EGG BOX 001 featuring LACKLUSTER aka ESA RUOHO
We already gave you a glance of Lackluster's world a while ago (check it out here). But since then he has released The Invisible Spanish Inquisition on Igloo Rec, Dilo's label, who also talked with us last year (check it out here) and got some great reception on listeners and specialized press.
Last time we spoke with finnish producer Esa Ruoho we advised you to keep a watchful eye on him. So in case you didn't, we encouraged him to create an exclusive mix for The Egg Box, and thankfully he didn't refuse, and not just that, he delighted our ears with a journey through his IDM-Ambient-Drone fields, with different atmospheres that holds sweet melodies, oneiric chorus, nu-folk adventures and that special vibe that makes every musical landscape he creates unique. Want some more? It also includes some unreleased tracks and a few words with the man himself which which sit beneath the tracklisting. Enjoy.
01. LFO: Kombat Drinking (1996)
02. Lackluster: Clarity (2005)
03. Preston: Time (2007)
04. Lackluster: Untitled (2009)
05. Lackluster: Labyrinth (2008)
06. Lackluster: Footsteps (2010)
07. Lackluster: Eons (2004)
08. Lackluster: Oldsamples (2005)
09. Savath & Savalas: Yesterday's Throwaway and Reprise (2001)
10. Plug: Dark Matter (1996)
Tell us about the mix you've delivered.
It's more of a blend of music than a djmix (no beatmatching). The podcast contains some unreleased tracks and some rarer tracks. If you're not already familiar with Preston, it's the previous project of the fairly wellknown Phaeleh. The Untitled track is the first track of an album I'm working on. Footsteps was released on the V/A: Terraform (Kahvi Collective-netlabel release), Eons was on the Portal EP (Cornwarning-netlabel). Clarity is on a "The Flows EP" for the Part2records netlabel. Labyrinth is unreleased, Oldsamples is also unreleased but was used in a little demoscene production ("Rund" by Calamity)
The rest of the choices (Savath&Savalas, Plug, LFO) were nobrainers, and just round it out for some nice listenin'.
The Invisible Spanish Inquisition on Igloo Rec last year, would you explain the origin of the name?
The Invisible Spanish Inquisition.. Some would probably prefer to make up their own mind as to the meaning of album titles. But since you asked, most of us are equipped with an in-house spanish inquisition, in our brain, placing accusations and judgements upon us by default.
While we did have a physical spanish inquisition a while ago, the real drag is The Invisible Spanish Inquisition inside our heads. There are many names for it, yet it could be easily summed up as the automatic self-accuser. However, it goes further than that - sometimes one has actually internalized an external judgemental person, and the person is then actually allowing other people to live in his/her mind, rent-free.
The original confrontation is long gone, but one's mind has created a memory, a remnant, a well-worn-groove which one slips into, when one is unsure of oneself. This can actually cause a great deal of schism between human beings, where one person has decided that another person is judgemental and feels vilified and accused, even though the person isn't in the room, and hasn't said anything to the self-perpetuating victim.
If you start looking into Bioenergetics (Alexander Lowen) or Character Analytic Vegetotherapy (Wilhelm Reich), you'll find that there has been a bit of thought invested in, from both sides (and many other modalities) into trying to describe what happens when a child is berated by a parent multiple times about the same subject - the child creates an invisible parent inside the child's mind to make sure the child does not transgress. These grooves, if left unchanged, will keep themselves alive and well up into adulthood and into the grave - and will also appear when the child becomes a parent. But that's just the parent-child side of it, it goes much further.
Societies place certain grooves at our disposal that some feel strongly compelled to follow - and then when they're older, they re-create the same unprocessed/unconscious chassis.. or you could call it a framework. And then there's exotic energy technologies and groundbreaking scientific research into obscure phenomena and unexplainable results (the person operating in this unmapped territory tends to also create a little Invisible Academic Court inside their mind) and might respond to any questions as if it was an accusation.
Of course, when it comes to experimental research, there is actually a bit of a resistance towards it -(at least a small amount of resistance for "notions posed by outsiders" from the insiders, from the clique. But sometimes it truly is not as strong as the outsider thinks) it is actually much stronger inside his mind than it is outside his mind. So it's like having ghosts from your actual past experiences, ghosts based on information provided by rumours ("I heard that person x is y about z"), and some figment of truth - albeit seen through a very, very dim, scratched and dusty lens, but I digress.
Dilo, who runs Igloo Records, suggested that we should work together, and I started sending him tunes. After about 50-60 tunes, he started picking the ones he really favored, and then created a trackorder for an EP and an LP. Releasing older tracks is always a bit of an issue for me, which was one of the reasons I started adding dates (Showcase, Merck, 2003) or years (PortalEP, CornWarning, 2009) to the tracks. Eventually it became obvious that the date or year a track was made on, does not matter in any way to the listener. A track you made in 1996 might be as enjoyable as (or more than) a track made in 2012, it's all just music to the listener. So, to cut the waffly bits short, I'll just say this: I've got a bit of a court inside my mind which states that a new album released in 2012 should be an album consisting of tracks made in 2011 and 2012, or, if at all possible, in the same month as the releasedate. It feels like an accusation: "Where's the new stuff? How come you released "Endless", it was made in January 2003?! Who would want to hear this tune at the end of 2011?? Who are you kidding?! You're so lazy". . . So I just decided to allow for a compilation to exist, and to not think too much about whether it's the freshest newest stuff -- rather being more interested in how passionate Dilo was about picking the best tracks and the best order. In the end it has proven that Endless is a very enjoyable track for some, and I hope that knowing when it was made does not diminish it's effect.
