Lunatic Soul: Walking On A Flashlight Beam

Sinister sidestep from the Riverside frontman.

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Mariusz Duda, frontman with Polish prog giants Riverside, has something serious going on with his solo project.

This is the fourth album as Lunatic Soul, but Duda considers it to be the second, the first two being “one interwoven story” and the third a “supplement”. Regardless, these solitary sounds are getting very, very interesting. He’s referenced “emotive trance darkness”: the marathon work creeps up on you with bouts of high-tension repetition, then deceives its way into your psyche. It’s often like the best film music: it’s there, but doesn’t impose itself on you, and when you walk away it’s somehow laid eggs in your brain. It’s distinctly dramatic, verging on gothic from the opening eerie noises, which mix soothing ocean waves and unsettling industrial clangs. Shutting Out The Sun builds broodily into an extended ride through Tangerine Dream throbs and tribal chants. Cold is precisely that, chilling the marrow. Duda can do warm too, as the wistful vocal and almost ELO-like arrangements of Treehouse deftly demonstrate. The 12-minute Pygmalion’s Ladder snakes from restraint to savagery, while the title track honours the Pink Floyd branches of the Porcupine Tree.

Chris Roberts

Chris Roberts has written about music, films, and art for innumerable outlets. His new book The Velvet Underground is out April 4. He has also published books on Lou Reed, Elton John, the Gothic arts, Talk Talk, Kate Moss, Scarlett Johansson, Abba, Tom Jones and others. Among his interviewees over the years have been David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Patti Smith, Debbie Harry, Bryan Ferry, Al Green, Tom Waits & Lou Reed. Born in North Wales, he lives in London.