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Handle: Distance
Real Name: Esa Juhani Ruoho
Lived in: Finland
Ex.Handles: Esa Ruoho, Esa J. Ruoho, Lackluster
Was a member of: Amour, Brainlez Coders (BC - bC!), Calodox (CDX), Digital Artists Wired Nation (Dawn3), HiRMU, Kahvi, Lackluster, Level-D (LVD), MadWizards (MAWI - MWI), Milk, Mono211 (M211), Monotonik (MONO - No' Mo' - MT - MTK), Orange, The Planet of Leather Moomins (TPOLM)

Modules: 149  online
Interview: Read!
Pictures: 9  online


          `n.          .rP'
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            TLb.  ,dMP'          all rite, now you get the chance to read
             TML.dMMP            some facts about some of the major amiga
          ,nmm`XXMPX              musicians. read about their history in 
       ,#MP'~~XNXYNXTb.          the scene and their plans in future.yes, 
     ,d~'     dNNP `YNTb.       that's meant to be read while listening to  
    ,~       ,NN'     `YNb   their modules. read 'em over and over and over..
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    Handle: Distance

    Group: Orange

    Date of birth: 26.10.1978

  • 1-How did your interest for computers start? Which year was that?

  • My dad soldered together a machine back in 1977-1978 out of a D-I-Y kit,
    something with the name 'telmac' on it. I was born 1978. my earliest memories
    are playing games on old machines with 4kb of memory or some such idiocy. there
    was also a speaker that let me hear the data on the tape while loading it,
    something I havent ever really thought about, before this.
    i've been using computers, literally, all my life.

  • 2-What machines did you previously have? What did you do with them?

  • My dad had telmac (something). telmac 600. salora fellow(x2). atari 800xl(x4-5).
    atari 320xe(x3). c64 for a month, c128 for a day, then a c128d.
    amiga 500 (1986). ibm ps/2 286/10mhz (1992). 486/33. atari mega st.
    486dx2/66. 486dx4/100. p333. k700 (2000). then I bought 1.4ghz desktop
    (2001). sony vaio 2ghz laptop (2003).

    I used almost every single one for games, but also tried to get sounds out
    of the old atari 8bits (this would be loading the composer and clicking randomly
    without any sense and then returnin back to playing games), the amiga500
    (protracker, to look at modules and hit the keyboard randomly to change patterns.
    to date i've done 1 pattern with protracker which would've been around
    the time 'revolutions' (jmjarre) came out, to try and replicate a melody of
    his to ask my friend if he knew which track it was off of the album, needless to
    say, he refused to identify it)) and 486/33 onwards . I only got to tracking
    with the pc (ft1->ft2->st3->it2->buzz).

    Ran a bbs (cloudcity) from the ps/2 onwards (1992), shut it down middle of
    2000 due to moving to being unable to get share.exe working with the k700, a
    newer version of windows, therefore being unable to have qfront+pcboard running
    properly while doing stuff. Unfortunately, 16/05/2000 was the deathknell of
    cloudcity. ohwell, it got to 7,5 years or so of life.

  • 3-For what specific reason did you end up making music rather than gfx, coding?

  • I did go thru the phase of typing in games from magazines for the atari and
    the c128d, and did do very humble and simple basic programming to get into very
    limited multiple-choice games. I did try to cheat in textadventures by switching
    the code around, but apart from all that basic learning from various books and
    typing something simple out, I never really progressed in that. then later on
    i'd have a hand quickly with pascal around middle-to-late nineties, but that
    lasted maybe 3-4 weeks.
    I did comprehend it. in a way. I tried my hand at pixeling on deluxepaint 2
    + 3 and later dp2e, but again didn't really have the patience nor the palette
    setting skills. thru all of this I was still very fond of the music in demos
    and games, I taped my favourites and used to listen to them obsessively.
    i started paying attention to soundtracker and music made with it around I
    dont know when, and I ended up collecting enormosu amounts of modules and
    listening to them, and maybe looking at them sometimes. using dual module
    player or capamod or the trackers themselves. Around 93 or 94 i'd be doing
    something on fasttracker1, but it was mostly to create ghastly noise..

