First for music news
This Week's Issue
You’re logged in

Pole 2

There are bugs in [B]Stefan 'Pole' Betke[/B]'s echo deck....

Pole 2

8 / 10 There are bugs in Stefan 'Pole' Betke's echo deck. You can hear them - or something very like bugs - scratching away resourcefully in the background of every track on this, the second album from the Berlin engineer.







Initially, as 'Fahren' begins with a fuzzily sampled melodica and the reverberating quiver of bass frequencies close in, 'Pole 2' appears to be a beautifully executed piece of digital dub. But then you notice the absence of drums, that the flickering patterns of beats are, in fact, ticks and glitches generated from apparently unidentifiable sources, as if an army of deathwatch beetles are clicking out the rhythms from within the mixing desk.







In fact, Betke's secret weapon is something arcane and magical called a Waldorf 4 Pole-Filter - a broken one, to be precise - that provides a chattering and unique undertow to his lovely, reggae-inflected melodies. It's this that elevates Pole - over the course of this short six-track album - to the top of the German minimalist class that also includes the influential likes of Oval and To Rococo Rot. Like much of the best electronic music, there's a sense here of algebra reconfiguring itself into something much more sensuous and warm. And, of course, of the bugs rendering everything slightly flawed and unclean. It's a blessed infestation.

To rate this track, log in to NME.COM

To read all our reviews first - days before they appear online - check out NME magazine, on sale every Wednesday

Comments

Please login to add your comment.

More Videos
More
Latest Tickets - Booking Now
 
Know Your NME
 

 
NME Store & Framed Prints
Most Read Reviews
Popular This Week
Inside NME.COM
On NME.COM Today