Lackluster Special Interview For Sutemos
Esa Ruoho aka Lackluster lives not for from Helsinki, in the eastern suburb called Kontula. About his place he says "Countr, country, country... Lots of unemployed people and long ques near alcohol from 8 am..." This explains a little his self-contained nature, eternal opression andnegativity. It reflects in his music, too - it is beautiful, sad, cold and lonely. Although Esa plays his famous 2000-2001 year third albuma in a row, he started to change slightly. It's a pity but the destination in unknow, yet... He could barely could us that himself - Esa has his own sound, which is drowning somewhere now.
On 1st of May, 2003 Lackluster released his album called Showcase (Merck). To this occasion we are offering you an interview.
What was the reason that you started making music? What was it like in the begging?
I wanted to do music. To see if i'd ever get any good at it. It was horrible in the beginning and still is.
Does the rough climate influence your music? Does your musical monotony come from that?
Musical monotony. Thanks. I guess my musical monotony comes from never leaving the apartment. What you do and where you live influences your behavioural patterns and emotions and moods, which in turn might have a bit to do with music.
What do exactly dates in your tracks names mean?
The day the track was made on.
Do you always tend to use newest technologies? Could you tell us what does your studio looks like.
My Studio. (image missing)
What do you think about possibilities of software ? do unlimited possibilities help to make music?
Yes and no. I tend to steer away from trying out new vstinstruments or plugins, mostly because it takes a long while to learn to use them, and there just isn't any time.
How do you organize your gigs? What software/hardware do you use?
I try to play music at gigs and try to not have a crash. I've played a few gigs with different setups but right now i just use a laptop and Ableton Live for everything. excellent livetool, btw.
When making music are you more into technical or ideological aspects?
Both are one and the same. You can concentrate on the technical and come up with a really wicked sound, or you can go with an idea and proceed from there.
Could you tell us about the process of making 131099 video ? what was the budget of that (if there was any), who was the producer of it and etc.
Gave a cdr of trax to Pauli Ojala , he chose 131099, took out his videocamera and worked on it for a few whiles and there it was. I'm guessing the electricity cost a bit. We haven't collaborated since, i guess mostly because i havent given him a cdr of newer material. After 131099, a collective called Frogbomb was set up and they did a video for 071099, which you can see on their webpage. Also, Me & Stevie have been working on a video for, well, the past 2 years or so. It's for the track SHK2X from Wrapping, and in the meantime we also did a brief ambient piece called 'gush', with my track 090302 on it. It's available from the website. Satori also made our previous 98-01 demos available as mpegs, those could be worth a look. All of these are directly linked from www.lackluster.org -> downloads. I was recently commissioned to do music for a modern dance performance, but the finished product (my music), well, it's nothing to talk about really.
Aren't you bored to put yourself into one musical style? Can you still express yourself like this? Are you trying to have your own style?
What makes you think i put myself into one musical style, and one style only? Am i trying to have my own style? is that even a serious question? I've been told i sound like me no matter what i do, so perhaps the sound of me is the style of me. Just because i put a specific kind of 'style' of music out on records doesn't mean i dont experiment with other 'styles'.
What is the inspiration of your music?
I am told it can alter moods and make you feel better if you're depressed.
Do you always have a concrete vision of the album? Or is it just a compilation of your best tracks?
Spaces (U-Cover) ended up like it is because i concentrated on giving them the kind of stuff they had explored on previous releases. In that way it could be a conceptual album, but i doubt it. Just because you pick a strand and follow that doesnt mean its a concrete vision. So far all my releases have been compilations of trax that the labelboss either likes, or that go well together. Or both.
Do record label influence your music?
I tend to try to give them stuff that they might like. That does not in any way (in ANY WAY) influence what i write and how i do it. When i write, it doesn't have anything to do with labels. Or genres.
Who is the cover designer of your albums?
There have been a few. Container artwork consists of ben@think1 receiving a vector-LL-logo which was created by my friend Eetu Martola. Spacesartwork was taken care of by U-Cover resident artists, Wrapping artwork was all ben@think1, Showcase artwork was crafted by Timo Lilja , the Rikos7" artwork by Antti Jadertpolm while Merck 12" artwork was taken care of by my friend Jaakko Iisalo. I tend to like to use friends for artwork because mostly they either can be persuaded to do artwork, or they already want to. + I want nice artwork and can trust friends to come up with some.
Are you interested about spreading information about yourself and your music? If so ? which comes first?
Music comes first. Who I am/what i am like as a person doesnt matter.
What are your musical plans?
I intend to purchase a bit of gear this year, try to learn it inside & out. Move my setup back to the bedroom and do some serious thinking as to which bit of gear to place where and possibly think about doing a track or two, and churn up a remix. Or twenty.
Do you imagine yourself making music not alone?
If in the right situation, then yes. I don't work well with strangers, nor do i work well with people i hold to high esteem. i'm not a very co-operative outgoing person. I'd like to do something together with two or three friends, but i tend to not be able to deliver anything, or get stagefright (so to speak) when they're around. It's sad, but perhaps in time i'll grow out of it.
Are you satisfied with the music you make?
I'm a tree. hear me roar: grawr!
What is that u like/dislike about present IDM music and what music/artists u listen yourself?
Too many people pretending to be trees. I'm into Brothomstates, Sense, Vim, L'usine Icl, Super Collider, Luke Vibert. Among others. The last few records i've played were: Autechre: Draft7.30. Bj? Vespertine. Radiohead: There there. l'usine icl: Iron City. Moloko: I Am Not A Doctor, Herbie Hancock: Secrets. Autechre: Envane. Boards of Canada: In a Beautiful Place Out In The Country. Ian Pooley: Since Then. Herbie Hancock: Thrust.
[ Intro/Interview: Walkman ]
[ Photos: Lauri Rauhanen & Valokuvaaja ]