Natural Composite

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A gifted arranger of dark electronics that focus on mystery rather than aggression, Locust shuffles intensely into the ears with the opening track, "Pillar," and sets the mood for the hour ahead. Natural Composite is a diverse collection of nine years worth of material that includes four tracks from a couple earlier EPs: two from The Needle EP (of which only 500 copies were pressed) and two other tracks from the Apollo EP In Remembrance of Times Past. Every song on this CD contains, as Mark Van Hoen states in the liner notes, "an element of warmth and emotion." This is true for the most part, but track four of the disc, entitled "Air Primary," may be the exception; it is the most devoid of emotional content and the weakest seven minutes on the disc. Overall, this is a pulsing and energizing LP, without ever once suggesting listeners get up and dance. Locust keeps just quiet enough to maintain listeners' full attention, because without it they could easily dismiss Natural Composite as repetitive. The third track on the disc, "All My Sadness," is perhaps the best of the bunch: a journey, a dream long forgotten, and certainly a signature piece for the musician. The disc ends curiously with "Exaggerated Depression," a loose and exploratory series of sounds, something like the wandering offspring of Morton Subotnick. Equal parts reclusive and prolific, Locust is a talent who can best be compared to Mark Clifford (Seefeel, Disjecta, Woodenspoon); both disregard the spotlight and keep quietly busy, much to the enjoyment of those fortunate enough to find their albums, and Natural Composite is certainly one to find.

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