- Lackluster: Hmainham
- Lackluster: TKB
- Lackluster: Screech
- Lackluster: One Cycle (More)
- Lackluster: LL060205
- Lackluster: Yoggi
"Repulsine" is I.D.M. Legend Lackluster's 16th release and first release on Soulseek's "SLSK Records" label.
Since 1997 Lackluster has been creating inspirational I.D.M., starting with his roots in tracker and chip-tunes, growing ever more sophisticated in his musical aesthetic. "Repulsine" is Lackluster's newest offering; a 6 song EP, it is a combination of unreleased older tracks written specifically for this release.
While the title "Repulsine" may just sound like a play on words, the origins of the title for this EP go much deeper than a mere calembour.
Inspired by the writings of the visionary thinker Viktor Schauberger, "Repulsine" is an ode to water in its myriad forms. Schauberger's core idea was that life is sustained by a gathering, inwards type of movement; the Repulsine was his way of physically manifesting this theory. A Repulsine is a machine that mimics the methods of nature; it creates energy by encouraging a centripetal, inwardly spiraling movement of water or air. Absolute straight lines are rarely a natural occurrence; therefore the Repulsine mimics the curved lines that are the mainstay of our natural environment.
Lackluster (a.k.a. Esa Ruoho) says; "The strands of thought expressed by Viktor Schauberger about water made my intuition resonate with recognition about the reality and truth of Schauberger's glimpses into nature's inner workings; it made me sit up and take note. This led me on a search that is far from finished, but which has currently resulted in my homage to Schauberger, water, and implosion." Although Esa Ruoho is a native of Finland, each track on "Repulsine" was composed while Esa was far away from home, under the influence of the beauty of his natural surroundings. Rothe Abbey, Ireland, Shoreditch, England, and Regina, in Saskatchewan, Canada all helped to feul Esa's creative flow.
Esa explains further; "I suppose I compiled these songs because I wanted it to be a happy, cheerful, joyful, simple, and frank EP which is reaching towards the day that the "Utopian" thoughts of Schauberger, Tesla, Reich, Buckminster Fuller, etc. will be accepted as a reality, and are seen put to use, instead of the mess the world is at the moment."
Lackluster delivers his point of view in a most stunning manner; spinning, spiraling vortexes of sound, growing and sweeping heavenward, wash over and through you. Sparkling transcendent melodies can move you through your day or give you space to daydream in. Each song unfolds gracefully, with layer upon layer being added or peeled away, enveloping the listener in a complete aural experience. Lackluster has dug deep into the collective unconscious and offers up something we can all connect with; the beauty and wonder of our natural external reality, the thing that so often we have lost touch with. Listen, relax, and enjoy.
In November 2007, SLSK Records released Repulsine EP, a six track CD release from Lackluster.
The tracks are called "Hmainham", "TKB", "Screech", "One Cycle (More)" "LL060205" and "Yoggi".
Previous appearances, versions, software, meanings:
- Hmainham previously appeared on the V/A: From Our Hoods to Yourz 12" released via RA-X's label Angelmaker Records.
- Hmainham was made with ReViSiT & Ableton Live on Sony Vaio PCG-GRX690, in Summer 2005.
- Hmainham was made in Rothe Abbey, Dublin, Ireland.
- TKB is a re-shuffle of BKT, a track previously released on the "What You Want Isn't What You Need" CD released by Newspeak Records, Ola Bergman's label - which was distributed by Baked Goods.
- BKT, the original, was made in 1998, with impulsetracker.
- Esa remixed BKT into TKB by reversing, altering and jamming with the instruments and sequences of BKT, mixing in rhythms from "Catch22" (Container,2000) and other percussive elements from unreleased/unfinished tracks. Esa composed TKB with Ableton Live in Summer 2005, on the Sony Vaio PCG-GRX690.
- TKB was made in Rothe Abbey, Dublin, Ireland
- Screech was made with Logic Audio Platinum 5.5.1, at French Place, Shoreditch, London, on 15th of December 2003, with the Sony Vaio PCG-GRX690.
