Locust's Mark Van Hoen occupied the shadier, more melancholic side of contemporary ambient, assembling records of unmistakable beauty out of shards of dark, somewhat foreboding textures and arrangements. A London native active in the film and commercial music business before concentrating full-time on recording for release, Van Hoen produced a string of highly thought-of releases for the R&S subsidiary Apollo in a relatively short period of time. He quoted Steve Reich, David Sylvian, Kraftwerk, and Brian Eno as early influences; later on, he attempted to pursue paths of creative conception opened up by John Coltrane and Karlheinz Stockhausen. Although earlier releases focused on sprawling, mostly beatless experimental soundscapes, his later work incorporated elements of breakbeat styles such as trip-hop and jungle, as well as IDM -- mostly in terms of production techniques as opposed to aesthetic qualities, and with decidedly Locust flair. Truth Is Born of Arguments was the first release of this sort, and included heavy, distorted percussion and complex, looping polyrhythms similar to (although much more sluggish than) those found in drum'n'bass.
Not always the ambient misanthrope, Van Hoen split his creative activity between Locust and a number of ongoing collaborative ventures, among them Scala (with most of Seefeel), Autocreation (techno), and Involution (post-techno experimental electronic), the latter with Seefeel frontman Daren Seymour. Van Hoen also completed a number of remixes for Seefeel and As One, produced bands like Sing-Sing and Mojave 3, and incorporated elements of multimedia and performance art into his live appearances. Van Hoen released the occasional recording under his given name, including Last Flowers from the Darkness (Touch, 1997), Playing with Time (Apollo, 1999), The Warmth Inside You (Very Friendly, 2004), and Where Is the Truth (City Centre Offices, 2010). ~ Sean Cooper, Rovi