LISTEN TO POLE x SLEAFORD MODS NEW COLLABORATION, STECHMÜCK
FIRST TO BE SHARED FROM TEMPUS REMIX EP – OUT 24 NOVEMBER
POLE – aka innovative German electronic artist Stefan Betke – has teamed up with uncompromising political British duo Sleaford Mods for what sounds – on paper – like an unlikely collaboration.
The new reworking to be shared from a forthcoming EP of remixes of tracks from Pole’s latest album Tempus, sees Sleaford Mods take the glacial-paced brooding stepper of ‘Stechmück’, completely reworking it with their skewed pop sensibilities. Bouncing beats, squelching baselines and watery electronic echoes accompany Jason Williamson’s world view of consumer nihilism.
Andrew Fearn from Sleaford Mods said, “Pole is such a brilliant producer. It’s a pleasure and an honour to collaborate with him, I’ve been a fan for a long time, seeing him play at Café OTO in London last year was sublime.”
Stefan Betke went on to say, “I have been listening to Sleaford Mods’ music for many years. I saw them live a long time ago and they left something in my brain: the straight political attitude, the music and the energy they create blows my mind. To hear Jason “talk” about real life makes my day, and Andrew’s solo work is outstanding. Sleaford Mods have long been my dream team to collaborate with, and now it happened!”
Listen to the ‘Stechmück’ (Sleaford Mods Rework) here:
The 3-track remix EP, out on 24 November on Mute, will also feature brand new remixes from Italian composer and musician Alessandro Cortini (Nine Inch Nails, SONOIO) and experimental techno producer and composer Rrose.
Stechmück’ is one of the stand out tracks from Pole’s latest album, Tempus, out now on vinyl, CD and digitally via Mute. The new album explores the connections between the past, present and future (Tempus meaning “tense” in German) and on ‘Stechmück’, Betke explicitly references his past when he embraces the sound of a failing instrument. Pole was originally named after a broken Waldorf 4-Pole filter, one that gave him his distinct sound, and on ‘Stechmück’ you’ll hear a strange, eerie, almost unsettling wailing sound that rings out above the bass-heavy beats. “That is the sound of my dying Minimoog,” Betke says. But instead of re-recording it, he incorporated the sound of a failing piece of electronic equipment into the heart of the song, thus giving it an entirely new tonal dimension.
This connection between the past, present and future is a natural one for Betke to explore, not only because of the connection to 2020’s Fading – an album about coping with dementia and the loss of memory over time – but because all of Pole’s work has an interconnectedness that spans past, present, and future. 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.
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.”
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.
Pre-order the Tempus Remix EP: https://mute.ffm.to/pole-tr
Pole Tempus is out now on vinyl, CD and digitally via Mute: https://mute.ffm.to/poletempus
Listen to the original version of ‘Stechmück’: https://youtu.be/gnF-wO9-9Io