EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW UKRAINIAN TECHNO PIONEER STANISLAV TOLKACHEVSeptember 21, 2021
Interview Matt Mondo,
Editing, Page Design, Mike Mannix
Ukrainian Brute Force Techno Pioneer Stanislav Tolkachev Talks Synths, Poly Chain and NFT album ESPACE!
Mattew Mondo: Hi Stanislav, nice one man for talking to us, so how are you getting on post-Covid?
Stanislav: Hi Mattew thanks for inviting me to an interview for Iconic Underground Magazine.
I met a musician who loves and makes tonal synth trax known in electro. Her name is Poly Chain. We have some drafts of our new album and are booked for several performances and several music residences in Poland and Italy. The past
2020 was a monstrous year that changed everything, except for my love for music!
I am glad that we met and she loves music as much as I do!
I released an NFT album in August. “ESPACE”. This is a collaboration with a successful VR artist from Kyiv Yura Miron, who teaches me to understand the schemes of the crypto art market, I, in turn, share my knowledge and experience in electronic music, teach him to play synthesizers .. “ESPACE” – These are 30 artworks, in which my modular music met, with psychedelic visuals, on which I and Yura have been working for the entire last year (2020).
The album is dispersed on the main NFT platforms and is ready for collecting. We are planning a series of exhibitions in selected contemporary media art museums around the world. This is a cool, beautiful work that will remain in history. More details at espacenft.xyz
MM: Ok great, so bring us back to when you were young what age did you start playing? Producing?
Y: 16-17 years old (now I’m 39). In the late 90s in Ukraine, there was much less information and I had to learn everything by myself. For example, I study DJing in VTT (virtual turntables) on Win98, and wrote the first tracks in rebirth – reason and cool edit pro 97. I’m glad that I went through all this.
A long journey in a country cut off from Europe taught me patience and attached importance to what I do all my life!
MM: What artist influenced you most in the beginning?
Y: In Techno, Robert Hood, Pacou, Terrence Dixon, Jay Denham, Jeff Mills, Mike Parker, Basic Channel, Surgeon, Neil Landstrum, Inigo Kennedy, and Steve Bicknell.
Nowadays it’s Sleeparchive, Kuf, TWR72, NO!, X/319, Danilenko, Alberto Chiovenda, many others.
MM: You were recently playing at ISKRA festival, how’d it go?
Y: The whole Iskra festival is a wonderful gift from our brothers from Tbilisi. I am a resident of KHIDI and have been there often. Therefore, I know how much they love correct Techno in Georgia, I think more than in Kyiv.
This was the first arrival of Mizl to our capital, which happened thanks to the Georgian promoters, and it says a lot to me. I enjoyed it and
the first time I met Jeff Mills on the same stage I was glad!
MM: A lot of work and collaborations you had in the last few months, are you happy?
Y: I became the resident of Collider. ‘Collider’ cultural cluster is operating for the second month. But has already become one of the attraction points on Podol’s map, the mecca of Kyiv’s underground.
Developing a creative economy and providing access to the best resources and knowledge for Ukrainian audio-visual sector activists.
Well-known industry representatives have already gathered together on three thousand square meters of an old silk factory. Sharing multidisciplinary experience, creating joint events, and forming a resource base. Consisting of several rentals, music studios, workshops, laboratories, and co-working.
For the moment, residents of the cluster can use in their education and experiments various equipment. Sound from Funktion-One’s official representative office in Ukraine, light systems from Laser Light, synthesizers from MachineRoom laboratory.
And also to record music at Babina Records and Plastmassa studios. All these are without any budgetary funding!
MM: Walk us through the usual process of when you are in the studio creating your new tracks from the analogue outboard, midi, samples and DAW you use and why. What is the key in the whole production process?
Y: I use MOTU 828 as a digital mixer nowadays, it’s standalone. I use analogue equalizers and compressors for each channel I send to multitrack recording. I try to balance the track volumes on the stage of recording as I did on the analogue mixing console.
I may jam and not to stop every time I want to record something for setting up a new project, and easily just connect my laptop with Ableton 11 in SENDS ONLY mode to capture the track and add some reverbs and delays.
My next big purchase must be new RME soundcard with a live multitrack recording option on the flash stick, end EXPERT SLEEPERS ES-9 for live and communication with modular.
Most of the analogue processors have ADAT outputs, it’s a pleasure to connect everything without double conversions.
My processing rack is not too expensive and today you can find some devices very cheap, especially in Ukraine. I have a few APHEX 230 and 204, Joemeek, and Presonus ACP88 – 8 channel compressors, which I use as volume control of each track on the record and sidechain also.
I sold my Tascam model 24, cos it was very limited, no ADAT in-outs – no midi and 48k only, Now everything sounds better in 96k and much lower latency.
I have a few desktop analogue and digital machines, Waldorf pulse 2, Arturia Mini Brute SE, Digitone, ROLAND SH01-a, ROLAND MC707, ROLAND TR8s.
My modular system now feet on 3 cases. Two for studio work and third always ready to be taken to the gig. I have a lot of sequencers I love to mix, CV matrixes stack of different analogue filters and 6 analogue oscillators, 2 analogue kick drum modules, and two mutable digital macro oscillators.
It’s enough to do music in different ways
I start from baseline and synths and just when I find something I add the kick and percussions. For me melody, it’s the idea of the music.
I use randomization a lot but it’s small portions from different sources I combine and control. I always can surprise myself, at the same time, I receive something I expecting. Our last 2 instruments we bought with Poly Chain, is Novation launchpad pro mk3.
I love the idea to learn to play together by hand, and also it is a great connection with modular through midi to cv polyphonic locators
MM: Thanks Stanislav for the lovely chat with you, hope we can see you soon live, we love your music style, very unique and so Underground. All the best from all of us at Iconic Underground Magazine.