Stefan Betke returns with the second installment of his Waldgeschichten series, and it's of a piece with the first, employing the same hesitant dub rhythms, the same tarnished organs, the same dry-as-a-bone syn-percussion sounds. Especially on "Aue," it's dub at its most desiccated: instead of wet reverb, there's just a dusty sediment of hiss between the drum hits, and detuned synthesizers quiver in stark relief against all that empty space. It's an unassuming palette, at first, but his tremulous keyboards get weirder as they go, melting like crayons on the griddle.
"Pirol" harnesses similar sounds into a groove that's closer to dancehall's coiled motion. Ilpo Väisänen's decade-old "Liima Versions," from Raster-Noton's short-lived Kangaroo sub-label, come to mind; Pole's oscillator squeals and fuzzed bass have the same ominous air, like a whiff of burnt wiring. As with the A-side, the percussive scene-setting is just kindling to make the synths burn brighter, as they flare up in improbable colors, licking like the flames of a yule log.
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Tracklist: Pole - Waldgeschichten 2 A Aue