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Here Comes Love

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Album Review

Prior to this, Aksel Schaufler had only a pair of 12" releases credited entirely to himself. However, if you were to harpoon all of his appearances on Kompakt compilations and Kompakt Extra releases, the end result — nearly two hours of material — would anthologize one of the label's most prolific, consistent, and ever-developing producers. Excepting pop ambient, he has served up the most shining examples of each of the label's specialties, glammy shuffle-tech, luscious microhouse, and full-on electro-pop included. Nothing on Schaufler's first album, made entirely of new tracks, shakes you to your core like "Fieber" or steals your breath like "Mushroom." This has nothing to do with a slide in quality and everything to do with the way the album is designed. Both structure and scope verify that Schaufler, much like Hall of Fame superpitchers Satchell Paige and Sandy Koufax, is at his most effective when he's finessing us. Rather than put this album on for the sake of an instant jolt, you'll be more inclined to settle in and leave it on all day or night. A rough middle patch, including a lovelorn tone poem that plods and a throwaway rendition of "Fever," is nothing a skip button can't fix. Disregarding that, over 45 minutes of lavish European romanticism await. If labelmates Closer Musik are the sleazy upfront seducers, Schaufler is the slightly aloof gent whose ruse is mysteriously alluring. His vocals, present throughout, owe in equal amounts to Bryan Ferry and Marc Bolan, with the lyrics entering the mind like stream-of-consciousness fragments written by the former — "Happiness"' "I want happiness/I seek happiness/To cause you happiness/To be your happiness" could help make for a coda to just about any Roxy Music song. Older Schaufler tracks like "Tomorrow" and "Time to Cry" are the best points of reference for the duration, crossing streamlined techno and house (in use of repetition) with warm synth pop (in melodic sustenance). Nearly every track is worthy of being singled out, but three stick out from all of these standouts. The opening "People" weaves vibes, synthetic flute, and a neo-acid line around a chunky rhythm that's more Metro Area or Chicken Lips than any microhouse missionary; "The Long Way," like Borneo & Sporenburg's "Boys in Shorts," ideally melds glam-indebted shuffle-tech to ringing sophisti-pop; and "Even Angels," a glorious finale, thrives on a potent sense of levity. If Here Comes Love isn't the knockout blow that Kompakt freaks have been wanting since Total 2's "Shadows," it's still a very generous album.


Born: 1973 in Germany

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

As with a lot of other producers on Cologne, Germany's Kompakt label, it's nearly impossible to predict what Aksel Schaufler, aka Superpitcher, will do next. He debuted in 1999 with a 7" in the Kreisel 99 series, then made his first appearance on Kompakt proper a year later with "Shadows" -- an eerie trip-hop production seemingly designed to soundtrack a 3 A.M. drive down a foggy urban alley -- on the label's Total 2 compilation. In 2001, he contributed a track to Kompakt's first Speicher 12" and...
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Here Comes Love, Superpitcher
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