Infamy is a status that is sought by some and feared by many. In music it can be achieved as the by-product of being a visionary, teamed with reckless behaviour. All the greats that we have seen over the last century have had an essence of infamy about them; Cobain, Hendrix, Mingus. In the present day however, it takes a lot to credit far-sightedness when it comes to music - even more so in the Techno world. That’s exactly where Stanislav Tolkachev comes into the equation.
Ukraine is hardly at the forefront when it comes to electronic music, however it’s this isolation that could be a creditable factor as to what has driven Tolkachev’s brand of psychoactive Techno to the forefront of the contemporary dance scene. Being a regular contributor to the industry for over a decade now, he plays testament to the old adage “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. Employing complex musical mechanisms such as dodecaphony and competing time signatures (a DJ’s worst nightmare…) gives the tracks a timeless quality with abyssal layers.
The Ukranian’s unique talent has seen him build up a very enviable discography. Dasha Rush’s Full Panda Records, Svreca’s Semantica and Developer’s Modularz are just a few of the labels Stanislav has made appearances on over his career, not to mention a myriad of remixes on even more reputable labels. So it comes as no surprise that his initial release on Bas Mooy‘s Mord comes in the form of a full length LP.
When You Are Not At Home spreads itself across 19 tracks. At first listen, the album could be perceived as a haven for the dancefloor, however it’s only when put into practice that one encounters the ordered chaos synonymous with the producer. The 4/4 kick drum is normally a fail safe tool for DJs of all calibre, but when used in conjunction with some seriously off-kilter hi-hats and wonky synth lines, it can throw off the most head strong of selectors!
“Disposable Killer“, “Mostly Harmless” and “5 Grams Will Be OK” all travel the same route. Set on top of hearty kick drums, the synth lines and (seemingly) haphazard hat programming create a sense of disorientation to both rhythm and timing to very good effect. It’s very hard to pinpoint Tolkachev’s strengths as with every niche he uncovers across the board, he seems to be right at home. There are not many artists that can piece together percussion the way he does, disrupting the natural cadences the human ear is trained for and still make it sound so classy; the way he does so in the title track “When You Are Not At Home“. The three variants of “No Matter What They’ve Told You“, which come as digital bonus track, add a very nice touch where he pushes his modular synths to their limits for a no holds barred jam session, the (b) edition bears an especially brutal snarl.
For an avid fan of the luminary, the album would not be considered as pushing any boundaries at all. But he plays to his strengths very well brandishing his many talents well over a well curated album format.
- Reviewed by Jenagan Sivakuma for deathtechno.com