Mark Van Hoen announces After the Rain, his new album as Locust, shares first single

Mark Van Hoen announces After the Rain, his new album as Locust, shares first single

British electronica mainstay Mark Van Hoen has announced After the Rain, his second album since 2012’s resuscitation of his Locust project. The new LP marks the Londoner’s second collaboration with Baltimore composer Louis Sherman; furthermore, After the Rain is the first release wholly conceived during this current stage of Van Hoen’s career, since his last album contained material dating back to 2006. Though the melodic abstraction characteristic of Van Hoen’s later work is very much present in After the Rain’s new single “I’ll Be There,” the musician has cited 1970s European electronic music as an influence, and it shows: one can’t help but be reminded of continental Europe’s mechanistic-but-warm ambient music while listening to it. The album was recorded live, doing away with the sequencers, complex programming, and sampling that used to dominate Van Hoen’s Locust output. After the Rain is dedicated to Hajji Majer, drummer with post-punk aficionados Fall of Another Year, who passed away last July.

Mark Van Hoen started his career in the early 90s, in the orbit of underappreciated innovators Seefeel, briefly joining the band as a replacement bassist, and later going on to form Scala with several of said band members. Breaking with the post-rock/drone register Seefeel explored, Scala took the rock song format and tried to expand it by following the natural detour from dream pop into ambient music. However, Scala was just one of Van Hoen’s side projects; Locust, the moniker he used to release his solo work throughout the decade, remained his main outlet. Further blurring the line between the song format and electronic music, Locust put out a set of impressive albums that intermittently hinted at the eccentric ambient work of Richard D. James and a bleaker, dystopian register, enamored with modular synths. His 1993 debut album as Locust, Weathered Well, along with 1998’s Wrong, are still highlights of Van Hoen’s career.

By 2001, Van Hoen stopped releasing music as Locust, sticking to his own name. He had already put out a couple of albums as Mark Van Hoen in the 90s, but the difference was that Locust now went into a 12-year hiatus, finally broken with last year’s You’ll Be Safe Forever. The British musician had decided to reactive the group while rehearsing for a WFMU session with Louis Sherman, where it hit him that together they sounded a lot like Locust. You’ll Be Safe Forever was the result of that collaboration, binding the gap between Van Hoen’s recent output, IDM, and a rockier version of Boards of Canada. Locust’s new album promises to move beyond that ground, into territories still uncharted through Van Hoen’s prolific career.

After the Rain will be out on October 13 via Editions Mego.

After the Rain tracklisting:

01. Snowblind
02. Under Still Waters
03. Tides in Opposite Lock
04. To Lonely Shores
05. Downlands
06. Shadows Cast By Planes
07. I’ll Be There
08. Parsing the Signals
09. Sorrow Stays
10. Colonnades
11. Sky Black Horses
12. Won’t Be Long

• Mark Van Hoen: http://www.markvanhoen.com
• Editions Mego: http://editionsmego.com

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