- Screech was composed whilst Esa was staying at the flat of Jeanga (Blase Records)
- Esa composed a second track on the same day, "Goodbye Frenchplace", which was released on the Controne Records "Mioku" compilation. This makes "Goodbye Frenchplace" into LL151203B, and "Screech" LL151203.
- One Cycle (More) is a double-tune, One Cycle was composed in Rothe Abbey, Dublin, Ireland in November 2004, using Logic Audio Platinum 5.5.1 and ReViSiT (developed by Chris Nash). Esa composed (More) at Rothe Abbey, during summer 2005, using Ableton Live, Korg 03R/W and the Roland Alphajuno1.
- Esa has performed the "One Cycle" portion of this tune during his liveperformances from 2005 onwards, using Ableton Live.
- Esa composed LL060205 on the 6th of February 2005 in Rothe Abbey, using Korg 03R/W and Logic Audio Platinum 5.5.1 on the Sony Vaio PCG GRX-690.
- LL060205 is Esa's first released MIDI tune wholly produced out of the Korg 03R/W outboard rack-synthesizer (and fed through Logic Audio Platinum 5.5.1 via the RME Hammerfall DSP Multiface soundcard.)
- Esa composed "Yoggi" with Impulsetracker, in April 2001 in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada. - Esa has used Ableton Live to perform Yoggi at live-gigs.
- Repulsine EP's name is Esa's homage to Viktor Schauberger, who has been Esa's interest for a total of four years now.
- The artwork of Repulsine EP consists of photographs of the Repulsine, researched and developed in the 1940s by the nature-copying Viktor Schauberger, for the creation of electricity, heating, airconditioning, waterpurification, particleseparation and levitation.
- Viktor Schauberger is a rather unknown scientist and inventor in the field of biomimicry, the comprehending and copying of nature.
- Four of the songs on Repulsine EP have been composed during Esa's fervent studies of the articles, books, sketches and patents of Viktor Schauberger, in the fields of agriculture, log-fluming, river management, water-turbines, water-purification, natural air-conditioning, oxygen-purification and motors for energy and propulsion production based on the movement he saw in the trout, the eagle, the snake and in his 6 generations acquired family heritage knowledge of the functioning of water in heat and cold, during day and night.
1) In order to acquire permission to use the images in the artwork of Repulsine EP, Esa Ruoho and Roz Arbel (SLSK Records) had to contact the Gateway publishingcompany, and after that contact the book author Callum Coats (author of the "Living Energies", "Energy Evolution" books which certain pages were scanned detailing pictures taken by Richard Feierabend of the Repulsine prototype rescued from USA in the 1990s.) . This process delayed the release of the Repulsine EP for over 7 months.
2) Pirates press, the CD manufacturer, did the first run of Repulsine with faulty artwork (the behind-CD art was slightly off-center). The CDs were demanded to be replaced by SLSK Records, for free, which Pirates Press did, however, a year later Pirates Press were demanding money for the delivery of the off-center CDs also, and would not accept the off-center printed CD's being sent back, which also cost SLSK Records the postage of hundreds of CDs.
3) There were plans of a micro-site made with Flash to further display the Repulsine and Viktor Schauberger's sketches of the time to illustrate the inner workings of nature, perceived by him as an inventor, philosopher, forest-warden and engineer. This never came to pass.
4) SLSK Records did not secure distribution for Repulsine EP, thus meaning it is largely unavailable in the world as a physical release.
5) Esa composed a followup album (Undulate LP) and EP (Expulse EP) to fulfill the contract between Esa Ruoho and SLSK Records. These have not yet been released.
6) All three releases (Repulsine, Undulate, Expulse) are named through the Biomimicry of Viktor Schauberger, the Acoustic Cavitation/Elemental studies of the musician-instrumentmaker-electroacoustic engineer John Ernst Worrell Keely, and the generic studies of Esa Ruoho into Nikola Tesla, Walter Russell, Wilhelm Reich, R. Buckminster Fuller, Thomas Henry Moray, Ed Leedskalnin, John Bedini and Howard Johnson - and nature.
