Stanislav Tolkachev - When You Are Not At Home
By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes. Stanislav Tolkachev is rightly revered as one of the most visionary Techno producers in the genre's lengthy history. On first listen, the level of abstraction prevalent in his work is often too overwhelming to take in, but this is foreground music that repays close, attentive listening and once one's mind finally gets a handle on it, the level of complexity becomes an electrifying draw (Tolkachev's 2015 Semantica EP Walk Along The Bottom is an excellent exemplar).
On When You Are Not At Home, the first things that grab you are the kick drums and the bass. They are absolutely immense, and on certain tracks, simply Ilian Tape-dwarfing immense (Scar, for example, sounds like a fuselage of battering rams that lasts a little over 6 minutes, but by the 4th you're convinced the walls of your house are about to cave in). Five tracks in and you're convinced Tolkachev has opted to take an uncharacteristically aggressive and stripped-down approach which, given the album's marathon running time, is likely to precipitate feelings of punch-drunkenness and frustration at an opportunity clearly missed, but fear not ... sorry, fear MORE: after dainty interlude Apercordis comes And Then She Fell, a bizarre lurching thing that sounds like a game of hi-hat dominoes soundtracked by a Stylophone melody played by someone who hasn't read the instruction book; and if that doesn't ring your misjudgment bell, Five Grams Will Be OK surely will. Here Tolkachev, apparently having already consumed fifty grams before entering the studio, gets weaving, warping and wefting with a battery of samples that include a malfunctioning metronome and various brass and woodwind instruments, first being played correctly, then blown to shrapnel using a gas compressor with sufficient power to inflate a bouncy castle the size of the Empire State Building in 5 seconds flat.
Ten tracks in and with another nine still to go and you wonder whether it might be expedient to have a nice lie down before continuing as Tolkachev has obviously given in to temptation and attempted to create the Techno equivalent of a mass breakout from Broadmoor following the accidental discovery of a smuggled cache of anti-tank missiles, 2000 bottles of 187° proof Ukrainian vodka and a surround-sound stereo system linked to the hospital tannoy modified to play Motörhead's No Sleep 'Til Hammersmith at 200db for all eternity. Not long after I first listened to When You Are Not At Home an unfamiliar, unmarked white van appeared outside my home. I was subsequently told that, providing I don't eat anyone, my section may be rescinded in 3 years. It's a good job I darned a skeleton key into my left sock before the delicious looking nurses incarcerated me in the room with the cushions on the wall. Don't tell anyone but I'm on my way to Resident Advisor's head office as we speak. It irritated me that they slated this record. And I'm absolutely fucking RAVENOUS.
8/10 after 15 listens