Created around what Mariusz Duda (to all intents and purposes, he is Lunatic Soul) describes as “a personal tragedy” in 2016, Fractured is, in part, a spacey, almost trip-hop like elegy to Riverside’s former guitarist Piotr Grudzinski who died suddenly in February last year.
Like all the best records, it’s also shot through with heartbreak and regret, though Duda has, quite brilliantly in places, managed to combine sublime acoustic guitars, orchestration and lazy looping beats that puts you in mind of the Bristol Sound from the early 1990s, think Massive Attack and Portishead. Don’t all run away shrieking though; there are moments of spooky, prog ambience that sounds like David Sylvian fronting Karnivool. Especially good is the head turning A Thousand Shards Of Heaven, a slow burner that wouldn’t sound of place on a Kings Of Convenience album, which then quietly reveals itself to be a mesh of strings, dance beats and histrionic saxophone and at over 12 minutes doesn’t sound a second too long. Duda’s clearly endured, making real art out of his adversity.