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Pole Audio CD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Audio CD (12 Jun 2000)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: [PIAS] Recordings Belgium
  • ASIN: B00004RGPL
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 269,091 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Silberfisch
2. Taxi
3. Karussell
4. Uberfahrt
5. Rondell Zwei
6. Klettern
7. Strand
8. Fohlenfurz

Product Description


Having battled with giants of isolationism such as James Plotkin on the influential Split series and brought in the likes of Gramm and Sun Electric to the superb Staedtizism compilation on his own Scape imprint, it's refreshing to see that Berlin's Stefan Betke keeping his own project true to form with even the title of his third long-player, following the stripped-down aesthetic of the music. Those who have chanced across Betke in the past will be well aware of what to expect, with a fusion of crunching atmospherics and Studio One-inspired low end created through the division and subdivision of digital masters until they are little more than ghosts of their original selves. Again the clicks and crackles of his broken Pole 4 filter are as important to the finished music as the constant, warm bass and fluid key skanks, but it is when these non-sounds collude with the broken melodics that it all begins to make sense - the drifting tuning of highlights "Karussel" or "Klettern," whose soundscapes crumble as quickly as they are formed, offer a strange beauty rarely caught in electronic music. --Kingsley Marshall

Customer Reviews

3 star
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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars IBM meets I & I 3 Dec 2000
Format:Audio CD
Not the kind of Cd that grabs your attention with the flashy cover, but if the intention is to mirror the music inside it succeeds. A yellow sleeve with the song titles in German, and that's about it for information. Looking closely you'll find all songs are written and produced by Stefan Betke. Who is almost as well known for his disc cutting skills. Remember "A Porky Prime Cut" in the run out grooves of some of your favorite albums, (remember albums), well Stefan does the same. Put simply this Cd mixes the blips, glitches and found sounds of the Powerbook generation of musicians, with the bass and production of a Joe Gibbs Dub album from the mid 70's. IBM meets I & I.... If only it was that simple. Minimal electronic dub where the repeated loops shift constantly, nothing is ever repeated. The electronics clashing majestically with the warmth only those Dub albums have. A Cd that rewards you with more, the closer you listen, sounds appear only the once and then are gone, drawing you into the multi-layered sound scape of this incredibly complex recording. At the same time the music's minimal nature forces your mind wander. Daring you not to pay attention while going and hiding itself in the shadows. It is simultaneously unengaging and riveting, I assume similar to finding yourself in someone else's rather boring dream, fascinated because you're there, but bored by the mundane nature of their existence. A recording that requires your full attention, or none at all, the sign of true genius.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Background dub 11 July 2000
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
You definitely need to be in the mood for this one. At first listen this just sounded like a random jumble of noises, but after leaving it on repeat for a few plays I found myself nodding along. The almost complete absence of any kind of percussion to give the music rhythm was quite a surprise, and it was only when I turned the bass up full that I clicked what it was all about. Only for the most chilled of chillout sessions, this one takes a while to tune into mentally and you really need a stereo with good bass response to get the most out of it.DW
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enigmatic, mysterious, minimal...bassy! 7 July 2006
Format:Audio CD
Electronic drumless dub from the floor of the Atlantic...and it doesn't get deeper than this...or darker...or more minimal...or more mysterious.
Minimal, it may be, but the subtly shifting patterns and subterranean bass are mesmerising.
The Angler Fish of Electro-Dub...ugly/beautiful....you decide.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An obvious progression 5 July 2000
By Matthew D. Mercer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Stefan Betke made quite a stir when his first Pole album (blue cover, titled "CD1") hit the streets. Suddenly every publication from The Wire to Spin was raving about his fresh approach to abstract electronic music. When examining all three of Pole's releases, there is an obvious progression from the first to the newest. Regardless of whether it is a result of being absorbed in his malfunctioning technology the first goround, or whether it was a reservation to allow his influences to run free, we're all glad that Betke began to incorporate the dub influence more obviously that he hinted at so quietly on the debut. 3 finds these influences cropping up even more often than on its predecessor. As an album, it offers little new other than this more immediate dub slant, as it continues the tradition of crackly, beatless experiments in audio. However, fans will not be disappointed, and for newcomers this is as good a place as any to begin.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pole 3 15 Jun 2001
By Patrick Burke - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Hats off to Stefan Betke for Pole 3, the first CD I've heard in years that I had to listen to for days on end after I bought it. What I really like about this music is its warmth. It feels like sitting inside one's living room on a rainy Sunday morning with a fire in the fireplace and a book you can't put down.
This music is calming and intriguing at the same time. The use of scratches and pops is so on the mark. The overall tonality and the interesting bass lines contribute to the muted beauty of the work while the higher end sounds eliminate any chance of it becoming monotonous.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A surprise 25 Jan 2002
By Roger Fingas - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Pole is sometimes lumped in with "glitch" IDM, but with the 3 release at least, that's a mistake. It's better to think of Pole as minimalist dub inspired by glitch - almost a laid-back version of Monolake. At its best Pole is excellent chill music, catchy and even somewhat danceable. Certainly not what I was expecting when I first bought the album (Pole being a German musician, Stefan Betke).
In its less interesting moments though it can sound dull and repetitive, which is why I've given this album a four-star rating. Regardless I think the positives outweigh the negatives here, as long as you're open-minded about electronic music and willing to enjoy the background crackling and warbling - or put up with it, perhaps. Listen to samples and decide for yourself.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars When the songs end 27 Jun 2000
By Davide Brancaleoni - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
A beautiful weightless list of sounds where the hipnosys created by crackles and static interferences noises conquer the listeners. Not easy listening, but a peaceful experience similar to the sense of lost we have when our favourite songs finish and the sound is low, delicate and soft. A dreamy rythm in progression where human voices are tourists in world of echoes (TAXI) which wraps your mind like a massage. At the end I play POLE3 again.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars music for working 28 July 2003
By "eliot@musiq.com" - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I don't think I could have made it through the first year of my Ph.D. program without this CD. It's deceptively simple, but there's something hypnotic and mesmerizing about crackly loops underscored by rich dub basslines. Interesting, but not so much so that you can't get a lot of writing done.
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