Pole :: Wald (Pole Music)

Oh, Stefan, why’d you have to go and change? All those years ago when you dropped the drums and your 4 pole filter clattered to the ground giving it that distinctive broken sound you changed electronic music forever. But now you seem to like clean beats and drums and… I just don’t feel like I know you anymore.

Pole :: Wald (Pole Music)

Back in the day when news came via The Wire and a fledgling internet of some crazy guy in Berlin making techno without drums that was full of cracks, whistles and whispers everyone went nuts trying to find it. When we did, Pole was all that got played all over the place for about a year or two. We waited and waited for 2 to come out and it didn’t disappoint. 3 was somewhat of a departure though it was growing clear that maybe there was no new ground to be covered in this particular foray. When news got out of the addition of drums and—the shark jumping moment for many electronic music artists—guest rappers I stopped following the work of Stefan Betke and Pole.

Oh, Stefan, why’d you have to go and change? All those years ago when you dropped the drums and your 4 pole filter clattered to the ground giving it that distinctive broken sound you changed electronic music forever. But now you seem to like clean beats and drums and… I just don’t feel like I know you anymore.

Well Stefan Betke is back as Pole and Wald is full of the requisite Teutonic elements one loves about Berlin techno: tinny clicking drums, crackles, detuned synths and a certain stiff angularity that put the funk where it never belonged (which was squarely up Kraftwerk’s perfectly pressed pants legs). But in places it is too angular and difficult. In fact it’s highly un-singular nor original unlike Pole’s first three albums. Some of the tracks grate like a choir of trained rats run through a vocoder. This is what I imagine Venetian Snares listens to during breakfast in the cold wastes of Winnipeg. Cacophony isn’t always innovation; often times it’s just noise and noise for the sake of shock rather than exploration. One gets the sense Betke is using it in this latest Pole album as an exit door rather than a tool.

“Moos” is somewhat interesting with orchestral bits and minimal beats. Then it sounds a bit like Moby’s “Go” in places. “Myzel” sounds a bit like Arovane, who never offends nor surprises these days, sadly. But it actually builds nicely. Shows promise with tables sounds and stuff.

Some will enjoy Wald and its sounds as the latest output by a master. But ultimately it fails to live up to the iconic works of Pole which is one of the perils of being heralded as a master right out of the gate in the beginning of one’s musical career.

Wald is available on Pole Music. [Kompakt]

TAGS: , , , , , ,

0 Comments

You can be the first one to leave a comment.

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.