Since I saw him DJ at a Primavera Sound ages ago, I’ve had a certain special predilection for Superpitcher. I was amazed by the energy given off by that skinny German with the oily mass of hair and the wrinkled foulard. From that very moment, I submerged myself in his productions, later giving thanks to that blind fate that led me that late festival night to discover such a great talent that is also so deliciously extravagant. Six years after “Here Comes Love”, the German’s dazzling, romantic debut, and three years after his musical partnership with Michael Mayer in the no-less-exciting project Supermayer –with the magnificent “Save the World” that we are still awaiting the continuation of– Aksel Schaufler is back to give us a peek under the door of Kompakt to show once and for all that he is the one who has best known how to put the Cologne label’s philosophy on plastic.
With the highly sensual “Kilimanjaro”, one has the feeling that Superpitcher has grown well, the right way, without rushing, and without that incomprehensible pressure that many artists seem to feel to do something radically new. So, we continue to hear the emotional passages, the pop undercurrent, and the micro-beats that have always characterised his tricks, but with much more emphasis on vocal passages, and what one senses is a greater volume of real instrumentation. The starting bells situate you and then give way to “Voodoo”, a perfect example of the balance that Schaufler finds between singing and danceable beats (and a cloud of dub smoke that soaks your lungs in narcotic materials). The German perfectly blends ingenuous sung melodies with the musical base, a savoury mixture of minimal, dub, deep house, rare groove and lounge music– and it comes together like a charm. The tempo is feline, silky, designed for the dance floor, of course, but at no time is it too frenetic. This is the tone that predominates throughout the album, and it is what gives extra softness and lubrication to the brew. There, among whispers, curving synthesisers, rainy nights, and licked lips, Schaufler moves like God.
The album floats around you like a soap bubble. A whiff of Kompakt impregnates the track list like the steam from a nice hot shower after a night of partying, drugs, and sex. The danceable beats bounce on the foam rubber of feelings often tending towards melancholy, like in the Gothic electro-folk of “Give Me My Heart Back”, the nocturnal pianos of “Joanna”, the teary ambient of “Moon Fever”, the end of the party with the comedown of “Holiday Hearts”… But not everything is looking out the window with a sad, fishy look on your face. If one thing is truly typical of Superpitcher, it’s that comic-hedonistic-effeminate touch to his more danceable productions. “Country Boy”, with ultra-kitsch phrasing and jumping synthesisers, could be a clear example. Also “Rabbits in a Hurry”, a dance floor number from beginning to end, made out of home-grown electro-pop, bubbling sirens, and a chorus taken from an erotic telephone line. My favourite, in any case, is “Black Magic”, an esoteric, psychedelic, crepuscular song to dance barefoot to on the beach as the sun goes down. Schaufler also regales us with a few verses in Spanish that are the best. “Respira hondo, hondo… cachondo! (Take a deep, deep breath, hot stuff),” the freak whispers in your ear, evoking the best, most delirious moments of Matías Aguayo. He has lived up to expectations. “Kilimanjaro” doesn’t disappoint. There are no extra songs. It has everything that Kompakt addicts need to get through the coming months without getting the shakes. There’s the magic. Óscar BrocSuperpitcher - Moon Fever
Superpitcher - Country Boy
Superpitcher - Rabbits in a Hurry