What our staff has to say: “I really like checking out what we get in from Suction, a must label for fans of its contemporaries like Warp and Skam, and in this recent batch I’m really taken with this record. Lonely and yearning synths either sprawl out or bustle in repetitive motifs, grounded by a steady drum pattern. The influences from groups like Cluster are clear, and I’d definitely recommend this to those who have well-loved and worn Boards of Canada or Autechre records too.” – Hannah
Suction Records is thrilled to present a new vinyl release of “The Plaintive”, the first new album since 2014 by the legendary, and somewhat underrated electronic project of Mark Van Hoen, Locust. When Suction was formed in 1997, we were deeply enthralled with the UK “listening” electronic scene, otherwise known as electronica or IDM, but besides the obvious icons – Aphex Twin, Autechre, and other luminaries of labels like Rephlex, Warp, and Skam Records – one of our heroes was the lesser known Locust, whose productions were murkier, more hypnotic, and deeply organic sounding. Those early Locust records – released via R&S/Apollo Records – were, and have remained, firm favourites. Pouring through the Locust album liner notes back in the ‘90s, it was the first time we’d ever read of a “techno” artist using modular synthesizers to make modern music.
Earlier this year, Locust released “The Plaintive” as a 15-track CD/digital album, part of Touched Music’s “Touched By Silence” boxset, and the CD was sold out in a matter of hours. Having heard Locust’s contribution to the set, we were immediately smitten with the material, which sounded very much unlike the Locust of old, yet absolutely complimentary to Van Hoen’s murky, analog-synth past. Produced intermittently over a 5-year period, the tracks were created with a largely-digital eurorack modular system, alongside a selection of analog synthesizers, notably a newly-acquired Prophet 12 polysynth. While tracks like “If You Knew” and “Out Here” are reminiscent
of classic Locust, much of “The Plaintive” shows us a new side to Locust – melodic, playful, and melancholic, with clear nods to the melodic electronic sounds of early pioneers like Cluster, early-Kraftwerk, or even OMD’s late-70s output.