Released: June 2000
This is the third installment in our favorite German minimalist dubmeister's series of groundbreaking works. Although this work maintains the excellence Stefan Betke achieved in the first two works--particularly in his use of static, hiss, and scrapes of noise to produce rhythm and texture--this work is not simply minimalist but also dub, in that Betke supplements his trademark sound with an emphasis on low-end sounds (bass, heavy drum) and studio manipulation (reverb, echo, pitch shifting). The music here is driven by the bass, not the crackle, so that there is a spatial resonance here that is not found on the earlier works. Still, this is Pole, and that means cracks and snaps galore. But it is interesting to hear these snaps as supplement to the primary rhythm, rather than being the centerpiece of that rhythm. By doing this, I think Betke is able to give larger shape to those sounds--bending and twisting them (digitally) to match the deep bass and heavy organ stabs that dominate. There are also numerous minute sounds, like phone conversations and the clicking keys heard throughout "Taxi." These sound effects simply add to the larger, richer fabric that we get here. This is, in short, a masterful work by one of the world's premiere music artists.
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