Few electronic musicians offer as distinctive a signature sound as Pole. Stefan Betke's three records under this alias reflect an unusual and characteristic juxtaposition of dub rhythms and crackly noise. Throbbing pulses in the sub-bass accompany echoing midrange textures and scratchy clicks, pops, and hiss on the high end. While the first Pole record emphasized the digital noise aspect, Pole 2 aimed for a more organized fusion of theme and effects.
Pole 3 stands head and shoulders above both of these previous efforts. It appears that Betke has finally gotten the recipe just right. The bass element of this record suggests a much more organic dub flavor, hinting strongly but effortlessly at a reggae feel. Meanwhile, the clicks and pops shroud themselves in a thick tangle of high-end hiss, making this aspect of the music more abstract and absorbing. As usual, Pole sculpts these elements within a spacious, reverberant overall sound. If you've never heard Pole, Pole 3 is definitely a fine place to start. And if you're already a Pole afficionado, you can expect significantly more depth out of the most recent effort. It's exciting to witness an artist exploring the richness and depth within his intensely personal mesh of sound.
Track Listing: Silberfisch; Taxi; Karussell;
Personnel: Stefan Betke: composer, performer, producer.
The first jazz record I received
as a visiting gift from my
Japanese uncle at his
international division of
Toshiba EMI Tokyo was a
sample copy of Miles Davis'
Bitches Brew. A game
changer redirecting my
browsing habits and collection.