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Album review Scottish albums

Gordon Duthie

Man versus machine, technology against nature… the cover of this 10-track concept album maybe sums this up, a landscape overshadowed by a pile of computer monitors, seen through a telephoto lens.
The Aberdeen singer-songwriter has, I suspect, struggled to come to terms with technology, before flinging himself full-length into the welcoming abyss – his usual simple guitar work married awkwardly with electronic beats.
Indeed, his whole tentative journey into the 21st century could be summed up by opener ’A Simpler Time’ as he “wants to go back” to the times of his childhood, “playing football in the park” (hey, who doesn’t?).
Ironically (or perhaps deliberately?) the results sound very much like a home studio production with a lot of effects. ‘The Curse of the Broken Metal Sword (56K Modems)’- no, me neither – has a kind of chipcore backing to a ramble about computer-based football games. ‘Digital Virus’, however, is a whole prog epic packed into under three three minutes with metal guitars over blips and squawks. In all, it’s a mish-mash of styles and genres, a culture clash which somehow all comes together, as Multimedia Monster documents a traditionalist getting to grips with the digital world while harking back to times long gone.

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