Sunday, June 26, 2022

Under the radar: exterior

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He may have moved away from guitar music in recent years, but on Exterior’s new album Umbilical Digital there’s still the occasional guitar feedback between the synth sounds, write Olaf Furniss and Derick Mackinnon

Exterior, aka Doug Macdonald, has been on our radar for nearly two decades, ever since he recorded multiple tracks with legendary producer Steve Albini. And although he has since moved away from guitar music in favor of electronic sounds, his fearless willingness to experiment has remained unchanged.

This is evident on the album Umbilical Digital, which was released on limited edition vinyl on the influential Edinburgh Hobbes Music in April, a few weeks before it was made available on streaming services. It’s a collection of eight tracks, featuring excellent titles like The Unbearable Shiteness of Indie, the music mixes a range of synth sounds with occasional guitar feedback and real drums.

Unlike many electronic artists who are content to dance around a laptop, Macdonald also draws on his previous performing experience to create a show with live instrumentation and visuals by artist Panos Baras.

On Thursday, this heady mix was showcased at the opening night of the groundbreaking Hidden Door Festival, this year taking place in Edinburgh’s former Royal High School. Another gig in the capital is scheduled for Summerhall as part of The Fringe on August 19, with a follow-up album nearing completion.

Olaf Furniss and Derick Mackinnon host the music industry seminar and social night Born To Be Wide,

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