Pole Pole

Berlin glitch producer Pole (Stefan Betke) has long been known for his dubby clicks’n’cuts. That was then. His debut record for Mute still follows his essential minimalist, dub-inspired blueprint, but he’s ditched the twitchy minutia for a cleaner underground hip-hop sound. As well, his collaborators have added some organic weight to this full-length, with saxophonist Thomas Haas and upright bassist August Engkilde filling in the spaces on several tracks. But the real prize here is rapper Fat Jon, who drops laconic science ("everything we do in this world and this life/everything we think, everything we feel, everything we write/has a time code attached to it”) on half the tracks. It’s the first time vocals have appeared on a Pole production, but the vibe suits the sound, especially since even radio rap beatscapes are experimental nowadays. Pole’s self-titled album isn’t as ground-breaking as, say, Prefuse 73, but it’s a fine example of electronic hip-hop fusion. (Mute)