Published Jun 01, 2015Pole has always had a kind of biotic quality to his music, which is also evident on the artwork for his 2007 album Steingarten and his Waldgeschichten EPs. This quality was aptly reflected by MFO's visuals of distorted foliage and nature scenes. Pole himself performed a show rife with his trademark combination of dub textures and ultra-detailed, downtempo IDM. At times he even bordered on instrumental hip-hop, but whatever the style, every click and rumble sounded simply delicious, as the master engineer earned his title on the MUTEK stage.
Pole was operating in a style of music that was virtually timeless. Though wrought with elements that are themselves arguably dated, they were structured in such a way that they sounded undeniably modern. With Pole you get a German veteran, taking all the best parts of reggae and putting them into a setting that they were not intended for, but in which they seem to work incredibly well. There was no intense dancing at the MAC for this show, just many MUTEK patrons shuffling along in a slow Caribbean swagger.
Just when the proceedings seemed to be winding down to a psychedelic crawl, Pole threw in a serving of beautiful uptempo drum patterns and hefty, almost punishing bass that vibrated every surface in a 30-metre radius. It was a grumbling end to a show that was simultaneously playful, intriguing and creative.