Drew McDowall brings his dystopian moods and dark soundscapes to the Hideout for a rare Chicago show | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

Drew McDowall brings his dystopian moods and dark soundscapes to the Hideout for a rare Chicago show 

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click to enlarge Drew McDowall

Drew McDowall

GILLIAN BOWLING

Between his tenure with experimental titans Coil and his stint in the equally important Psychic TV, Scottish musician Drew McDowall helped shape the sound and feel of 90s industrial with his Moogs and modular ­synths. By 2012, he’d brought his sound designs—conjured from gloomy, fractured beats and pure dark energy—to New York, where he embarked on a solo career. Last year he released the succinct Unnatural Channel, his second full-length for Dais. Across the record’s seven tracks, McDowall lays out dystopian-flavored moods and soundscapes with layers of busted almost-beats, foggy, unsettling synths, and sharp electronic crackles. Listening to Unnatural Channel gives one a heightened sense of the huge influence McDowall had on the electronic drone records Coil put out in the 90s, and his vision has only become more clear and crisp over time. McDowall isn’t known to play live very often, so this set is not to be missed.   v

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