Lemon Flavoured Stars
8. Claustrophobic Universe
9. Numbers And Denials

Added: December 22nd 2021
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Mariusz Duda @ bandcamp
Hits: 426
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Duda, Mariusz: Claustrophobic Universe
Posted by Jon Neudorf, SoT Staff Writer on 2021-12-22 06:30:43
My Score:

Here, in this place, I’d like to create a completely different music world, connected mainly with electronic music, and, occasionally, with songs.
Mariusz Duda

Here is the second album in Mariusz Duda’s lockdown triptych titled Claustrophobic Universe. I had recently reviewed the first in the series Lockdown Spaces. The leader of Riverside and Lunatic Soul has gone in a different direction in this set, continuing his foray into electronic tripped out minimalistic sounds we first heard on Lockdown Spaces. With Claustrophobic Universe the electronic beats and percussion pulsates amidst otherworldly keyboards and synthesizers, giving this a science fiction feel, even though this is more of a journey inside the human mind as opposed to outer space. I suppose there could be a connection between the two as both harbour secrets and unknowable mysteries. There are nine tracks in total, with each piece meant to be listened to in sequence. Works like this need to be listened to with minimal interruptions so as to fully absorb all the nuanced atmospheres. My favourite tracks include “Waves From A Flat Earth” where the beats, piano and synths lead a mind altering trip into the unknown and “Escape Pod” with its completely riveting keyboard melody.

For those into electronic music in a similar vein to bands like Kraftwerk, Claustrophobic Universe is an easy recommendation.

A GlassVille Records release.

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