Locust: After The Rain (Editions Mego, 2014)

October 18, 2014 at 9:20 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Locust: After The Rain

Locust: After The Rain

Mark Van Hoen (ex-Seefeel) continues to resurrect his Locust project, which released its first album since 2001 last year, on new home Editions Mego. This autumnal album definitely feels like a soundtrack of sorts, with the songs all blending into each other and having a common mood. Most of them are pretty short, which further makes them feel like variations on a theme. The songs generally feature immersive synth tones reminsicent of classic ’70s/’80s European ambient music and occasionally downtempo beats and shadowy vocals. “To Lonely Shores” in particular has kind of a spooky Twin Peaks/Rosemary’s Baby feel, with its sighing wordless vocals. “Shadows Cast By Planes” has loping tabla-like beats during its first half, then settles into ambience during the second. “I’ll Be There” is the most uptempo, poppy track, with harp-like sounds and melodies reminiscent of Plaid at their prettiest and most accessible, but like the previous track, it switches gears halfway through and goes into a dream-like second part with a slow heartbeat-like rhythm. “Signals” has some spoken word samples which are submerged enough that you can’t make out what they’re saying, along with a few bits of backwards harp notes and carefully measured synths. “Sky Black Horses” features eerie backwards shuddering beats which slowly fade in and out like a percussive tornado appearing, moving away, reappearing, and then repeating the cycle. “Won’t Be Long” ends the album with more shadowy vocals, and Ryuichi Sakamoto soundtrack atmospheres.

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