Lackluster: Repulsine EP: Heathen Harvest Review
Lackluster is a solo-artist IDM project based out of Finland. This "Repulsine EP" is Esa Juhani Ruoho's first release on SLSK Records, and his 16th overall release. Repulsine is a combination of unreleased older tracks and brand new tracks written specifically for this release. For the new listener, it may become quickly obvious that Lackluster is mostly about game music. This is true, as Esa Juhani Ruoho's first love of music came from the C64 game module. The title of this EP "Repulsine" was inspired by the philosopher Viktor Schauberger, and is an ode to water in its myriad forms. A Repulsine is literally a machine that mimics the methods of nature. It should also be known that while most of Esa's music is written in his flat in Finland, every track on this EP was written away from home in places like Ireland, England, and Canada. In essence, this EP is probably the most intuitive, educated, and well thought out release to date from Lackluster. It was written at a time when Esa Juhani Ruoho found himself greatly inspired by the prementioned philosopher, and thus is one of his greatest works.
I must admit that within a few seconds of popping in this album, I was scutinous. I didn't know what to really think of the sound coming out of my speakers as, living with a bunch of gamers, there's a consistent need to bash bands that sound like they use game sound effects in their music. However, somehow this stuff is much more sophisticated, a kind of childlike breakbeat. I must also admit that it was refreshing to pop in an album that wasn't draining in a melancholic or furious way. This is pretty laid back, calm, even happy music. The man himself, when he pulls back his hair, has an almost childish smile to him. The music seems to create a world of bubbly imagery, fluffy clouds and multi-colored skies that draw their realism from the music itself. It matches an atmosphere that doesn't exist on this world, but only in the games that we remember playing as children. Really, to me this is one of the more nostalgiac albums that I have found in recent memory. Game addictions consumed my life in my younger years, even though these days I can't really bother with games other than the most bizarre and disturbing like Silent Hill and Manhunt. It just brings me back to the days of Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis.
I don't really know what crowdd one would recommend this to. I've not heard much IDM in my time here, but even so this is the first album of its type to come into my hands. Its good, that's for sure, so if you enjoy interesting electronica, this would be right up your alley. Or someone looking for music on an emotionally neutral level, something that's not sad, angry, or melodramatic, not even happy per say...its just pretty beats and calm atmospheres. SLSK Records is doing a good thing by supporting artists through their own file-sharing software, so that may be another reason to check them out. This is the first good album i've had an experience with from SLSK Records though.