Lackluster: Showcase Igloomag Review


While many of you are probably wondering which releases to snap up at the local CD/Vinyl bins, some of you realize that their are way too many “similar styled” electronic music artists making their way, once again, into your collection to rest and to collect dust until the next visit/rotation. It’s something that we’ve all (unfortunately) been accustomed to accept; that one or two tracks on any particular CD in the “experimental electronic” field are noteworthy and get continual rotation on your turntable/cd-player/mini-disc. It’s a sad state of affairs, but one we need to face as a reality. With the quantity of electronic music comes the downgrade of visions and artist integrity. A sort of lackluster approach to releasing as many tracks possible on an infinite amount of internationally under-appreciated labels across the globe. Is this a good formula? Do you really want to filter through 100s of releases out there? It happens everyday, but adjusting your seive to acquire the best assortment of musical bits is one of the best tactics in satisfying your musical tastes.

In the case of one Finland based Esa Ruoho who has been operating under the Lackluster guise for several years, some might tag his approach as pleasant, charming and rather melodic to say the least. Some may feel his music is inspired by the environment in which he resides, where a musical shadow of abstract frequencies are cast against abrupt beats and dark rhythms. It’s entirely up to the listener to feel these qualities, while the artist describes their feelings with the machines they have to work with. Lackluster is what it is, and just what it isn’t.

With numerous tracks released on independent labels on almost every continent, Esa Ruoho continually strives at reinventing his views, expressions and feelings to his audience with a sense of unity of sound, and clarity in this sound. Meandering beats that snap across waves of in-depth & mechanically driven rhythms. These are the sounds of Lackluster. Not an easy task to describe, and one to definitely seek out. Comparisons are useless sometimes, as there are many individuals whose sole mission is to create, recreate and nurture their thoughts into sound-escapes of electronic music. While this intention is a truly sincere move on the part of every artist out there, it becomes rather tedious to repeat yourself or try to reinvent your sound..

With all that out of the way.. now comes A Lackluster, Showcase. A culmination of previously released Lackluster tracks from labels like DeFocus, Merck, Rikos, Monotonik, and Surgery, and a few you’ve never heard until now. 19 tracks spanning through 78 minutes, and a stunning abundance of enriching electronic music for your ears. This is the sound of Lackluster.. a precious mix of melodic upbeat tracks that are packed with pure entertainment all the way through. These are the tracks many of you may have highlighted in past releases, tracks that truly inspire thoughts of beauty, reflection and inner tranquility. With this formation of musical delights, Lackluster creates a birds-eye view of the feelings he’s cultivated over the years and expressed with his music. Even with the pensive ambient flows that maneuver their way into some of the tracks featured on this disc, they are
contrasted by the uplifting percussive melodies & rhythms of others.

Lackluster, Showcase represents an accurate assessment of the fragile state of electronic music today. With the perpetual onslaught of genre’s trying to fill a void in the collections of international trainspotters, Merck records manages to release the best of Esa Ruoho’s musical discography without falling into one particular
style/groove/genre. Lackluster’s Showcase describes the assemblage of beauty manifested through one brain with the use of melodic tweaks, and layers of creative electricity. If you haven’t been able to locate every release Esa Ruoho’s put out over the past few years, than this compilation and/or best of.. will definitely bring you up to date to the classical sounds of this (sometimes) frustrated Finnish producer. Without mentioning any highlights or comparisons, we’ll leave you to decide the fate of the tracks described on Merck Records’ latest release. Place yourself at ease to absorb every emotive slice of electronics featured on this disc. Highly recommended.