CD Review – Mariusz Duda – Interior Drawings

Mariusz Duda will be known to many in the progressive rock world for his work in Riverside and Lunatic Soul, but he now regularly releases albums in his own name too. Interior Drawings is the third in a trilogy of pandemic albums that Mariusz has released recently. It is about the creative need to produce an album, the passion, drive, work and desire that is required. In many ways it is an impressionistic collection of tracks that portray the necessary thought processes, about the mind flow of someone working on a project. It is also quite universal – the ideas and motivations portrayed could apply equally to a writer working on a novel, an artist on a canvas, or a director on a film, or indeed any other creativity.

The music itself is very much in the progressive electronic mould, drawing inspiration from Mariusz’s early inspirations such as Tangerine Dream as well as some perhaps more contemporary artists like Thom Yorke. The most Tangerine Dream like track is, perhaps, Prisoner By Request but mainly the songs are led by piano which add textures and tonalities less familiar from Tangerine Dream. It is quite a minimalist approach with clever use of sampling and loops, largely instrumental apart from occasional vocal passages which are mixed comparatively low within the swim of the rest of the sounds. Albums such as this can be sterile and cool, a little lost within themselves. This is very much not the case here. Amongst all the synthetic sounds utilised there are clever moments of humour. There are some sounds that can only have been made with various writing implements which bring a smile to your face when you recognise them. The title track itself begins with what sounds like chalk writing on a blackboard. Mariusz neatly builds it into a rhythm that flows into the track, disappearing at times only to resurface then drift away.

The album is available digitally from the 10th December from Mariusz’s Bandcamp page, and then on other digital platforms and streaming services from17th December. Unusually, the release will also be available on cassette from the 17th too. Very traditional!

This is a very intriguing release with colourful although minimalist results. The music draws you in and creates images with in your mind. The titles of the tracks give clues as to their meaning – Racing Thoughts, Shapes In Notebooks, and Almost Done perhaps being the most obvious. But it is the feel and atmosphere of the music that is the real eye into the world of a working musician, that gives it meaning and substance. There is no need for a vocal guide, this is strong enough music to carry the meaning with it. A very enjoyable and always interesting release. An excellent conclusion to Mariusz’s pandemic trilogy.

1. Racing Thoughts (05:18)
2. Interior Drawings (05:43)
3. Shapes in Notebooks (04:49)
4. Prisoner by Request (05:38)
5. Dream of Calm (03:25)
6. How to Overcome Crisis (04:55)
7. Almost Done (06:28)
8. Temporary Happiness (05:15)

Mariusz Duda – piano, keyboards, various synthesizers, vocals, samples and other sounds

Release date: 10th December, 2021

Label: Independent

Formats: digital, cassette

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