An occasional misstep leaves the stark, dub-heavy beats on Gestalt,
    the debut long-player from the Berlin four-piece called Tolcha, in a
    rather inconsistent bind. Half of the stinging electronic experiments
    here look particularly sharp against those maimed by the group’s choice
    of guest emcees. As far as the vocal numbers are concerned, when
    spoken-word artist/emcee RQM handles the mike duties, it’s evident that
    he should’ve been wrestled into cutting vocals on every track, not just
    on four of them.



    is part of Berlin’s dubby electronic/hip-hop scene, alongside some
    other similarly explorative outfits with which they share contributors,
    such as the Tape and Al Haca. The Poland-born, Berlin-based RQM also
    holds a steady place in Al Haca and the Tape, and he’s the most skilled
    emcee on Gestalt. RQM flows easily over the crisp
    claps, disintegrating static blitzes and persistent tug of “Rising
    Tides,” and he probably should have lent his wordplay to all subsequent
    entries. Instead, Tolcha’s steam fizzles on “Tomchak,” when ex-Goats
    (yeah, the same Goats) member Maxx drags the vocal helm into the
    unfunny digressions of someone who boringly hates his job and is
    boringly trying to get laid.


    “Fokus,” also a RQM-guested pre-album twelve-inch single, Tolcha pushes
    a floor-welcoming breaks-styled head trip, complete with airy
    atmospherics and RQM’s compelling abstractions. It rivals only the
    psyche-taunting theatrics of “Ikarus,” the half-beatless, all-wordless
    odyssey that slips through film dialogue samples and, eventually, a
    nice chunk of live drums. Two twelve-inches and now an LP into it,
    Tolcha generates some dark stuff on Gestalt — some
    great, some not so good. Moments that bear a close second listen would
    fill a very strong EP, but for a full-length, there’s just gonna have
    to be more RQM.


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