If you like your hip hop without the commercial trappings of bling-bling sensibilities then there seems to be little you can do apart from dig deep.
You can retreat back into your record collection and revel in the raw early '90s beats of Gangstarr, Pete Rock et al. Or you can search for the real underground, backpack-wearing hip hop thriving in small venues and labels. Or you can embrace variations on the theme.
This is where Pole is found. Whereas previous oferings have concentrated on obscure loops and noises, Pole (aka Stefan Betke)has emersed himself in electronic beats to great effect, turning to hip hop and jazz to produce a beautiful electro-soul collection of music.
From his collaboration with rapper Fat Jon on the haunting 'Slow Motion' - "Everything we do in this world and this life has a timecode attached to it" - to the clipped saxophone accompaniement on 'Bushes', Pole has produced an electronic and eclectic album.
Much of the drum loops are not even easily identifiable as strictly hip hop, but evoke a slightly less 'natural' Boards of Canada feel. He even reverts back to dub stylings as the album goes on.
Ultimately, and refreshingly, this is not commercial, but hauntingly lush electronic music for all to enjoy.
8Dan Roberts's Score