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  • Avg Rating:4.35 / 5
  • Ratings:350
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Tracklist

Fahren9:18
Stadt3:27
Streit5:58
Huckepack4:40
Hafen4:26
Weit5:46

Credits (2)

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8 versions
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Cover of 2, 1999-02-01, CD2
CD, Album
Kiff SM – Kiff 014 CD, Kiff SM – KIFF 014 CD, PIAS Germany – 556.5014.21 [270]
+1 more label...
Europe1999Europe1999
Recently Edited
Cover of 2, 1999-02-23, CD2
CD, Album
Digipak
Matador – OLE 359-2US1999US1999
Recently Edited
Cover of 2, 1999, Vinyl2
2×12", 45 RPM, Album
Kiff SM – Kiff 014, Kiff SM – Kiff 014 Double Vinyl, PIAS Germany – 556.5014.36 PS 270
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Germany1999Germany1999
Recently Edited
Cover of 2, 1999-02-23, Vinyl2
2×12", Album
150g
Matador – OLE 359-1US1999US1999
Recently Edited
Cover of 2, 1999-02-01, CD2
CD, Album
Digipak
Kiff SM – Kiff 014 CD, Kiff SM – Kiff 014, PIAS Germany – Kiff 014 CD, PIAS Germany – Kiff 014
+2 more labels...
Germany1999Germany1999
Recently Edited
2
2×12", Album, White Label
Kiff SM – Kiff 014 LPGermany1999Germany1999
New Submission
Cover of 2, 2020-06-20, Vinyl2
2×12", 45 RPM, Album, Limited Edition
Red
Mute – LPOLE2LP, Mute – POLE2LPUK2020UK2020
Recently Edited
Cover of 2, 2020-08-28, Vinyl2
2×12", Album
Mute – LPOLE2LP, Mute – POLE2LPUK2020UK2020
New Submission

Reviews

swil.wilson's avatar
swil.wilson
Stefan Betke is such an interesting composer. His material released as Pole is ostensibly "dub techno" or some other nom du jour, but I hear it as something much more experimental. Perhaps it is the beats that encourage listeners to hear it as something more "normal" than it is.

Pole's first three releases (1, 2, and 3) are really all about this beloved Waldorf 4-pole filter and the strange, but intoxicating crackly sounds it began to make after falling down a flight of stairs. In this way, the sound is all about the humanity, if you will, of the broken machine. Whereas most tools of electronic production can be fairly anonymous, every now and then there's a piece of gear that develops a real personality. I'm not sure if it was worth exploring over the course of three very similar albums or not.

This brings me to my favorite of the series, number 2. Some listeners might scoff at anyone claiming to differentiate substantially between the three releases, and they would be correct - there's nothing hugely different about "2", other than it appeals to me a little more than the rest.

I think my preference has something to do with the presence of more melody and harmonic content than the others. When I say "melody," I don't mean it in the usual sense. It's buried and only occasionally manifests itself in the form of a few notes here and there. Still, it's worth noting. Secondly, the wonderful sound of the Waldorf is very present in each of the tracks. While it's featured on each of the tracks on these albums, sometimes it seems to be merely background ambience, while on "2", it's integrated rather well into the rhythmic structure of each track.

I've seen convincing reviews describing Pole's early work as cold and uninviting. That may be the case for many listeners. The details are subtle, the introduction of ideas in each track is minimal, and yes, a lot of them sound so similar that they all begin to blend together and one almost has to watch the CD display to notice when one is over and another has begun. At the same time, I find it to be a rich world of delicate sonic experimentation. The sounds are just so interesting.

If you're an open-minded listener and you're looking for something unique, I would recommend Pole's music. I'd start with "2" for the reasons listed above, but also because it's a bit shorter and more focused. If you're hoping for some sort of techno, I'm not sure I would recommend it. It has the influence of minimal techno and dub, but it makes Basic Channel material sound almost Mahlerian in complexity.

If you take the time to live with this music for a few days, I think you'll be nicely rewarded. What it lacks in immediacy, it makes up for in substance.
JeanMarcD's avatar
JeanMarcD
Start with warm microtechno, make the needle cruise endlessly through basic channelized dusty grooves, reverberate reggae guitar and organ to the max, make the basslines go way subsonic and this “2” is what you might end up with, with “2” probably standing for doubledubbed. Mindblowing album!