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Duda, Mariusz: Interior Drawings

The third and final album in Mariusz Duda’s ‘lockdown trilogy’, Interior Drawings allows us into the Riverside and Lunatic Soul man’s inner psyche as he creates. In fact he himself describes it as “…an album inspired by work, passion, creative process, and a self-imposed "lockdown". It is an album about... creating an album. It's a story about what a flow of thoughts looks like, it's a peek into the mind of someone who has decided to create a project. The "drawing" samples scattered on the album can symbolise anything: writing a novel, painting a picture, directing a film, creating an architectural design, composing an album, or any other creative process which begins with the proverbial "blank page”.

An intriguing starting point and one which I’d suggest allows this almost exclusively electronic project to close out with its strongest offering. The mood is pensive yet it somehow feels ever so slightly more optimistic than the two albums, Lockdown Spaces and Claustrophobic Universe, which have preceded it. The first aspect that has to be mentioned it just how incredible this album sounds - especially through headphones. With much of the percussive sounds coming from the aforementioned “drawing” samples, through ‘phones it’s almost as though someone is drawing in your ears as the title track and “Shapes In A Notebook” scrape and scritch their way from your left, centre and then right through some incredibly chiming piano - if anyone out there partakes in ASMR, then this album is, in places, like someone has set one of those ‘drawing your portrait’ videos to music. The latter track also features a rarity across these three albums, as a little gently processed voice work adds melody to piano lines which remind of (rather bizarrely) Bruce Hornsby, if, of course, he’d been schooled by Jean Michel Jarre. The latter, in fact, can be seen as a touching point in much of what goes on here, but, dare I say it, Duda proves much more daring in his structures, sample-choices and modernistic/minimalist arrangements.

The enigmatically titled “Prisoner By Request” uses more rounded synth sounds to form its basis, but with some notes cleverly clipped and others allowed to ring on, the feel that everything on this album is being used as much as a percussive force as it is a melodic one, truly holds he attention. Again, Duda introduces hints of voice as way of adding muted colour to what should be stark backgrounds, but which instead hold enough nuance to weave remarkably intricate and colourful patterns.

There isn’t a weak moment on this third musing from lockdown, “Dream Of Calm” a short reflective piece where the sounds of pencil on paper are reintroduced on an album that really feels like the stream of consciousness that it’s intended to be. Gentle, relaxing but completely captivating, it really is quite some achievement and yet, as we move into “How To Overcome Crises” it becomes clear that the process maybe didn’t always contain the clarity of thought that much of this journey would suggest, as the sound of scribbling and paper being scrunched and tossed hint at creative frustrations that were possibly encountered along the way.

And there’s more, but you’re getting the idea by now hopefully - this is an excellent, involving and rewarding album from start to finish. But then the previous two releases in this series have been as well, although for me, this is the best of the lot. Currently only available as downloads, by streaming or on cassette, there are now plans for the lockdown trilogy to be released on CD and vinyl as well. I for one will be purchasing all three.

Track Listing
1. Racing Thoughts
2. Interior Drawings
3. Shapes In Notebooks
4. Prisoner By Request
5. Dream Of Calm
6. How To Overcome Crises
7. Almost Done
8. Temporary Happiness

Added: January 3rd 2022
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Mariusz Duda on bandcamp
Hits: 207
Language: english

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» Reader Comments:

Duda, Mariusz: Interior Drawings
Posted by James Carlton on 2022-01-08 15:40:56
My Score:

Dang, didn't know this was out or even coming out. Just purchased from Apple. Thanks!!!!

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