Tempus (meaning “the tense of a verb group is its form, which usually shows whether you are referring to past, present, or future time”) considers the connection between the past, present and future, and is, explains Betke, “…a natural development to the last album. One which goes further and is even more complex.”
It’s a natural topic for Betke to explore, not only because of the connection to 2020’s Fading – an album about coping with dementia and the loss of memory over time – but because all of Pole’s work has an interconnectedness that spans past, present, and future. While each Pole album – his catalogue glides across ambient, dub, jazz, glitch, and electronica – is distinctly singular, the albums are part of an ongoing evolution that link as much to history as they do to the future.
The presence of dub within Betke’s idiosyncratic framework of electronic music, is a constant but on Tempus, dub takes on an additional role. The dub effect units used in Pole’s music delay sound, keeping them a step behind the present before they are released, fading away again into a foggy reverb. The pace, tone and echo of dub effects are themselves traversing the essence of past, present and future within the album. It’s also one of the most overtly jazz-leaning records in Betke’s career but given his inclination to do things originally, it’s a deconstructed, mutated and manipulated form of jazz.