LISTEN TO THE TITLE TRACK OF STEFAN BETKE’S NEW ALBUM
POLE – aka innovative German electronic artist Stefan Betke – today shares the title track of his new album, Tempus, out on Mute on 18 November 2022 on vinyl, CD and digitally: https://mute.ffm.to/poletempus
Listen to ‘Tempus’ here:
Tempus – The tense of a verb group is its form, which usually shows whether you are referring to past, present, or future time.
Tempus exists in a unique space – the production is rich and enveloping, exuding dense yet crisp atmospherics with a striking balance between complexity and compactness throughout. On the new album, Betke explores the connections between the past, present and future (Tempus meaning “tense” in German), linking back to 2020’s Fading – an album about coping with dementia and the loss of memory over time – and his previous work, which includes the ground-breaking trilogy 1, 2 and 3. While each Pole album – his catalogue glides across ambient, dub, jazz, glitch, and electronica – is distinctly singular, the albums are part of an ongoing evolution that link as much to history as they do to the future.
The presence of dub within Betke’s idiosyncratic framework of electronic music, is a constant but on Tempus, dub takes on an additional role. The dub effect units used in Pole’s music delay sound, keeping them a step behind the present before they are released, fading away again into a foggy reverb. The pace, tone and echo of dub effects are themselves traversing the essence of past, present and future within the album. It’s also one of the most overtly jazz-leaning records in Betke’s career but given his inclination to do things originally, it’s a deconstructed, mutated and manipulated form of jazz.
Pole’s ongoing musical evolution, while retaining a relationship to previous work, means that he is already naturally building an ever-stronger bridge between the present and the past. However, the deeply innovative sounds that he continues to carve and explore, and always breaking new ground with each record, means that bridge is also being extended far into the future.
The painting on the cover, by Wolfgang Betke titled Großstadtwanderer, links into the themes explored on the album. Betke explains, “I found the whole atmosphere in this totally weird confused head with these little shimmery eyes leaking through the colours to totally fit the idea of Tempus.”
Pole Tempus is released by Mute on 18 November 2022 on vinyl, CD and digitally: https://mute.ffm.to/poletempus
After a recent appearance at Unsound Festival, Pole will perform at Festival BBMIX (Paris) in November and in Berlin this December – future dates to be announced.
“…gorgeous, enveloping music” – MOJO (on Fading)
“Little pops and glitches directly reference his earlier work, but Fading has a much fuller sound, with a feel for forward movement.” – The Wire (on Fading)
“…eight immaculately sculpted soundscapes” – Uncut (on Fading)
“a masterfully melancholy lament that takes his signature crackle and pop into unsettling new terrain” – Pitchfork (on 1, 2, 3 reissues)
“… calming abstract minimal genius” – The Observer, Artist of the Week