It could have been called "Internalized oppression" or "Internalized self-suppression". It's something from the outside which has gotten locked into your own character - without you necessarily being aware of it in any shape or form. Some take the time to start noticing what they think about and how they react to things - and they start realizing they haven't updated their mental software, and that some of the drivers are still there from their childhood, and some, of course, from puberty.
How was the creation process?
Pretty painless, but probably not for Dilo, having to go through about half a hundred tracks and make up his mind - there were multiple track selections, this one came out.
Describe us how was your last live presentation, when & where, setup used, vibe, etc.
My latest recorded gig was in Augsburg, Germany (thanks Manny!), at the Lab30 Festival. It was the 4th time playing at Lab30 and they recorded it, you can listen to it here:
I played as warmup for Legowelt, Funckarma and Karsten Pflum. Setup was, as usual, Ableton Live running on OS X 10.6.8 on my 2.66ghz 15" MacbookPro and a mouse. As to the vibe of the set, well, you can just play it. Got off to a rocky start but there are some nice moments.. since then my latest gig was in Kiev, Ukraine, but I don't have a soundcloud url for that right now.
The mini 3" cd-r on Attenuation Circuit last December were really great news. How did that came up?
The Attenuation Circuit connection came about due to Augsburg, too. I stayed at Sascha's (Emerge) place, who runs the label, and I happened to have two tracks on my drive that were definitely Esa Ruoho material, and thus gave them to him for listening. The first one I made last year, started creating a 20 minute work for a sonic competition announced around Q1 of 2011 (the city of Joensuu were seeking audio contributions for a specific street) where multiple speakers would play the works. I never ended up contributing it to the competition, as a friend suggested that it was far too violent to be played as backgroundmusic. I meant to start from scratch and do something else but then it was time to start & finish remixes and do other things, so I just left it as is.
Joensuu is the mouth of the river so Riversmouth was a fairly obvious working title (so I'd recognize it out of the usual 074_34jtjdv2å34åtgkf -type filenames).
Sascha mailed me fairly quickly and told me he really liked it and wanted to release it on Attenuation Circuit. I only really work with people who are enthusiastic about music - I have a fairly good idea of how "the music biz" is, I don't need to hear how bad it is from other people.. Some will actually send you emails that are closer to moany than upbeat, as introductions. "Hi, I'd be interested in releasing you, oh, here's 6 paragraphs about how poor the industry is and how bad things are" -- way to inspire, guys.
I also gave Sascha a second, 74minute track, which is actually a turned down remix of "Empires of Dust" by Anodyne (the 2nd mix made the remix EP, which, by the way, was just released on the 9th of January 2012). "A 74 minute remix? Are you insane?" Well, it was 6-7 minutes long originally. Some will know what I did. I ended up listening to this odyssey quite a bit, and noticed that it had so many states and segments that it just made sense to give it to someone for listening, someone who 1) releases ambient drone 2) will know if it's any good.
I basically gave Sascha at Attenuation Circuit two trax to see what he would think of 'em (as I trusted him to know if they were music or toss). He liked them both (the second track might come out by the end of this year) if I can figure out a name for it! The other reason of course was this really amazingly cute & dinky format, a 3" minicd-r is cutesy by itself, but slap it inside a mini-dvd-case and you've got a format I've never released in.
Guess it's not your first approach in tracks of this length, right?
I think there have been long tracks before.. ("Meyouit" on Proof of Concept EP (YukiYaki, free D/L), "Notesarentenough" on a netlabel V/A: [WaW005] Fuzzy: A Collection of Reflection.. and my remix for Xurba. And of course the Esa Ruoho material on Spaces LP (U-Cover) and Places EP (Grundruck) (both are on http://lackluster.bandcamp.com/). "Eons" and "Lubiszewski Beats" on Portal EP).
So it's not the first time. Sometimes there needs to be adequate space (and sometimes it's the only version available...) Whether some of these tracks would be more immediate or somehow magically better if they were shorter, who knows. I just like to have a song do something to my head - and sometimes it rides on a bit longer than some would like (it seems the trend is to have a 2 or 3 minute track just so you can have the next one play soon.. which is fine for active people, I suppose.. but my trax were never short or immediate - and hardly ever catchy after the watermark which was '99 - '00).
What are your future plans so far?
I have an ambient drone album coming out on a netlabel. the name of the album is "On The Hangar of Spaceship Earth". I have a gig in Kiev, Ukraine on the 10th of March 2012. Apart from that, the table is empty.