Superpitcher (aka Aksel Schaufler) is best known for his prolific string of warm, emotive and often melancholic singles and remixes on, among others, Cologne’s Kompakt label. His debut full-length, Here Comes Love, is a perfect fusion of techno and pop and has perhaps the most emotion of any electronic release this year. It’s a strong testament to the possibilities that exist when techno comes up for air, while retaining a bit of its dark, intense edge. Kompakt has been doing this exceptionally well as of late (see Heiko Voss); Here Comes Love can be seen as the crown jewel of said subgenre.
Opener “People” starts with a warm vibraphone loop, interspersed with crunchy synth stabs over a stomping 2/4 beat. Best described as dark tech pop, it’s equally warm and lush, but contrasted with undertones of paranoia and isolation beneath the surface. Schaufler’s vocals take the undeniably strong groundwork and round things off perfectly. “The Long Way” is the album standout — its crisp, slightly off-kilter schaffel beat and acoustic guitar loop continues for several bars before a lovely piano line takes over and then fades out as quickly as it came. Toward the end, the drums drop out, and the track gradually builds in intensity as strings swell and Schafler breaks out of verse.
The album’s strength, aside from just how meticulously produced and gorgeous the tracks are, stands in Schauflers’s masterful embrace of various styles, whether it’s the aforementioned schaffel; downtempo, as on “Sad Boys”; or ambient, as is case on the heavenly second half of “Angels.” As noted electronic music writer Philip Sherburne puts it so well, Here Comes Love “is like moonstomping in a mattress factory while every steeple in town chimes out the hour.”