Artist Analysis: Lorn [Part 1]

Lorn (Artist Pic)Marcos Ortega, aka “Lorn.”

Marcos Ortega, better known by his stage name, “Lorn,” is just one of those artists you can’t help but respect. His work meets crisp breaks with deep, snarling basslines and visceral ambiances. Pick any track, and you’ll find an unimaginably immersive soundscape doused in rich and powerful, yet intricate melodies.

Three years ago, Lorn scored the darker half of the bestselling Playstation game, “Killzone Shadow Fall.” His music captures the hardships faced by the “Helghast,” a faction of outcasts living in a futuristic dystopian favela, ravaged by war and destruction. If I had the money, I’d buy a new $300 console just to play that game… It’s, like, insanely good. Watch the damn trailer already.

Lorn’s life is rather secretive. He’s played shows and been interviewed a few times, but there’s not much else you can scrape off the web. One interview may be found here, and a Killzone behind-the-scenes interview is located here. He has struggled with drug and alcohol addiction, and overcome some intense personal challenges prior to signing with the Brainfeeder label. Lorn’s song “Tomorrow” was noticed by Flying Lotus—the genius behind Brainfeeder—who quickly recruited Lorn to the collective.

His first album, “Nothing Else,” was released in 2010, and features one of my all-time favorite songs, “Cherry Moon,” an ethereal, melancholic masterpiece. I will never forget the first time I heard it—playing DiRT 3 on my XBOX, surfing on loose gravel through a dense, vibrant forest; the digital world screaming past as I flew over the finish line. It was surreal.

Every time I listen to Lorn’s music, I think, “how the f*** did he do that?” Waves of jealousy surge through me: How can I recreate the same sound? What does he sample? And what kind of distortion does he use to eviscerate the living hell out of it? Gripping stuff, really.

I’ll try to examine some of his production techniques in a future post.