    This would be kind of a situation where doing some noise would be the aural
    equivalent of hitting a visiting friend with a plank, or taking photos of me
    eating a computermagazine, to get the setting/ intent right. completely
    just fooling around. I still have everything. I absolutely hated the 'press
    space to start editing' aspect of ft1, come to think of it, every single
    tracker that has it. I could never comprehend about where drums should
    be placed for a simple tempo. I mean, obviously I could have, but the way
    ft1/pressing space were set up, I just couldnt concentrate on it enough.
    almost everything I did on ft1 was rather fluctuating in tempo and mostly the
    length of a pattern.. it would take hours and a very intent frame of mind to
    get a steady beat, but eventually I did handle it. then ft2 came around, and
    I tried it for a while, but just couldn't do anything with it. I did work out
    some sort of tracks with startings and endings, but this would have been with
    samples ripped from only one module at a time. then I tried st3 and
    immediately realized that this was the editingsystem for me.

    That really caught my attention. st3 was just so, incredibly, quick. spent
    most of my time doing chiptunes for the 20 minute chipcompos, and arsing about.
    I did do a whole lot of tracks but mostly I just arsed about with the
    compotracks, maybe doing 3-4 completely senseless tracks for a competition. I
    remember using at least 'puatti' as an alias to get away with murder. I kind of
    hid behind a few handles but never really put them anywhere. slowly (quickly,
    compared to what getting better with ft1/ft2 was like) I got to really pay
    attention and focus. I never really believed in my music or thought it was
    anything other than just mess. I got to music and sysoping because those were
    the things I wanted to do, the things I enjoyed doing. both were simpler
    than pixeling or coding.

  • 4-Which composing programs have you been using? Which one in particular?

  • fasttracker 1, 2, screamtracker 3, impulsetracker 2, buzz tracker, reason,
    audiomulch, renoise, logic audio platinum.. mostly logic nowadays.
    i made most of "the" tunes with impulsetracker.. the ones that some might
    still remember.

  • 5-With which module did you feel you had reached your goal?

  • there are so many.. but none are very long, none of them would ever be the
    one pinnacle. I did a load of short cutesy things, mostly chiptunes, that i'm
    still very fond of, but i've never done that ONE module that says it all.
    maybe i've never really reached for that, or given myself lee-way to aspire to
    surpass my limitations, and reach for gold.

  • 6-Is there a tune you would like not to remember? For what reason?

  • there are so many.. I think 'ripping pain' is probably the worst released
    thing, but there are so many more that will hopefully never be heard. I think
    certain old impulsetrackermodules such as 'another chappie' 'gummy' 'gummy2'
    'flow' are very scattered or very loopy.. or both.

  • 7-In your opinion, what's the value of a music in a demo, game?

  • demo 90% buildingblock of the whole mood
    game 30% background mood-setting

  • 8-At present, are you still composing? For professional or leisure purposes?

  • I am always composing, even if I might not be doing it that often .i've come
    to view life as composing. I will continue on doing tracks for as long as I can
    still hear and feel.

    I've been commissioned to create soundeffects and backgroundmusic for a
    corporate website (2002).

    I've been commissioned to create musical accompaniment to a modern dance
    performance (2003).

    I've been commissioned to create remixes for scene and (mostly) non-scene
    musicians, which have been released on various formats.
    im sure theres loads more I could do when the need arises, but I just havent
    been asked.

    doing a whole lot of tracks and getting them released is still a leisure
    purpose, right?

  • 9-What do you think of today's pieces of music such as mpeg,wave,midi,etc...?

  • what can I think of fileformats or standards?

    if there's good music, its good completely independent of the fileformat.

    I've moved to using midi gear sometimes, and its sweet. no cpu overloads,
    etc. wavefiles take shitloads of space,i always keep running outa space, but
    thats my own problem. mp3s are nifty. I cant dj .oggs under native instruments
    traktor, so not too keen on that format. I dont really understand this question

    they're all fileformats.

