Pole is brand new on me, a German DJ and producer who's carved out quite a niche for himself specialising in the brutally minimal. This is no bad thing obviously; for example, who doesn't love a little Murcof every once in a while. From my first impressions, Pole covers similar sort of territory- there's that familiar reverb distance - but where Fernando Corona's beats are sparse and exude space and agaraphobia, Stefan Betke's sound is claustrophobic and tight, nervy and uncomfortable. It seems to have evolved from a slightly different base as well: Pole incorporates the zoned-out basslines of dub to a far higher extent, giving an undeniable groove to what could be cold, detached electronics.
Pole's bio describes him as having a passion for distilling sounds: his DJ style used to be to use two turntables, two CD-players and his laptop to have four or five different pieces fighting for attention, which could be anything from avant-jazz to dub to contemporary club tracks to Steve Reich, which would then be mixed and resampled midset. I'd love to have heard that, I can't imagine a much more exciting way to listen to a DJ, but it appears that these days his yen is more to experimental hip hop and electronica. And who can blame him?
I wanted to quote his bio again, actually, I think this is fantastic. Pole works in a dub field, and what is this? "Computer-arranged sound design which, in the tweak of the tiniest loop, celebrates reduction right down to the essentials." That's cool. Celebrating reduction is something a lot more artists could do with. There's certainly dub motifs there, the very occasional skank, the stretches of time covered by beautiful repetition (obviously a nod not only to dub but to Steve Reich and his ilk), but just as much hip hop (featuring Fat John from time to time), experimentalism and pure electronica. It's a quite lovely blend.
Pole - Heim (Four Tet Remix)
Pole - Fahren
Website: scape-music.de, MySpace
More: Hype Machine; elbo.ws
If you like this you might like: Murcof - Remembranza
Tags: remix; Four Tet; Pole; Scape; dub; electronica