- Steingarten, Pole’s first album after a break of four years, was a pleasant surprise when it was released earlier this year. During the time off Stefan Betke put together a band for his live shows, remade his sound and managed to shed the tethers of the classic eponymous Blue, Red and Yellow albums of the late 90s. Steingarten still sounds like Pole, steeped in dub with plenty of the crackling open space he’s renowned for, but with new texture and impulse: guitars, percussion, feedback, and space-rock.
If this first instalment is anything to go by, this series of Steingarten remixes promises to be equally, if not more pleasantly, surprising. Perlon artists, (label boss) Zip and Thomas Melchior, and a Detroit producer of the dub-techno persuasion are brought together on a clear vinyl release, and the results are very nice indeed. Dimbiman (Zip) takes the space-funk of ‘Achterbahn’ out of orbit and pushes it into dancefloor territory with crisp, Perlon-esque backbeats. Melchior Productions whips the soft trot of ‘Pferd’ into a loping gallop with a big bass drum. The original, a perfectly gentle, sad closing to the album, is pumped up, but Melchior hasn’t sacrificed any of the delicate melancholy.
But the biggest cut, the one everyone’s talking about, is on the B-side: Huckaby’s SYNTH remix of ‘Dusseldorf’. Detroit native Mike Huckaby has a more than a passing connection with DeepChord, which explains the huge and deep atmospheric wringer this track has been put through. Sparing in his own output, Huckaby is responsible for the label Synth, which has released four impossibly limited editions of DeepChord’s ‘Electromagnetic Dowsing’ since 2005, on which Huckaby has production credits. Most of the original has been squeezed out of the Pole track in this compression (expansion?) apart from some upper fizz and chord changes, taking the sound back to the same echo-techno roots as Pole’s old tri-coloured releases, but with propulsive bass. Huckaby’s shadowy creation will be unmissable for DeepChord converts.
A Pferd (Melchior Productions' Zodiac Mix)
B1 Achterbahn (Dimbiman Remix)
B2 Düsseldorf (S Y N T H Remix - Detroit)