Stefan Betke aka pole was born and raised in Düsseldorf, where he played keyboards and synthesizer in different band projects. It was in Cologne that Betke began work on his acclaimed and influential trilogy "1", "2" and "3", completing it in Berlin after moving there in 1996. He released the trilogy as pole between 1998 and 2000. During this time, he also became a mastering engineer for vinyl and cd at Dubplates & Mastering. In 1999, Stefan Betke and Barbara Preisinger started their label ˜scape, which became an imprint for unique and outstanding electronic music made by artists such as Jan Jelinek, Deadbeat, Kit Clayton, pole and many more. The same year Stefan Betke left Dubplates & Mastering to open up his own studio for cd and vinyl mastering called scape mastering. After releasing two 12 inches and an album on Daniel Miller’s famous Mute label, his well respected solo album “Steingarten” came out on ˜scape in 2007, supported by worldwide concerts at festivals and in clubs in UK, Japan, USA and Europe. In mid 2008, Betke re-issued his earlier trilogy as a triple box set on ˜scape to keep this milestone in electronic bass music available. While Stefan Betke was expanding his musical output, he still was doing mastering for renowned producers such as Norm Telly, Delano Smith, Josh T. Pearson, Erasure, Apparat, Grinderman, Gudrun Gut, Thomas Fehlmann, The Orb, Mathew Jonson and various labels such as Mute, Third Ear, Wagon Repair, Leaf..... So it became a logical step that in 2009 Stefan Betke bought a Neumann VMS 70 cutting lathe to again offer vinyl mastering. September 2011 Stefan Betke is founding a new artist label named “pole“. Made for his own music only, his new imprint keeps the large back catalogue available, as well as give his forthcoming releases an autonomous structure for experimentation and creativity. He rediscovers and reworks the characteristic warmth and dubby deepness of his sound and returns to slow, but funky and grooving beats. Pole starts his new label with the 12inch series “waldgeschichten”. Part 1 and 2 were released in 2011, part 3 followed late summer 2012. These releases reconnected pole’s latest sound visions with his earlier work on the edge between electronic club music, urban dub and avantgarde, the sound for which pole was always well known and respected! In 2012 Peder Mannerfelt and Malcolm Pardon aka „Roll The Dice“ asked pole to rework tracks from their album „In Dust“ that was released on the Leaf label the year before. The result is the highly acclaimed 3 track ep The ROLL THE DICE meets POLE „In Dubs“ which is released by Leaf in november 2012. As a next step pole is ending the „waldgeschichten“ series by combining the existing tracks with new unreleased music and soundscapes into an album mix cd that is planned for 2015. Alongside with the upcoming album pole is developing a new concept for his live shows.
Society for Arts and Technology [SAT] 05/06/2011
Stefan Betke has helped define Berlin dub-techno with his productions and his label ~scape. Well known for his minimalist re-configuration of Jamaican dub on the Blue, Red and Yellow albums at the turn of the decade, Betke found beauty in the static noise of a crash-damaged Waldorf-4-Pole filter. By 2003, the Waldorf filter was retired and Pole released a series of hip- hop incursions on the Mute label (45/45, 90/90, and Pole), which utilized more traditionally electronic production. Betke made another leap in 2007, definitively escaping the cul de sac of his early production style with the release of the critically acclaimed Steingarten, an album that mapped out new Pole territory without leaving behind the qualities that made him unique. He arrives at MUTEK 2011 after a six-year absence from the festival stages, as part of a special soirée dedicated to the design intersections between Berlin, Montreal, and Buenos Aires.