Friday 12 August 2022, 8pm
Pleased to welcome back Düsseldorf-native musician, producer, remixer and mastering engineer Stefan Betke, aka Pole.
Beginning with his dark blue debut album "1" from 1998, Pole laid a foundation of bass, dub and a defective pole filter as the point from which to explore and implement new sonic architectures. Up until the turn of the millennium, these expeditions grew into a trilogy of albums entitled "1", "2" and "3", appearing in the colors blue, red and yellow. The three albums are now considered milestones of electronic music.
The fact that over the years Pole has released on four labels – Kiff SM, ̃scape Records, Mute Records and now Pole (the label) – has never harmed the consistency of those releases. Although it was with the now-legendary, defective Waldorf 4-Pole filter that Pole initially realized his signature sound, over the years Pole emerged as a sonic architect who increasingly drew from internal sources – finding inspiration in the city as well as in nature. The urban canyons of New York or the broad avenues of Berlin, the mountains and valleys with their echoes, the meditative forests, the above, below and beyond, as well as the horizon – offset by the verticals of trees and buildings – became a sort of matrix for Pole, within which he could hone a very specific poetry of reverberation with unmatched virtuosity.
With the precision of a structural engineer and the confident intuition of one who can hear sound where previously there was silence, Pole goes to the concrete cellars, open-air stages and nightclubs in his path and busts them open from the inside out. The fact that Steve Reich and Arnold Schoenberg, John Zorn, Arto Lindsay and Fred Frith stand alongside Jamaica and Lee Perry as important influences for the professed minimalist has so far neither hurt the energy-discharging potential of his concerts nor the stringent, reductive simplicity of his albums.
Ekoplekz is Nick Edwards from Bristol. He has been recording and performing under that name since 2010, and this will be his third appearance at Cafe Oto.
Nick has released many records over the years, most notably for labels such as Planet Mu, Editions Mego and Mordant Music. His style is typically lo-fi, dub-inflected experimental electronics, using analogue synths and drum machines with a penchant for sonic mangling via fx pedals. Influences include Cabaret Voltaire, Cluster and King Tubby.
When playing live, he prefers to take an improvisational approach, so anything might happen on the night!