Mariusz Duda is back with the final installment of his Lockdown Trilogy. This has been a treat for fans, I think, especially those of us who like progressive electronic music. The new album is called Interior Drawings, and it releases today, December 10th, on his Bandcamp page.
Mariusz, as you know, comes to us from Poland, and from his primary outlets, Riverside and Lunatic Soul. His solo releases have either been electronic or pop rock in nature, and I personally am looking forward to more of the latter from him. Anyways, the Lockdown Trilogy is electronic and ambient in style.
All three of these albums have sounded different to my ears. The first one, Lockdown Spaces, felt constricting and claustrophobic, like exploring an enclosed and familiar space. The second one, Claustrophobic Universe, ironically felt like exploring an entire cosmos within your own mind, so it felt more upbeat, bubbly, whimsical, and fantastical. Both of those albums were excellent.
Interior Drawings, in my opinion, feels more like “Mariusz Duda of Riverside and Lunatic Soul”. It feels like he has landed his cerebral spacecraft, and the creativity is flowing. Except that this album is like a fly-on-the-wall perspective of that creativity, not the results of it. I hear more elements of the Riverside sound here, especially in some of the bass and vocal spots. I also hear more of the Lunatic Soul sound, specifically the Impressions album with its use of various objects to create interesting rhythms. It’s almost like this music is guiding us through Mariusz’s thought process as he makes music for his other projects.
Yes, Interior Drawings features a lot of, well, drawing. You will hear drawing with pens or pencils on paper, but also (I think) chalk on a chalkboard. These things are more prevalent in the first half of the album, and Mariusz does create some fantastically catchy rhythms with them. In other words, Mariusz has more talent with a piece of chalk than I do with any instrument ever.
I would also point out that this album, while greatly electronic, relies far more on piano than the first two records. Piano is a mainstay on almost every track, and it is a rich, luxurious piano sound at that. I’ve really been connecting with this album for that reason, I think.
I won’t touch on every track, but I’ll mention a few. I really like the title track, as I think it is the most inventive with its drawing rhythms and its hovering darkness. “Shapes in Notebooks” is another favorite, primarily for its great bass groove, vocals inflections, and nostalgia. I also love “Dream of Calm”, an ambient piano piece with a gorgeous melody and little accents all over the place. It’s wistful and beautiful.
Finally, my favorite track is “How to Overcome Crisis”. This track has all the rhythmic goodness I could ever want, but also ambient portions with Mariusz actually singing. And, of course, I love anything where Mariusz sings, so I’m instantly in love with this track. Didn’t even have to finish the song before I already adored it.
So, there you have it. Mariusz has produced a very strong trilogy of lockdown albums, and each one is quite different from the others. Interior Drawings is probably the most beautiful of the three, and feels illustrious and emotional, like coming alive again after being trapped in our own worlds for too long. I appreciate that about this record.
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