First full album in a whole eight years from the highly regarded Pole. Wald is a very strong way to return, a tight electronic meditation on the forest. Slightly dubbed rhythms are accompanied by nicely textured synth lines for a record perfect for home listening or esoteric dancefloors. 3 sides of music, with the side D taken up by an etching.
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- Wald by Pole
8/10 Laurie Staff review, 09 September 2015
Following Insecto’s Post Edit de un Cromosoma, the pantheon of click electronica continues to thrive with a return to music proper for Berlin based producer man Stefan Betke, aka Pole. It’s been 8 years since the last full album release, his time since then taken up instead by working on his long running label ~scape with Barbara Preisinger.
I’m not too familiar with pre-Wald Pole, so this’ll be a surface review. It’s an extremely chill surface consisting of a sort of minimal dub electronica, the rhythms inherited from soundsystem culture but the sounds very much rooted in minimal techno, or some choppy, warped relative. Strange tonalities arise from unlikely marriages of sampled sounds - are they clangs? Noises? Ensembles of forgotten instruments grooving slowly in the morning dew? Oh wait, that one’s just a synth. I say ‘just’, but to belittle Betke’s synth design is stupid, they’re fizzy and full of life, played with a human imprecision that’s essential in this kind of music.
So many little glitchy click percussions are cyclic around right now, none too overwhelming due to their welcoming tininess. Little stabby melodic parts bubble up and drift off on dub delay tails, the melancholy held in their harmony playing off subtle distorted layers. It’s all so damn hypnotic and low key, but never tiresome, which can’t be said for all downtempo electronic stuff. I think this was inspired by long walks in the forest, which would be the ideal time to hear this. A warm piece of digitalism.
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