Locust’s stunning electronic sound blossoms into something more akin to kosmische synth on The Plaintive, Mark Van Hoen’s first album since 2014. Produced over 5 years using a selection of analog synthesizers including the Prophet 12 as well as a digital eurorack modular system.
The Locust style has proven to be malleable ever since the artist came to prominence with a run of releases on Apollo in the 1990s – 2014’s After The Rain LP focussed on ruminative ambiences and piano compositions, while the Red and Green EPs that Locust dropped in 2019 explored the harsher end of techno. The Plaintive leans more towards the former due to its warm harmonic base, with tracks such as ‘Metals’ and ‘Out Here’ coasting along on dreamy washes of texture.
However, there is a spry energy to The Plaintive which steers it away from ambient territory and more towards the synthesiser innovations of artists such as Cluster and Mort Garson. There is a warmth to several of the cuts which comes through in their playful synth runs, modular arpeggios and gently insistent beat programming – see ‘The Longest Day’ and ‘A Beginning’ on this count. When The Plaintive moves towards techno territory, as it does on ‘St. Cecilia’, the approach is made with a delightfully light touch that nods to the otherworldly sonics of the likes of Alessandro Cortini and Daniel Avery as well as vintage synth hauntology from the likes of Plone and Belbury Poly.
Electronic music mainstay Locust proves to be a dab hand at kosmische analog synth on aptly-titled new LP The Plaintive.
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