Mark Van Hoen? Yes, we insist.

OVER THE PAST MONTH WE’VE SPENT QUITE A FEW HOURS GOING BACK AND LISTENING TO THE WORK OF MARK VAN HOEN AND (AGAIN) WONDERING WHY SUCH CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED WORK HAS ELUDED MASSES OF LISTENERS.

WHO IS MARK WAN HOEN YOU MIGHT ASK?  A VERY BRIEF ANSWER: BRITISH-BORN (NOW U.S. RESIDING) ELECTRONIC ARTIST THAT HAS RELEASED ALBUMS SINCE THE NINETIES UNDER THE MONIKER LOCUST AS WELL AS HIS OWN NAMEHE IS ALSO A PRODUCER (NEIL HALSTEAD/MOJAVE 3, SING SING amongst others), EARLY MEMBER OF SEEFEEL & MEMBER/PRODUCER OF SCALA (who deserve & will receive their own write-up at some point).

AN EQUALLY BRIEF SUMMATION – VAN HOEN HAS CREATED HIS OWN UNIQUE VOICE AMIDST HIS PEERS IN ELECTRONIC MUSIC,  OFTEN UTILIZING A HEAVILY-LAYERED AND MANIPULATED COMBINATION OF HARSH TEXTURES & RHYTHMS SET AGAINST BEAUTIFUL, OFTEN AMBIENT, MELODIC ELEMENTS.  ONE MIGHT STRAIN TO MAKE COMPARISONS TO THE DRIFTY SIDE OF APHEX TWIN OR A LESS GLITCH-BASED APPROACH OF AUTECHRE, BUT WE FEEL M.V.H. HAS DEVELOPED HIS OWN SIGNATURE-STYLE IN WRITING DENSE AND LUSH WORKS.  A TRUE SIGN OF CRAFT, HIS ALBUMS RETAIN CERTAIN STYLISTIC THREADS (or production techniques) WHILE DEVELOPING & EXPLORING NEW SONIC TERRITORIES, INCORPORATING GUEST SINGERS ON ALBUMS THAT BECOME, AT TIMES, MORE VOCALLY CENTERED INSTEAD OF LARGELY INSTRUMENTAL [although MVH himself sings beautifully on the album Where Is The Truth?, which begs the question “why has this voice not been used more?!”].  THE APPROACH CONCERNING FORM ALSO VARIES GREATLY, RANGING FROM THE OPENNESS OF AMBIENT DRIFTS TO HIGHLY STRUCTURED & ORCHESTRATED POP SONGS (especially on albums like MORNING LIGHT under the Locust name).

WE CAN HAPPILY RECOMMEND A NUMBER OF ALBUMS TO START WITH FOR THE UNINITIATED; PLAYING WITH TIME OR THE LAST FLOWERS FROM THE DARKNESS  (as M.V.H.), OR NATURAL COMPOSITE, WEATHERED WELL OR TRUTH IS BORN OF ARGUMENTS (as Locust).   WE’RE CONVINCED THAT HIS WORK IS GENERALLY SOPHISTICATED, FAIRLY BRILLIANT, WORTHY OF A MUCH LARGER AUDIENCE & AS IMPORTANT AS ANY OTHER “RECOGNIZED” ELECTRONIC COMPOSER OF THE PAST FEW DECADES.

WE’RE ALSO HAPPY TO REPORT THAT MARK VAN HOEN IS STILL GOING STRONG, HIS MOST RECENT (and quite good) ALBUM, THE REVENANT DIARY, WAS RELEASED JUST THIS YEAR.

BUT DON’T JUST TAKE OUR WORD FOR IT, CHECK IT OUT:

http://markvanhoen.com/

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