Lackluster: Showcase: Grooves Review


Finland's Eso ruoho is known for being on the mellow side of the IDM camp, with ambient, contemplative melodies gently flowing across earholes while downtempo beats shuffle assiduously in generally perfect electro step.
There are also amply rigorous rhythms that could inspire robotic movements across a particularly adventurous dancefloor. Fans of that style will not be disappointed with Showcase, as Ruoho chooses his atmospheres well, even if he doesn't exactly transcend the rigidly cautious boundaries determined by this cottage industry.

The seventh track, "Strateface," is especially infectious, sporting that bubblegum-funk Toytronic vibe. Because most of these songs are selections from previous releases on labels such as Rikos, Surgery, and DeFocus, there's considerably less filler to wade through than on some of his other full-lengths --most pieces seem to have been designed to be heavy hitters.

Ruoho is an above-average descendant of the general aesthetic handed down over the years from those seminal Artificial Intelligence compilations on Warp, playing carefully by the numbers.

Manny Theiner