New Speak, 2005
It’s hard to believe this is the first Lackluster release I’ve covered. Finnish artist Esa Juhani Ruoho is both creative and prolific. Some of his tracks have an old Artificial Intelligence-era simplicity, but others are along the lines of recent material from Kettel and Metamatics. “Kosmos 7” is an example of a short, pretty track with some newish sounds. “Hiatus” is even better—lush electronic bells swarm over thick beats and bass. Another fun track is “N,” which sounds like a tune from Mega Man 2, with sweeping melancholy chords over a lo-fi beat. At under forty minutes, this is more an EP than an album. Nonetheless, it’s a great slice of music for fans of melodic electronics.