Superpitcher
Here Comes Love

Kompakt
2004
B+



t a recent show in Chicago, Superpitcher (Aksel Schaufler) told me that I “dress sexy”. This took me by surprise, because while Urban Outfitters and Abercrombie are cashing in on the worn-in clothing trend, my typical attire looks like I just woke up in my clothing because, surprisingly enough, I did. I can safely say that not many people think I dress sexy. Trust me. Schaufler’s comment came from so far out of leftfield that, to this day, I’m still not exactly sure what it meant. The point? I found that Superpitcher’s blank charm in person also defines the best moments on his new album Here Comes Love—a tad aloof, but ultimately satisfying.

Officially known as Schaufler’s debut LP, Here Comes Love should be by no means an introduction. In recent years, Schaufler has released a surfeit of excellent singles and remixes (highlights include “Heroin” and a shuffle mix of Quark’s “I Walk”). Given Schaufler’s one-off work, the collective drool of the Kompakt-faithful could be felt around the world with the announcement of his LP. Needless to say, most of this album lives up to these expectations. Rather than over-stepping into the conceptual boundaries of a full-length album, Superpitcher finds affinity in the pop tradition of a singles collection.

Disregarding cohesion, each track sparkles as a remarkably self-contained unit. This makes the weaker material quickly forgivable, quarantining “Traume” and “Fever” from larger damage on the album. Even with this relative trough coming in the middle of the album, Schaufler’s DJing instincts do lend the album strong pacing throughout, moving expertly from the charged opener “People” to the ambient wind-down of “Even Angels”.

Despite this, the album is firmly indebted to pop. Schaufler, who lends his hushed vocals to every track on the record, opens the album seemingly taking cues from Marc Bolan’s understated singing and even T. Rex’s glam-rock stomp. “People” crystallizes where the two genres interconnect—T. Rex’s “The Motivator”’s strummed swing and straight-faced melody as sublimely reshaped into urgent chimes, soft flute-samples and Schaufler coarsely repeating “All alone / Together / On our own / Together”.

Schaufler’s debt to other genres is clear on many of the tracks here. By using earlier pop touchstones, the originality can be found in Schaufler’s ability to inhabit many skins and refract them through a Cologne techno filter. In this instance, some of the finer transformations are the buoyant electro-pop of “Lovers Rock” and the Timbaland-laced sucking beats of “Sad Boys”. His version of “Fever”, however, crosses the line—by giving in to the lure of imitating an already oft-covered track, Schaufler falls flat on his face.

Even with a couple disappointments, Here Comes Love is a successful leap into albums, by playing directly into Schaufler’s strengths. The successful pacing and experimentation on each track appears to (at times) fully merge subtle avant with brash pop in a form that both develops Kompakt’s sound as much as Schaufler’s. It could, and should, be your entry into the leftfield charm of both.


Reviewed by: Nate De Young

Reviewed on: 2004-03-30

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