Friday 9 August 2019, 7.30pm

Photo by Filipe Marques

Pole + Kirk Barley

Pleased to welcome Düsseldorf-native musician, producer, remixer and mastering engineer Stefan Betke, aka Pole.

Beginning with his dark blue debut album "1" from 1998, Pole laid a foundation of bass, dub and a defective pole filter as the point from which to explore and implement new sonic architectures. Up until the turn of the millennium, these expeditions grew into a trilogy of albums entitled "1", "2" and "3", appearing in the colors blue, red and yellow. The three albums are now considered milestones of electronic music.

The fact that over the years Pole has released on four labels – Kiff SM, ̃scape Records, Mute Records and now Pole (the label) – has never harmed the consistency of those releases. Although it was with the now-legendary, defective Waldorf 4-Pole filter that Pole initially realized his signature sound, over the years Pole emerged as a sonic architect who increasingly drew from internal sources – finding inspiration in the city as well as in nature. The urban canyons of New York or the broad avenues of Berlin, the mountains and valleys with their echoes, the meditative forests, the above, below and beyond, as well as the horizon – offset by the verticals of trees and buildings – became a sort of matrix for Pole, within which he could hone a very specific poetry of reverberation with unmatched virtuosity.

With the precision of a structural engineer and the confident intuition of one who can hear sound where previously there was silence, Pole goes to the concrete cellars, open-air stages and nightclubs in his path and busts them open from the inside out. The fact that Steve Reich and Arnold Schoenberg, John Zorn, Arto Lindsay and Fred Frith stand alongside Jamaica and Lee Perry as important influences for the professed minimalist has so far neither hurt the energy-discharging potential of his concerts nor the stringent, reductive simplicity of his albums.

Kirk Barley

Kirk Barley is a Yorkshire composer and sound artist, currently based in London.

His highly textural music is formed from studio and field recordings, digital synthesis, and musique concrète audio processing techniques. Drawing influence from minimalist music, techno and hip-hop, he experiments with unusual time signatures, just intonation tunings and algorithmic composition, to create a unique and compelling soundworld.

Kirk has performed across the UK, Europe and Canada, and has completed commissioned work for the Open Music Archive and British Art Show.

https://kirkbarley.com/

Landscapes is the latest release from prolific Yorkshire born composer and producer Kirk Barley. Across a tight 34-minute runtime, the album presents eleven short pieces that inhabit an exotic, other-worldly space of chiming guitars, buzzing insects and squelching synth tones.
Working with looped fragments of his own instrumental, electronic and field-recorded sounds, Barley assembled the tracks from edited improvisations, some of them enriched with live drums from Matt Davies. Barley's skittering, off-kilter loops overlap freely, combining with meterless, free-jazz-inspired drumming and processed environmental field recordings to craft gently surging sonic environments. At once static and constantly shifting, the pieces unfold themselves like views of a landscape, where we take in individual details one at a time while always remaining aware of the whole.

Photo credit Brian Whar