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Locust (England) Biography

Last updated: 07/18/2001 10:45:39 PM

LOCUST is MARK VAN HOEN, a born and bred Londoner who has been working in television and radio since leaving school at 16 and whose musical output since last year, when he signed to Apollo Records, has offered the world of Ambient electronic music something with a greater depth and a sense of progression.
In 1982, influenced by Brian Eno, Kraftwerk, Klaus Schulze, Tangerine Dream and other early electronic artists, he gave his first live performance using synthesizer and tape. Since then, he has become a virtuoso in sound; just as a traditional musician learns his instrument, so Mark has spent the last 13 years mastering the recording studio.

Over the years Mark's musical intake has changed: the German electronic pioneers have fallen out of favour to be replaced by jazz and Indian classical music. "I will always love the work of Steve Reich, Brian Eno, Jon Hassell and David Sylvian", says Mark, "but right now the most important music to me is that of Miles Davis, John Coltrane and Karl-Heinz Stockhausen". Conversely, he has also developed an ear for pop and more "conventional" vocal-led music; this manifests itself in his work with Annie Williams and other production projects on the horizon.

But the essence of Locust is music that Mark, and only Mark, has performed and recorded. Last year's series of releases on Apollo (see discography) covered the years 1983-1987 and 1991-1994; the compositions on all these records were generated almost entirely using analog synthesis. With the new album Truth Is Born Of Arguments however, things have changed quite substantially. Partly instigated by the explosion of the Jungle movement, but mostly by developing new techniques, the new Locust album is based entirely on sampling and digital sound manipulation. "I had been working with analog synthesizers for almost 15 years", Mark says, "but now I can move on to something more up-to-date and versatile because of the support from Apollo. The aim with Truth Is Born Of Arguments is to push the boundaries of sound, but at the same time remain accessible to anyone who listens."