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Lunatic Soul

Impressions

(Kscope; US: 8 Nov 2011; UK: 10 Oct 2011)

Lunatic Soul is the solo project of Mariusz Duda, singer and bassist for the excellent Polish progressive rock outfit Riverside. Impressions is the third solo LP from Duda, the latest in a trilogy that began with 2008’s Black and 2010’s White. Anyone anticipating the progressive delights of his main band is set to be frustrated, at least partially. There here are tendrils of expansiveness and experimentation to be found, but aside from scattered flourishes of flamenco and acoustic guitar there are no convoluted histrionics. Instead, Duda concentrates on crafting soundscapes: cinematic vistas swathed in keyboards, hints of choral voices, ambient tweaks and a few soft beats and pieces. 


Impressions has a touch of ‘90s minimalism about it, with that same relaxing rhythm. Primarily instrumental, the album drifts hazily along, ebbing and flowing according to Duda’s whims. “Impression V” throbs with a bass pulse Pink Floyd would be proud of (and may be wanting back at some time), “Impression VII” has a delightful glockenspiel intro, “Impression VIII” runs along with a poignant piano tinkering away, and “Impression IV” has a tumbling folksy strum. Given that Impressions is the last volume in a trilogy, it makes more sense from a compositional standpoint after hearing the previous albums, although it’s perfectly listenable on its own. It’s all quite picturesque, and wonderfully produced, and if you enjoy that sort of thing then I guess Duda’s got your vote.

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Craig Hayes is based in Aotearoa New Zealand, and he is a contributing editor and columnist at PopMatters. Alongside his reviews and feature articles, Craig's monthly column, Ragnarök, traverses the metal spectrum. He is the co-author of PopMatters' regular metal round-up, Mixtarum Metallum, contributes to radio shows and numerous other sites, and he favours music that clangs, bangs, crashes, or drones. Craig can be found losing followers daily on twitter @sixnoises.


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