Supermayer Save The World

Supermayer Save The World
Supermayer are the Kompakt supergroup of Superpitcher and Michael Mayer, two of Cologne’s best-known techno producers. Though the pair have brought their combined skills to several high profile remixes (Losoul, Gui Boratto, Geiger) in the past three years, it wasn’t until this year that they went into the studio to produce original work. The first results of those sessions to emerge was the "Two of Us” single, a thrilling slab of minimal loop techno that hinted these two luminaries would use their cumulative talents to rival the great techno minimalists working today. But the Save The World album is no such creation. Instead, this 13-track full-length (which comes complete with comic book) offers the poppiest work to date for either producer, and that includes Superpitcher’s 2004 Here Comes Love album. The pair provide a leisurely form of cleanly assembled tracks that swing from inoffensive pop to lounge room techno and down-tempo. Several tracks, such as "The Art of Letting Go,” verge on vocal-laden indie pop productions that wouldn’t be out of place on Dntel or even Air records. Save the World is a wide-ranging and largely relaxed affair, and ultimately one that will have a hard time exciting long-time fans that have come to expect a certain degree of sexiness or brooding mid-tempo bass lines from two of the genre’s more notable practitioners. In the end, little here reaches the gauzy heights of "Two of Us.”

When did you first start talking about making an album together?
That was about one-and-a-half years ago. We had just moved together into our new Kompakt studio so at first we became one in a technical sense. At the beginning we were just helping each other out, then we discovered how much more effective we can be when we work together. Our first productions were remixes, which proved to be a good training ground for us. We both felt that there could be something very particular coming to life if we’d intensify our co-operation. "The Art of Letting Go” was the first result; it sort of paved the way and set the tone for Supermayer’s Save the World.

Was there a conscious decision to make a Supermayer album sound like more than just Superpitcher and Michael Mayer?
The fact that Supermayer sound like a superhero character was throwing the ball in the court. It allowed us to enter into a parallel world where anything goes, where we wouldn’t need to meet any expectations towards Mayer or Pitcher solo. It’s like in Superman. At daytime we are Michael Mayer and Aksel Schaufler but as soon as we enter the studio, we’d put on our capes and tights and we could fly. We’d be Supermayer.

How long have you and Aksel known each other? How/when did you guys meet?
We first met in 1999 at a Total Confusion party, which is my Cologne residency with Tobias Thomas. I think I started talking to him because of that smart marine blue shirt he was wearing that night. He looked like the Dior remix of a Second World War U.S. navy pilot and I thought, " Hey, welcome to the club. We need guys like you.” We instantly became friends.

Supermayer began as a remix team. Whose idea was it to start remixing together? What has been you best remix work together over the years?
I don’t remember whose idea it was. I think it was just a necessity to do something together. My favourite Supermayer remix is the one for "Good Evening” by Geiger on Firm Records. It’s a 12-minute-long trip. In case you’ve ever experienced it on the dance floor, you’ll know what I mean.

According to the first time you two worked together was all the way back in 1999 on a remix for Vermittelnde-Elemente. Then six years went by with nothing happening. What accounted for the break?
That’s funny. We both totally forgot about this remix until a few weeks ago. We were quite startled when we saw that it even ran under the name of Supermayer. But the most astonishing thing is that it sounds like the prototype for lots of the M_nus-like minimal stuff that surrounds us today. Trainspotters watch out!

What’s you favourite part of working with Aksel?
We don’t need to explain things to each other. There’s a strong intuitive link between us.

What do you enjoy least about working together?
He’s still smoking cigarettes; I’ve stopped.

In many of its elements, Save the World is a very pop album for home listening. Were you both looking to make a softer album that could be enjoyed on a more personal level?
You can find home listening elements in both our solo albums, Touch and Here Comes Love. And I wouldn’t say that Save the World is softer than these two. It just sounds more organic and of course, there are two bona fide ballads on it. For sure we allowed ourselves to act even more freely than before. As we said before, we were like "Anything goes!”

Both of you have instances in the past of dabbling in variations of pop. What is your fascination with the pop mould? What does it afford that you can't find within techno or house?
We’re both listening to lots of different music. Actually, we hardly listen to techno at home. The world of music provides such richness and diversity in sounds and styles that it would be a shame if we ignore all that. At first glance, for example, Neil Young and techno don’t have much in common. But I’m convinced that it makes you a better techno producer if you ever really listened to a Neil Young song. There’s so much we can learn from the past. "You need to know the past if you want to create something new.” I forgot who said this originally but I think it’s definitely true. (Kompakt)