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Duda, Mariusz: Lockdown Spaces

Mariusz Duda is a name that should need introduction on a progressive rock music site. The leader of Riverside, Lunatic Soul and as a guest musician on numerous artists is prolific. His body of work is ever expanding, now into solo territory and his debut album titled Lockdown Spaces, released in 2020. This is the first of a triptych and as you can likely glean from the title is a conceptual piece about the current pandemic. More specifically, Duda is dealing with the feeling of isolation and how society has withdrawn from one another, relying on their screens for any kind of social normalcy. This is a stark set of tunes and really needs to be listened to in a single sitting, which should not be an issue since the album clocks in under thirty-five minutes. It’s a completely gripping and emotionally draining listen, meant as a compliment by the way. Lockdown Spaces is a pure solo album as it was completely recorded and performed by the artist himself.

Duda expertly crafts stark soundscapes, weaving his programmed sounds and synths through a minimalist backdrop of eeriness, unfolding like some kind of nightmare on your unsuspecting senses. It’s completely effective, capturing the listener with his hypnotic sound designs beginning with “Isolated”. An ‘isolated’ keyboard on repeat, joined by a deep bass riff as other sounds drift in and out, with pulsating electronics growing louder. It’s a trippy and spacey exploration of the inner mind. With the title track, the darkness is all encompassing as tortured whispers chant, “I’m in lockdown, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7”, followed by heavy breathing. A damaged psyche is revealed, and the minimalistic music recalls a subdued panic that is completely synchronous with the lyrics. With “Bricks” a repeating keyboard motif and waves of effects add a haunting quality. I hear some Kraftwerk in this one. More blackened moodiness and discordant atmospheres can be heard on “Waiting”, another finely tuned trip into Duda’s unbridled creativity.

Lockdown Spaces is a superb and deeply rewarding listen that will surely open your mind, and ears to Duda’s enigmatic vision. Easily recommended.

Track Listing:
1. Isolated (5:51)
2. Lockdown Spaces (2:54)
3. Bricks (6:32)
4. Waiting (2:08)
5. Thought Invaders (4:20)
6. Pixel Heart (5:26)
7. Silent Hall (1:09)
8. Unboxing Hope (5:00)
9. Screensaver (0:55)

Added: November 8th 2021
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Artist's Official Site
Hits: 668
Language: english

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