    I think modules have a sound of their own, however. I think there is probably
    more editing and more actual handiwork involved in doing a very good module.
    i've also noticed that old modules are much more musical and diverse than most
    of what is currently being produced with laptops etc. it is a bit of a shame,
    that the adventurous side of modules has kind of vanished..

  • 10-Could you tell us some of your all times favourite tunes?

  • there are so many. I think the sleeker tunes by strobo, heatbeat, spaceman,
    ukulele, groo,dizzy etc.. Really changed my life. there are far too many to
    be listed. all in all, I miss those times when people could come up with rather
    diverse material on any given day, instead of being stuck using certain
    sequencers or softsynths or wotever. My alltime favourite format is the
    4channel module, however. so many good tunes made with that. especially by
    members of cncd.

  • 11-Are you planning to make an audio cd with some of your music remastered?

  • How do I answer this question?
    I have released a load of 'my music' 'remastered' on cds and vinyl.
    the first album, container (2000), was released on deFocus, and consisted of
    only impulsetracker modules. The second album, wrapping (2002/deFocus),
    contained impulsetracker/audiomulch/buzztracker/gear.improv.trax, showcase
    (2003/merck) was more of an ode towards buzztracker. between these 3 there
    have been some vinyls which have had modules on them, a few impulsetracker
    ones, but mostly buzztracker stuff. I am currently sorting out a release for a
    12" with 1995-2000 modules, st3/it2, mastered. there seems to be something that
    'container' and 'cdr#2' era material "did right", that I do differently now,
    in a more populistic and watered down way, not that thats my choice but that
    is that seems to be happening. I think the last time I used impulsetracker
    properly was in 2000-2001 when i'd (on top of merely tracking) be running
    left / right channels thru different outboard effects+eq and then recording the
    output. i've been meaning to get back to tracking, as IT2 is STILL the quickest
    editing interface i've ever come across. I dont think a single midisequencer is
    ever going to be as fast. unfortunately I cannot get impulsetracker working
    (the old DOS non-laggy way) on this laptop and I sorely miss the quickness of
    loading samples into IT, the cut'n'pasting methods, the transposes, the
    jump-x-rows, the effects, the NNA's, the absolutely ridiculous polyphonic
    capabilities, the crappy crappy filters (maybe I dont actually miss those)..
    its a damn shame, incompatible software/hardware. ridiculous.

  • 12-What bands are you currently listenning to?

  • I dont really listen to other people's stuff, and ever since I developed
    tinnitus in 2003 i've been cutting down on listening to anything by anyone
    else. I spend most of my time listening to unfinished tracks trying to convince
    myself they need, or dont need, any finishing touches. I value the virtuosity
    of jamie lidell and tom jenkinson. i like the diversity of matthew herbert and
    scott prefuse73/savath+savalas/delarosa+asora. I admire, and appreciate the
    otherworldliness of boards of canada. I find marvin gaye to be one voice
    that should not have been silenced. there is so much nice/decent music out
    there.. but there are very few absolutely gifted artists. if you must start
    forming different cliques and scenes, i'd have a lot of records released on
    warp. to start listing any music that i've been listening to this year would
    be completely ridiculous. if I say I might listen to luke vibert, doesnt mean
    that im going to be putting his stuff on the rest of the year.

  • 13-What does/did the amiga/c64 scene give you?

  • the c64/amiga/pc scene gave me an endless inferiority complex. or maybe I
    just came in with one. all of the scenes gave me touching demos, some
    magnificent music, and a lot of modules to collect. in other words, thrills.

  • 14-Are you still active in the scene these days?

  • if I visit a person whose taste I trust and who has a proper displaycard, I
    will ask if there have been any good demos/intros/etc lately.
    I might sometimes check out a diskmag if I see one advertised. havent really
    gone to parties for ages, asm01/asm03 were the latest ones.
    i dont get asked to do a track for a intro or for a demo, or for diskmags,
    or anything, mostly probably cos I never really did multipart demosongs
    and maybe also because the active people are there and im just an outsider.

  • 15-Anyone to greet? Anything left to say? Feel free...