7) As thus, Repulsine EP is a tribute ep to the "Chip-Sound" of 8-bit / 16-bit computer music software and the soundtracks of game-consoles, and a tribute to Viktor Schauberger and other researchers of his ilk.
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Lackluster: Repulsine EP: Cyclic Defrost Review
Over the last decade, Finnish electronic producer Lackluster (real name Esa Ruoho) has grown to become one of the leading lights amongst the global IDM scene, and this 16th release in total from him arrives on the Soulseek network’s new SLSK label imprint – in fact, it’s only the second release for the fledgling label. Apparently inspired by the theoretical writings of visionary thinker Viktor Schauberger, the six tracks collected together on Repulsine represent an ode by Ruoho to water in all of its myriad forms. As the liner notes here elaborate, Schauberger’s central contention was that life is sustained by a gathering, inwards type of movement, and the “repulsine’ concept was his way of physically manifesting his theory. In this case, a repulsine is a machine that mimics the methods of nature, creating energy by encouraging a centripetal, inwardly spiraling movement of water or air. Absolute straight lines are rarely a natural occurrence, therefore the repulsine mimics the curved lines that are the mainstay of our natural environment. The above conceptual conceit is certainly evident in several of the tracks here, which fittingly were produced while Ruoho was on the move between England, Ireland, Canada and his native Finland.
Opening track “Hmainham’ is certainly emblematic of the above conceptual themes, indeed, its soft-focus, drifting ambient synth-pad motifs and effortlessly gliding minimalist broken rhythms aptly recall the lazy ebb and flow of liquid in motion, a rhythmic trajectory that’s nicely picked up on by the considerably more brooding “TKB’, which winds ascending melodic elements through a relentless web of refracted-sounding synth tones and clattering broken polyrhythms. In many senses though the two aforementioned tracks represent the most intriguing inclusions here, with much of the remainder of the tracklisting occupying a somewhat middle of the road utopian-sounding IDM furrow that sadly doesn’t really add very much to the established genre – “One Cycle (More)’ fairly anodyne fusion of wistful glacial synth tones and fractured, snapping broken beats being a case in point. While Repulsine certainly offers plenty of pleasant diversions throughout its 32 minute running length, given Lackluster’s formidable reputation amongst the contemporary IDM genre, I must admit to expecting something a little more “out of the box.’
Cyclic Defrost Review
Lackluster: Repulsine EP: Textura Review
Repulsine, Esa Ruoho's sixteenth Lackluster release, takes its inspiration from Viktor Schauberger, an echo-technology pioneer who created the Repulsine—a nature-mimicking machine that produces energy by encouraging a centripetal, inwardly-spiraling movement of water or air that, ideally, enables the Repulsine to levitate—as a vehicle for manifesting the belief. Of course, being wholly instrumental, the half-hour EP's graceful IDM can just as easily be broached on its own terms minus the conceptual backing (though the spiraling melodic character of the tracks does draw a connection to Schauberger's idea) and handles itself perfectly well if done so. Composed in Ireland, England, and Saskatchewan, the six songs are suitably sunny in spirit (in keeping with the Utopian positivity Ruoho gleans from the writings of Schauberger, Tesla, Buckminster Fuller, etc.) and exude the kind of unsullied innocence and joy one associates with childhood (conveyed most vividly in the see-sawing flow of “Yoggi”). Glistening arcade melodies and jubilantly skipping beats set the tone in the three-minute overture “Hmainham,” a spirit perpetuated by the heavenward spiral of gleaming melodic patterns in “TKB” and in Repulsine's other four pieces.
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.
Lackluster: Repulsine EP: Mixmag Review
Proper old school electronica
Esa Ruoho has been making electronica since the mid-90s, and it shows. This - on the label of download engine Soulseek - could easily have come from a Warp compilation circa 1993, but that doesn't detract from the fact that the rippling synth arpeggios and skittering beats sound absolutely lush. Slightly hippie-ish, maybe, but warm, melodic and definitely lush. (3 out of 5)