Pate Creme interview


Lackluster : exclusive interview
mar, jan 20, 2009

Lackluster : exclusive interview

Yes ! We are very pleased to launch this brand new Patecreme section with an interview of Finnish music artist Esa Ruoho, aka Lackluster.

Esa has released dozens of electronic projects with worldwide labels like Merck Records, SLSK Records, U-Cover records, Psychonavigation records,…

During the latest weeks, Esa has striked with new hot projects like The Stationary Trout Ep with Part2Records.

He has also released 40 tracks (!) with two Equaldreams exclusive compilations named Compcomp and RemixComp. The Remix release includes varied artists as Ilkae, Machinedrum, Kschzt, Blamstrain, Diskreet, RA-X, Keef Baker, 60Nine, Joseph Auer, Kilowatts, HECQ, Aleksi Eeben, Elephant Pixel, Antennae, Strand (CCO) & Non-Genetic (1/3 of Shadowhuntaz!), Hereticks of Disko, Robert Graff and Anne Garner. Various styles to hit your audio device from this perpetual researching mind.

1/ Can you please introduce quickly ?

hi im esa juhani ruoho. im 30, ive lived in the the suburb of eastern helsinki, kontula for the past 20 years. ive lived in dublin (20 months,2004-2005) and in regina,saskatchewan, canada (6 months,2000).. i make tracks.

2/ When did you start music ?
Do you have any other creative fields ?

i started making patterns and sequences of my own around 1994. in 1992 i was a sysop for a music BBS - that ended in 2000, after which it has mostly been fulltime music since 1996. i currently still do the functions of a sysop by gathering together a superb archive of researches into alternative forms of electricity - books, documentaries, lectures and so forth. so you could say that ive focused into one conference now and sometimes pop out to release music - when asked.

3/ It looks you are active with several labels/netlabels, how do you launch/choose projects ?

im active on such labels etc that got in touch with me. but there are a few that i forget about - it takes time to select tracks and most of the time the current opinion of most start-up/newish/hobby labels is that the artist should not get paid anything.. i mostly turn down any thing where the label does not provide actual mastering of the tracks. if the label is enthusiastic and maintains contact, then its different. ive started to wonder if i should send out some demos of records that i am working on, actually, but havent yet gotten around to it.

4/ What’s your creative process ?
Are you working on tracks for months or do you run several shots on the same time in short delays ?

i might do a track, or a remix in a day, and then tune it around for about 2-3 days until im settled with it, … and then just keep listening to the tune for weeks and almost miss the deadline. there have been only few rare occasions that i have picked up an old track from years ago and then polished it and finished it..

5/ What’s your point about the music industry today ?
Do you feel digital is killing physical ? Is it possible to make a living out of digital music only ?

if people listen to digital or physical items loud and get into it and maybe even buy the original flacs from me then im fine with it. i know some have taken that downloaded digital music of mine and sent it to their favourite festival, thats how i ended up playing in acces-s, 2005, pau, france and it was great! ( )

6/ Can you provide names of your major influences ?

definitely closest friends, both alive and deceased — and what swapping afx/sq/ae records and tracks with brothomstates from 1994-1995 onwards was to me is not quite anything that can be described.

7/ Any plans for an upcoming gig in France ?

why yes. i am ready to come and play in france. the process is simple. a few emails come my way, a date is agreed on, a flight is purchased, that info sent to me, i fly over - have a place to stay (preferably private and with safe electricity + functional sound so i can practice and just enjoy myself in a new place — and eat food, then i play the gig and get given a fee and then am later on sorted out to the place with the audio again, then maybe after a while back to the airport. — or taken to the next place in the tour. yes, im ready for this. is france, tho?

Thanks so much for your time Esa.

Photos credits :
Airport picture by Valoku Vaaja

Laptop and portrait picture by Lauri Rauhanen.

“Unity in nature t-shirt” picture by Evgeniy Kazannik

"Unity in Nature" t-shirt from the Wilhelm Reich Museum - gift clothing accessories which Esa chooses to wear