  • greetings to mikko havukainen, a.k.a., weasel/amour, who sadly isnt among us
    anymore (he died 2001-2002). your chips+code+attitudes are missed.

    i have a list somewhere of people I always wanted to greet, but it might be
    rather out-of-date nowadays. so im not goin to look for it, instead
    i'm just goin to try and remember. not goin to bother with groups.
    greets to: 99, hoplite, derpiipo, postmanpat, bakedfred, dune, sulphur, haplo,
    zeb, unreal, zden, akira, melwyn, lemming, virne, visualice, saffron, acen,
    tarot, scorpik, vim, daze, prymer, jate, sivu, mov, duke, bca, mellow-d,
    feather, croaker, multiplex, ps, leia, jaws, nogsf, stevie, primon, recc, wrec,
    mirror, gimle, warp, reanimator, sparr, gandalf, viinikala, brainpower,
    firehawk, moody, radix, balrog(sushibrother), frankbolero, hoffman, dharma1,
    prob.(dice), tonic, nitro, sol, dr.snuggles(arto), greaser, barti, 4t_thieves,
    strala(vae), diskreet, sliver(lenzi), apollo(kuuba), entropy(otto_hj), thor,
    kraku, weed, frank(eetu), damaq, draft, tonic, h0l, krav, camel, cybe, d-fens,
    basse, baloo, whisker, riot, tjm, twoinone, subi, grave, thug(tim koch),
    spermwhale, maxim, zeus, phobia, wizard, krii, i think im all greeted out.
    if you feel like you should've been greeted, then maybe you should've
    featured in my memories of the parties i've been to, the people i've
    associated with.

    anything left to say? try to see thru the status quo, take your eyes and
    look in, from the outside, and see what is normal and what isn't.
    see what is right and what isn't. look. seek. search for information, weigh
    it by your intuition, try to see beyond these wholly artificial
    man-made systems, -isms, movements. we're human beings locked in a multitude
    of systems, trapped by money, our own consumer-ism and man-made laws.
    there is no reason for fear or hatred, it is only created for profit, adn
    ask yourself, who really profits from hatred and strife? if an increase
    is detected in computer sales, computer companies will be happy. they will
    advertise and market their products to us, and convince us to buy them.
    weapons manufacturers act in the same way. every company is interested in
    profit. we, as mankind, are going to hell in a handbasket, on so many
    levels it is sickening to try to grasp the whole picture. ecologically, we
    are in for a complete catastrophy, in fact, it is happening, right now,
    but not being reported by the mainstream medias. not properly. not
    meaningfully. humanity.. are there any humane people left? where is the
    not here. once information leaks thru, apathy commences. there is no hope.
    nothing can be done. I just want my kicks. why should I care about anything?
    there is nothing I can do. defeat-ism. man-made -isms. again. try to see
    beyond the trivial into the true way things are. use your intuition. what is
    right, anymore? it is 2004. where is the future? we're depending on non-renewing
    resources to keep this system alive, while no-one is really interested in
    developing and inventing new powersources, less destructive ways of farming,
    no-one wants to move away from oil/gasoline, solar power and wind turbines
    are in their babyshoes, no real progress is being made, while huge
    corporations are only too happy to make the profits while being (like
    everyone else)
    completely guilty of wrecking our planet. everything we as a group of people
    do, damages planet earth and we should be wiser than to leave a lasting
    footprint. everything is completely upside down. one can buy death from a
    shop and be happy. death for oneself, death for the planet, death to joy and
    completely artificial systems, guided by greed for money and lust for power.
    whole governments based on hypocrisy, moneygrabbing and politics. how
    long do you really think this is going to go on until the oceanline starts
    threatening us all, until most of us are dying from cancer, until there
    is no non-polluted water, until we run out of oil, until we cannot breathe
    the air due to no trees and too much smog, until hypocrisy and hatred
    engulf us all and no-one wants to do anything about it? no-one wants to even
    hear about it? what a shame. none of us are right. I dont want this future,
    can I have another one?

    please note: this interview is ©opyrighted in 2005 by crown of cryptoburners

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