Playing God
Superpitcher : Here Comes Love

in essence, Superpitcher’s Here Comes Love is a pop record made by a dance producer. How else to explain the songs under five minutes in length and the awkward middle portion?

It should have come as no surprise, though. Aksel Schaufler has always favored vocals and emotions over anonymity and sterility. He’s, for lack of a better descriptor, Kompakt’s most emo producer.

And therein lies both his greatest strength and weakness. Here Comes Love is a deeply affecting record, but it’s also one that indulged Schaufler’s sappier instincts, leading to the inclusion of “Traume”, “Love me Forever” and “Fever”. This Playing God seeks to right those wrongs, keep the album’s running time basically the same and sub in songs with the same amount of emotion and half of the indulgence.

01. People
02. The Long Way
03. Sad Boys

It’s a stunning opening three songs, isn’t it? “People” opens up the album with Schaufler as petulant child: “We don’t need people”. But then the flute comes in and he softens up, further allowing us in: “We are together on our own”. The way he works his vocals with the beat is masterful, allowing for a variety of emotions and interpretations to emerge. “The Long Way” is the lithest shuffle track that he’s yet to produce and it follows in the relatively soft-hitting tradition of the album. If “Grace” or “Irre” had been any lighter, they most assuredly would’ve gone in over this, but its lead-in to the next track, “Sad Boys” is almost too perfect. That song is the album’s first real sidelight and indication that the album wouldn’t be just a collection of tracks designed for the dancefloor. It’s the perfect lead-in to the major section that I’ve chosen to re-tool.

04. Shadows (Total 2)
“Shadows” was one of the earliest tracks to emerge from Superpitcher on the Kompakt label. It’s a slow burner that utilizes a bed of synths and a deep slithering bassline for its purposes. Strangely, it also features a female vocal (as did “Traume” the track replaced here), although this particular one is sampled.

05. Baby’s on Fire (Total 4)
And why not? Like “Love Me Forever”, we’re seeking to change the pacing of the record, but this one instead of slowing things down speeds it up. A buoyant cover of the Brian Eno tune, it even clocks at a few seconds less than the leaden song that it replaces.

06. Time To Cry (Yesterday 12”)
A personal favorite of mine, it contains all the elements of a great ‘pitcher tune: yearning strings, effected vocals, extended fade-out and only a minor build in the middle. Only a Germans could so calmly cry when they see you walking on by.

07. Happiness
08. Even Angels

“Lovers Rock”, in this new context, is superseded by “Time to Cry” and, as such, works equally as well with its follow-up, “Happiness”. It’s, once again, classic Schaufler, although it adds a novel piece of instrumentation: piano. “Even Angels” reprises its use, as the original album fades very slowly into the distance.

09. Tomorrow (Heroin 12”)
Perhaps its just the optimist in me, but I don’t want to leave on the idea that “Even angels make the same mistakes”. Instead we’ll leave our new version of Here Comes Love with what almost amounts to a hidden track, if we keep the 14 minute running time of its predecessor (and I would), and the feeling that “Tomorrow will not be like today”.

By: Todd Burns
Published on: 2004-08-31
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