Available on: Slices of Life 12″

Stefan Betke, the fitful genius known most widely as Pole, finally pulls his finger out and makes some house music.  Don’t get me wrong, I could listen to Pole’s languid, static-flecked dub-decay experiments forever, but for years now I’ve been craving to hear that aesthetic rendered in more danceable form. This, then, should be pay-day.

Betke is the name under which Betke has chosen to release these more club-ready tracks, and he does so on a new vinyl-only imprint called Slices of Life. To be brutally honest, A-side ‘The Road’ sounds like any number of slick minimal techno tracks produced in the last ten years, but listen closely and Betke’s highly evolved sense of space and texture does become apparent.  But by that point you may well be asleep.

There’s definitely more pleasure to be had from the B-side, the magnificently titled ‘Loose And Blowsy Plumage’. There’s definitely more funk to this one, the drums a little more broken, the clipped dub-chords coming thick and fast; it  more like what you’d expect Pole-goes-4/4 to be like.

Really, though, it’s hard to strongly recommend this 12″, which sounds curiously lifeless and static. Better to spend your pennies on Pole’s beyond-essential 1, 2, 3 set.

Jochem Ferranti



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