Thursday, March 19, 2009

Pole - 1 2 3

CD1: Blue

01. Modul
02. Fragen
03. Kirschenessen
04. Lachen
05. Berlin
06. Tanzen
07. Fremd
08. Paula
09. Fliegen

CD2: Red
01. Fahren
02. Stadt
03. Streit
04. Huckepack
05. Hafen
06. Weit

CD3: Yellow
01. Silberfisch
02. Taxi
03. Karussell
04. Uberfahrt
05. Rondell Zwei
06. Klettern
07. Strand
08. Fohlenfurz
09. Rondel Eins
10. Heim
11. Sachte
12. Spass Rewind

Since the demise of the Kiff SM label these three groundbreaking albums have been unavailable, thus depriving a whole new generation of listeners with the chance to familiarise themselves with some of the best broken dub of the last 15 years. And in this instance - we really do mean broken, for the central conceit in Pole's work across this triptych of releases was his broken 4 Pole-Waldorf filter, a unit which created unpredictable yet beautifully frayed analogue detritus. The first of these three albums came out in 1998, soon after the peak of the Basic Channel movement and while Stefan Betke (aka Pole) was working at Berlin's legendary Dubplates and Mastering studio under the tutelage of Robert Henke, aka Monolake. When Pole 1 came out it sounded completely unlike anything else anyone had heard before - utilising a bass-heavy dub aesthetic surrounded by the fragmented flotsam and jetsam of his malfunctioning effects unit, all in the most self restrained, minimal and un-showy manner. In hindsight there are clear parallels with the enigmatic reductions of Basic channel's Rhythm & Sound, but Pole's rhythms offered a much more complex and unnerving set of parameters for the dub chords to bury themselves in - and as a result the trajectory of each track became much harder to predict. By the Time Pole 3 came out a couple of years later, the influence of Pole's sound was so substantial that he even provided the soundtrack to a Levi's advert (check the second sound sample below) - by which point his focus shifted towards elements of Hip Hop and Techno with the formation of his Scape imprint and fourth album for the Mute label. But these 3 albums no doubt offer Betke's most substantial and important body of work to date - and it's truly a treat to have them available once again in this deluxe package (including liner notes by The Wire's Rob Young). Newcomers to these 3 wondrous albums are in for quite a

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