Published Sep 15, 2010Throughout the dreamy sonic scenery of Kilimanjaro, Cologne's Superpitcher produces an audible landscape that's both instrumentally and conceptually varied. Natural to all songs is an ambiguous take on the theme of melancholy and an unconventional approach to techno, with a distinctive final result. Superpitcher reinvents formulaic aspects of club music like it's his job (which is suitable for Kompakt), weaving addictive house hooks with a warmly edited layering of organic instruments (like bells, bass or flute). As on 2004 debut Here Comes Love, each song on Kilimanjaro is its own autonomous entity. "Voodoo" brings the dub with tricky percussion and spooky organ; "Country Boy" weaves a customary house beat with twinkling synths and progressive menace; "Rabbits in a Hurry" is a gem, with quick, yet lumbering, beats between cut-up sirens and guitars. Aksel Schaufler's voice resounds in a blasé way, singing about the modern social condition ("Everybody's always in a hurry, everybody should drink more, you'll get used to the confusion"). Some closing tracks fall sleepily behind the sophisticated constructions of the beginning. The organ on "Give Me My Heart Back" just isn't funky enough to sound so churchy and "Holiday Hearts" is excessively lulling. But mainly, Kilimanjaro is triumphant, layering and intermingling sounds of all sorts, creating dance music that's as catchy as it is cutting-edge.
Kilimanjaro sounds like dance music very in tune with its emotional intelligence. Do you think incorporating analog instrumentation with the electronic plays a role in that?
It's no secret that I've always been looking for more emotions, warmth and drama on the dance floor. Of course, using analog instrumentation helps a lot. I mostly use analog stuff because I'm super-mad about the aesthetics of my sound; I must feel it! That doesn't mean I don't love the razorblade-sharp machine sounds of Kraftwerk. It just suits me, and my music, better. And I'm a fan of Phil Spector's sound.
Lyrically, your songs touch a bit on the weirdness of people's habits ("Rabbits In A Hurry," "Country Boy"). Would you say your work is influenced by social oddity and illness?
Oh, yes, pretty much so; it's one of my favourite things to do - studying social behaviour and relations of people and animals - especially at night time. Everything is going into my work somehow, and then there's a lot of fiction too.
We are entering a new era of synchronicity between rock and techno sounds. Do you think labels like Kompakt are making a deliberate effort to overcome the more boring, formulaic takes on house and techno? Is it a natural artistic evolution?
It's been going in this direction for a while, at least in my case, but maybe it's more popular than ever these days. I also realize that a lot of these young, hip rock bands of today are playing their instruments - often in a repetitive way - like they would be arranged on a computer. I really love that and I always had this idea of a band playing like that in mind when making music of my own. Kompakt has always been very open-minded, interested in new styles and ideas in music, and definitely always working against boredom. That is also one of the main reasons I ended up there. I always had the feeling I could release any music I make with them no matter how different it comes out. It just needs to be inspired. (Kompakt)