Pole - Pole
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Generally favorable reviews - based on 17 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: Following a series of three glitchy, minimalist electronica albums entitled "1," "2," and "3," respectively, producer Stefan Betke (aka Pole) changes course and heads into experimental hip-hop and dub on this latest LP, even enlisting Ohio-based rapper Fat Jon for vocals on several tracks.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 17
  2. Negative: 1 out of 17
  1. Pole is the sound of a restless musical talent and intellect seeking out like-minded collaborators, expanding their horizons, and producing an otherwise impossible synthesis.
  2. Ultimately, and refreshingly, this is not commercial, but hauntingly lush electronic music for all to enjoy.
  3. 80
    This is not just academic and abstract music for the headphone philosopher, but proper soulful stuff that will rock more adventurous dance floors. [Aug 2003, p.90]
  4. 60
    Perhaps creative stasis might have proved more rewarding. [Aug 2003, p.99]
  5. If you're fan of the previous work of Pole, tread gently (and skip the EPs and head directly for the album), but if you're looking to just start out with some of his work, head for his earlier releases.
  6. Unfortunately, Pole contains no revelations beyond what was revealed in the prior EPs. With this release, Betke calls his own bluff and loses.
  7. A stylistic side-step that trips and falls without making much of the tumble.

See all 17 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. TimeCode
    Oct 28, 2003
    I was blown away by Fat John's flow and lyrics in this album. In the track Slow Motion Fat John exemplifies the realness of the beats and thus proves the reality of the lyrical thesis. His time-code theory coupled to the glitchy beats is so cool that it sends chills down your spine. Everything we do in this life has a time code attached to it; and so as the time-code serializes, Fat John's stylistic signature represents!....the future. So we wait to see the future and vibe more with this master of time. Expand