Stefan Betke occupies a rareified status amongst electronica connoisseurs. As Pole, the 2020 reissue of his first three albums – titled 1, 2 and 3 with typical German understatement – recognised his contribution to the then nascent dub techno scene of the mid-90’s and beyond, a fusion genre that married the reverb and echo drenched sound of King Tubby to the beat austerity and flex of Detroit.
Fading partially links back to those earlier seminal works, whilst continuing to gently ease Betke away from their slightly constricting dynamics. Written partially about his mother’s gradual slippage into dementia, it’s theme is memory, memories and the impact and meaning of their utterly unique signatures on our lives.
This is a sort of musical construct that because of it’s anchor-free dynamic lends itself to explorations of the mind, although the glitch of previous work is largely missing. Opening track Drifting journeys through different beatless sound washes, whilst Erinnerung’s ghostly drops flutter and the titular closing track gradually erases itself like old software. A future history lesson, Fading explores what makes us who we are.
You can read the full review here.