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Pole
Steingarten


3.0
good

Review

by Zebra USER (177 Reviews)
April 1st, 2007 | 29 replies


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist


Stefan Betke (also known as “pole” for whatever reason) released his seventh studio album Steingarten in February 2007. Early on in his career he gained next to no critical acclaim, his music was often cited as either “to strange” or “to sparse.” Most electronica fans were turned off by his music because he doesn’t go under ambient, electro-pop, minimalist, or techno. For now I’ll just say he has a truly unique and original sound, I’ll get to details later.

On Steingarten Betke moves away from his textured ambient-pop style that was found on his first three records and he moves into a more disjointed, glitch-inspired sound. The opening number Warum features hand clapping, steady beats, a noise that sounds like it’s coming from a power plant, and a bass line consisting of two notes. All of these are played in sync to create a chilled out, strangely catchy sound that I’ve never quite heard before. Achterbahn and Schoner Land do the same exact thing. They combine different beats, sounds, and keyboard tones to create a soothing yet oddly addicting sound. Now you may say to yourself “doesn’t every electronica artist do something like this?” Not really. Betke’s sound is so unique because he often creates an unsettling atmosphere through odd effects such as scrapping noises, leaky faucets, people walking up steps, and beats that are all over the place. Instead of having a keyboard or beat oriented sound Steingarten is dominated by strange sampled effects rather then a standard instrument.

If Pole resembles any other electronica group it would have to Mouse on Mars. I say this because both artists/duos have an extremely bleak and sparse sound yet they’re still able to create a relaxing, mildly funky sound. However there is one big problem with Steingarten and it’s that there is next to no musical progression. A song may start off with one or two sounds but they progress to quickly and by the two minute mark the song is done progressing and you have to listen to the same exact thing for about three minutes. This becomes a big problem in the lengthier tracks such as Jungs and Madchen, upon first listen they sound very fresh and unique but once you listen to Steingarten three or four times the formula wears thin.

All in all I enjoyed Steingarten on my first few listens, however it’s still effective for an occasional spin. People new to electronica will enjoy the unique use of sounds and instruments and even avid fans of electronica will enjoy the organic production and glitch inspired sound. Although I gave this a 3/5 rating that doesn’t mean it’s a bad album, I found it highly enjoyable at first but like I said earlier it can get difficult to sit through at points. Steingarten is a unique take on ambient/glitch inspired music however it’s lack of musical progression brings it down.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Neoteric
April 2nd 2007


3243 Comments


Good concise review. I want to hear this now.

ShitsofRain
February 12th 2015


8251 Comments


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MWp-nsw5C2s !!

Trifolium
January 16th 2019


33766 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Winkel Streben is sooo nice. Great record.

Trifolium
January 23rd 2019


33766 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

All Pole is superb, have the feeling I'll have to talk about him with myself here though...

Trifolium
March 12th 2019


33766 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Agreed Trif, all pole is goooooooooood.

Trifolium
March 13th 2019


33766 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

[2]

Any sign of something new on the horizon for this guy?

Trifolium
April 12th 2019


33766 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Don't know.



This bump is for Pole 2, which is huuuuuuuuuuuuuge and perfect.

Trifolium
September 17th 2019


33766 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Ah, a good convo here I see, with like-minded people.



Bump for the first two. In fact, why have you rated the first one a 4.5, Trif? It should be a 5.0 for sure.

Trifolium
September 17th 2019


33766 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

You're absolutely right man, I don't know. Rectifying that rating right now.

Trifolium
October 8th 2019


33766 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

More of this dude's work should be reviewed.

Trifolium
October 10th 2019


33766 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

God that debut. Just too good. I'll review it for the sake of having another place to dive headfirst into a monologue.

Pheromone
Contributing Reviewer
February 5th 2021


18114 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Ok, here i am



first, hug

second, here is noodles

finally, here is jumper because now i cant splash the noo--oh fuck i did it



i will jam soon

Trifolium
February 5th 2021


33766 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

😍



This makes me so happy for so many reasons!



Hope you like it, debut is better, but this one was the lonely one.

Pheromone
Contributing Reviewer
February 5th 2021


18114 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

lonely-preventing is more important than best-album digging

Trifolium
February 5th 2021


33766 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Super true.

porcupinetheater
February 5th 2021


9814 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

What's this, a covers album of Staind and Soundgarden hits?

Pheromone
Contributing Reviewer
February 5th 2021


18114 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

In an alternative universe porc where you were raised to appreciate both grunge and the bastard leftovers of grunge, your sput name would have been steingarten



also trif i liked this, and i will return (if not for the sake of the thread)

Trifolium
February 6th 2021


33766 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It totally is porc, and it's good!



Thanks Phero, that means a lot to me 🍃💚

porcupinetheater
February 6th 2021


9814 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah this is pretty and transportive and helped ease the gauntlet of midterm research paperz today

Trifolium
February 6th 2021


33766 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nice!!! His debut is an absolute 5.0 in my book, perhaps you'll also like it more than this one.



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