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Stanislav Tolkachev - Addicted Podcast #10
Despite being Ukrainians ourselves, it took us quite a while to feature our compatriot in the Addicted podcast series. There was no doubt Stanislav Tolkachev would be a perfect match for that kind of debut, as this guy is quickly becoming the most promising techno name hailing from our country, with a handful of vinyl records and gigs in both Berghain and Tresor behind his back. The mix he did for us consists exclusively of his own tracks (most of them being unreleased) and quite possibly represents the side of Stanislav Tolkachev some of you are hardly aware of.
- There is a common thought among musicians coming from places considered exotic in terms of techno music that being separated from the so-called centers of the scene may make you appreciate music more than people who take it for granted do. Do you feel like this is something that might be the case for you?
- Probably, this ‘rule’ could be also applied to art generally, not only music – I would call this some kind of sublimation if I may. When you are constantly reminded about something that a vast majority does, you may quite possibly join them in the end, or vice versa – this can be considered just a reference point for further actions. It’s a matter of character really, and I can judge only for myself. My father used to be a battle plane pilot (now retired), and I was growing up in some kind of ghetto located a few kilometers from the big city, in a so-called military town. We had everything we needed, even a music school, so I haven’t ever been bothered with an existence of the big city nearby. As far as I can recall, I’ve always been drawn to instruments of all kinds – this was either due to my genes, as my parents were really into music themselves, or just because of simple fate, I don’t really know. You never can tell whether it would have been different if I had been brought up in Berlin or Detroit. Nowadays we are lucky enough to witness how the Ukrainian techno history is being created, in the same way as it was in Czech Republic or Poland 10-15 years ago. Those who appeared ready for this will be able to find their own niche as part of this scene.
- You obviously have a slightly different and more profound background than many people who got introduced to techno music during recent years. Can you share your earliest musical revelations with us? Have things that inspire you changed since you first got involved with music?
- Everything started with cassettes and radio, we had neither internet nor techno in our town at the time. We used to listen to everything we could get: speed garage, jungle, both locally played and recorded in Moscow. Later on, when I finally got an internet modem, I would spend a lot of time at online radios and use Napster to get music. This was exactly the time when I discovered techno, it was on the edge of nineties and noughties. I’m not sure what was popular in the world then, but our local trend was schranz, hence my first records used to be rather hard. However, I’ve been discovering some other, more intelligent stuff further on through spending hours and hours at online record shops like nuloop or juno and listening to snippets of out-of-stock rare records, and therefore forming my taste for music. To be totally honest with you, I hardly listen to any techno at home at all – I’m trying to develop myself and listen to everything that has some idea behind it. It became easier and faster nowadays, there is no lack of information, online trackers are full of avant-garde discographies ready to be downloaded. Everything is stored at servers, sometimes you don’t even have to grab it – you just know it’s there, and that’s it.
- I know you’re obsessed with studio gear and hardware tools. Have you ever thought of building up a live set? There have been some one-off gigs, as far as I know – but what about making this a permanent thing?
- Obviously, this is something of big interest for me, as I’m a follower of live, real-time mixing technique – it is not rare for me to spend the whole day playing with the knobs and then suddenly get my muse on, press ‘rec’ and have a proper track ready in 5-7 minutes. The analogue mixer is a perfect instrument for this, although it has its own disadvantages – but it sounds livelier than a pure full-on digital production. I came to that conclusion through my own experience and this is exactly what I’m going to continue using in the future. That kind of approach is not really handy for saving your files, midi data or presets, this being the main reason why studio work has very little in common with a live gig. That is why my live sets are more likely to be built up of semi-pre-recorded loops and bass lines accompanied by a couple of synced hardware tools.
- You’ve been making music since the mid 90’s and have also been in touch with considerably big figures in techno scene for a long time already. Yet it wasn’t until couple years ago when the ice seemed like starting to break for you in terms of gigs and recognition. What is the reason for that, in your opinion? This may seem strange from the outside perspective, as your early works may sound as mature as some of the recent ones – can you give us a piece of your mind on that?
- I’m just taking my time. For me personally it evolves pretty naturally, from one inspiration to another. I consider techno an art form, my tool for self-expression or even a relief (in case I’m feeling down) rather than a job. Therefore, I don’t really think that what I’ve already done within previous ten years is not enough. It’s the same with my international gigs that only started to appear last year - probably, I just wasn’t ready for them before that. I turned thirty this month and I’m pretty sure there’s yet to be a lot of interesting stuff, travels, collaborations, new ‘toys’ etc. – let’s see how it goes.
- What is the idea behind your mix for Addicted? Can you try to describe it to those who didn’t get a chance to listen to it yet?
- Within that particular set I have gathered most of my techno sketches. Once in a while I have literally no desire to have a beat at all, so there are some melodic patterns there instead. These may seem over-sentimental sometimes, but I like them. All the tracks here are synced in Ableton, so this mix may be considered a complete live set in case you add some instruments on top of that.
1. Grain 5
3. Remine (a)
5. Everybody is somebody’s fool
7. We must
11. Building peaks
15. Sometimes everything is wrong
16. Open cage
18. Blue mood
20. Rudiment 3
25. As before