Stanislav Tolkachev struggles to translate his deadly techno loops into a coherent full-length.
This lack of internal contrast is no problem in itself, but making an album of this stuff flow would require careful thought and sequencing. Tolkachev didn't crack it on 2016's flat When You Are Not At Home and he doesn't on its follow-up, either. The producer says it's "not an album that I have recorded specially" but "a compilation of tracks from a three year period," made at various times and on various gear. The pacing is stodgy, and fidelity varies between tracks in a way that feels scrappy rather than diverse. The results shine no new light on Tolkachev's beloved style.
It Will Be Too Late Then rolls methodically through a few modes. Squalling opener "Ball Of Fire" ditches out onto a couple of suspenseful slow-burners, "OK. U Can Mix This One" and "Draw Me A Seal." From there we get into the meat: "Double Damage" is the album's most satisfying track, the sort of twisted hard-techno stomper that only Tolkachev can make. (It shows up the more muted track that follows, "The Dirty Water.") The album's second half gets spacier. "Truth Be Told" and "This Game Has No Name" are fogged and turbulent, suggesting the alternating euphoria and fear of a dodgy ecstasy trip. The former's nine minutes of bleary, billowing arps are particularly impressive.
Tolkachev gets a bit emotional at the album's close, with the drumless "Curly" and "You Spoil Everything." The latter track's pinprick lead-lines glimmer sadly over a despondent 4/4 trudge, a subdued note on which to end the album. Tolkachev says the record represents "a phase" in his production. If so, it's a phase of consolidation. This doesn't mean he won't continue to produce excellent, inspiring music. But the workmanlike It Will Be Too Late Then isn't quite that.