Fading is set for release on Mute on 6
November 2020
. Available on vinyl, CD and digitally, the new album follows
Mute’s remastered reissues of his groundbreaking trilogy,
1 2 3, at the
beginning of the year.
“Every Pole record connects to recordings
that I've made before,”
Betke explains. “In order to stay in this
kind of vertical development, the ideas from 1,2,3 up to now are connected. I
keep the interesting elements, languages and vocabulary that I designed and add
new elements.”

The exploration of one’s own history relates
to the inspiration for Fading. “The album was mostly inspired by the
idea of memory loss,”
explains Betke. “My mum had dementia and I saw her
losing all the memory that she had accumulated over her 91 long years. When
losing that memory it turned into what she was probably like in the beginning
of her life when she was born - like an empty box.”

A concept album this is not however. The role
of memory loss was simply a springboard for Betke, an idea for the Berlin based
artist to further explore through sound. “It was the motor for moving in
this direction,”
he says. “So for the opening track, ‘Drifting’, there
is the idea of a whole lifespan that starts pretty empty and it gets fuller and
then it ends with this kind of bell sound in the background. Or ‘Fading’, the
last track, deals with the idea of fading away and disappearing slowly. But you
always leave something. You leave a feeling or an image or an atmosphere.
Everybody who lives leaves something on this earth.”

This approach gave Betke the opportunity to
reconnect with his own memory and past. “You can hear some little pops and
glitches in the background of this recording, which is a direct reference to
the trilogy,”
he says. “But you hear it relatively quietly in the
background, this is a little bit of a sign from me, as my history is fading
away slowly too.”  

Due to the multifaceted nature of Betke, the
end result is an album that feels as suited for immersive headphone listening
as it does to being pummelled out through a PA loud enough to feel the bass
rattle your ribcage.

It may have begun life with the embrace of an
accident - Pole is named after a broken Waldorf 4-Pole filter that gave him the
distinct sound - but over the years it has morphed and transitioned into a
finely tuned and honed project with a deft yet potent sense of evolution. Accidents
are, however, still something to be cherished in Betke’s world; the striking
artwork for the album being a prime example. 
“During a super heavy thunderstorm my TV broke down and I couldn't
see anything for 10 minutes,”
he says. “As my screen was trying to
recover it looked very strange. I took hundreds of pictures and when I was
going through the photos, I saw these three where there are people coming into
the image and fading out at the end. They look like oil paintings, and the fading
away process is remade in the trilogy of these photos.”

So the presentation of the final album merges
a perfect blend of considered craft with an unpredictable accident - much like
the trilogy that started all this off.