- It's always difficult to write about Stanislav Tolkachev's music. Outstanding production quality aside, the Ukraine-based artist's sense of emotion is what makes him such a captivating figure. It can be tough—for me, at least—to describe exactly why Tolkachev's output feels more authentic than techno built with similar sounds. We can talk endlessly about his crunchy synths and psychedelic soundscapes, but countless other producers use those things with less affecting results.
Maybe it has something to do with Tolkachev not concerning himself with playing the game. Since debuting a decade ago, he's released on close to 20 labels, many of them virtually unheard of. There's no discernable difference in quality across the discography—he isn't saving his best tracks for better-known operations, but rather puts out a constant stream of music through whatever appropriate label will take it. There doesn't appear to be anything calculated about Tolkachev's approach, which sets him apart from the majority of his peers.
What Are You Thinking About, Little Duck? is the latest work to emerge. The two-track 10-inch lands on new Gost Zvuk sublabel Gost Instrument, and comprises one beatless track and a more traditional techno cut. The beatless "Optical Illusions" is what most people will be drawn to. Much like his excellent ambient excursions on DJ-friendly releases for M_REC LTD and Semantica, the A-side is vibrant, trippy and full of feeling. Tolkachev piles on layers of dazzling synths that implode euphorically in the second-half of "Optical Illusions." On the flip, "Suddenly I Realised," with drums and rattling keys, lands closer to the dark end of the techno spectrum. It's not particularly club-ready, but nonetheless stands as another enthralling piece in the Tolkachev puzzle.
A1 Optical Illusions
B1 Suddenly I Realised