Lackluster: Showcase: The Wire Review


78 minutes of moody, crepuscular Techno, created in Helsinki by a man so confident in his own abilities that he chooses a name like Lackluster - hardly the most immediately appealing prospect in the history of recorded sound.

The artwork isn't particularly inviting either - meticulous drawings of a gloved hand dissecting a butterfly with a scalpel. But this selection, which gathers into one place pieces recorded by Esa Ruoho between 1999 and 2001 and released on various 7"s, 12"s and compilations released during that period, is shot through with sparks of imagination, suggesting that Ruoho's lowish profile, compared with fellow Finns like Brothomstates and Ovuca is undeserved, if altogether suprising. Lackluster's music is theoretically focused towards the dancefloor, but it's gloomy whispers and muted sparkles don't go out of their way to appeal to the 'hands in the air' brigade.

The more discerning, however, will find much to enjoy in the inventive rhythms and sweet clarity of Ruoho's melodic lines.

-Chris Sharp
the wire
issue 241 march 2004