Foto: Lou Benesch (Superpitcher)
Aksel Schaufler allegedly grew up in a household from which pop culture was permanently banned. Whether or not that is entirely true probably does not matter, but what’s definitely true is that Schaufler absorbed every new sound when he started out DJing as Superpitcher in the mid 90s. First came Hip Hop, Dub and Reggae, then Schaufler relocated to Cologne, where he soon joined the extended Kompakt family. Even that was more than twenty years ago and Schaufler has just returned to his own Hippie Dance with an album released as a 12-part series of EPs to be released every of month until the end of the year. With Superpitcher’s contribution to the Groove podcast, The Golden Ravedays he focuses on the subtler side of The Golden Ravedays; meditations, as he calls them.
You’ve been DJing for over 20 years already, however as producer you sometimes seem to take your time to release new material. Do you feel it is hard to balance both things?
I’m constantly trying to manage my time more efficiently and work in a smarter way. There’s hardly a day that goes by when I don’t work on music. The creation process is usually a quick one until that one moment in which everything comes together and the work molds into something more concrete. That’s amazing. Then follows the drama of arranging the music, trying to make it sound as good as possible and of course the big question if I feel like it has its merit in the outside world. Some people say I think too much. They may have a point but I strongly believe that the music should run its course and that I should feel 100 % comfortable with the sound before releasing it. I believe that life is always about maintaining a balance and one can never learn enough. No one could sum it up better than Rainald Goetz: Don’t Cry, work!
As a DJ as much as producer, you have always sought collaborations with other artists like with Rebolledo as Pachanga Boys amongst others. What does it mean to you to work with other people?
I’m a loner by nature and feel it’s more the case that the collaborations rather find me instead of me intentionally seeking them out. What I enjoy the most about it is that it allows me to stand back and make all the decisions, however big or small, together with someone. I think it’s magical when the shared energy between two people vibrates and one can explore paths that one wouldn’t have alone.
With The Golden Ravedays, you’re undertaking an ambitious project this year by releasing 12 singles over the course of the year, which are to be understood as one entire album. Why did you chose that F
format instead of a box set or simply a digital compilation?
I pondered long and hard over which direction to take, and in the end this concept turned out to be the only one that made sense to me. I’m pleased with the result. I recorded this series of music in a relatively short period of time. When I moved to Paris I found a music studio but I still did not manage to find an apartment to live in at that point. I basically lived in my studio, like a caveman. I recorded all the tracks over the span of six weeks. There was nothing to distract me, I chose no specific direction, I had no goal, there was no concept, just every day a new track that came to me. Then, after a long break, I listened to the demos and everything sounded so great and so right that I realize it would be impossible to translate it into a conventional format. All the tracks belong together, they form one story, all represent one signature of energy and they happen to all be very long. I always liked to allow the music I produced to unfold over time, but this time the tracks were even longer. I knew that it would be an injustice to shorten the tracks and that part of the magic was that they were that long. I purposely wanted to offer an alternative to the careless overkill of sound that seems to rule nowadays. Why not take the time to listen and experience the full atmosphere of the music? I love vinyl records and when I play them I enjoy consciously listening to the music. I found inspiration in Jazz, Afro Beat and various other genres that also use a lengthier format. One long track per side gives you the chance to dive into the music and float on. To me, these individual releases are all LPs. Longplay! There will be a box set at the end, so it would make sense to collect the records.
The title implies a certain sense of nostalgia and the album has been described as an autobiographical work. Are your Golden Ravedays really behind you?
Nostalgia is not really my thing. I always like good titles, especially those that play with words. To me the title is about excitement, emotions and about letting go. There’s certainly some autobiographical elements captured in there but for me it’s very much about the here and now. Maybe I tried to represent a kind of sound encyclopedia. It is tribute to sound. The rave days are definitely not over and that’s the very reason why they are golden.
There are only six tracks in your contribution to the Groove Podcast, nothing that sounds like rave. What was your idea behind it?
The idea was to create a river of sound, something that takes you along with it. Traveling with sound, in the spirit of The Golden Ravedays.
The track “Yves” with its rolling harp sounds in some way serves as a warm-up for the Spiritual Jazz of Alice Coltrane. Coltrane was herself a harpist. What is your connection to that instrument?
I’ve always been in love with that instrument and with Alice Coltrane. And how amazing that these wonderful spiritual recordings from Alice’s Ashram years are being re-released on the great label Luaka Bop, where she interestingly plays less harp and actually sings for the first time.
Stream: Superpitcher – Groove Podcast 101
The Golden Ravedays Meditations #1
01. Superpitcher – Yves (Short Version)
02. Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda – Om Shanti
03. Auntie Flo – Rainfall On Red Earth
04. Superpitcher – Howl
05. Body Four – XIV
06. Superpitcher x Joakim x Neil Young – On the Beach (Under The Sea Mix)
Superpitcher on tour
12.05.2017 Porto, Plano B
13.05.2017 Lissabon, Lux
20.05.2017 Kiew, Strichka Festival / Closer
11.06.2017 Rennes, Big Love
16.06.2017 Barcelona, Kompakt / Nitsa