Veteran Italian hardware lover Bochum Welt returns with ‘April’, a broad exploration of ambient and downtempo that collects and re-edits a selection of old works as well as offering up brand new music – and sees the first release on vinyl of all tracks compiled here.
Real name Gianluigi Di Costanzo, Bochum Welt has long been experimenting with his analog gear, and as far back as 1994 was releasing on Aphex Twin’s influential Rephlex label. He went on to put out many EPs and three full lengths there, as well as linking with BMG and Sony Music Japan. He is an accomplished musical engineer, sound designer and master of electronic atmospheres, and in his time he has made it into The Wire’s Top 15 albums of the year, and has also worked with the legendary Thomas Dolby’s California based Beatnik and Headspace Inc. Live, he has opened for Aphex Twin and Thomas Dolby; often the sketches on display in ‘April’ form the basis for Welt’s live show, having been transposed using various vintage gear and sound manglers.
All of these accomplishments are proven here across sixteen short but absorbing tracks. A number of the selected tracks here previously appeared on ‘R.O.B. ( Robot Operating Buddy)’ and on ‘Good Programs (To Be Coloured In Yellow)’, originally released on CD by Rephlex in 2008 and 2013 respectively but never before on vinyl. Among these, the likes of ‘Flag (Take 2)’ and ‘Test Mode 2’ showcase a return to the originals with an inventive re-edit and re-invigoration. Meanwhile ‘Azure’ (streaming today) is new and previously unheard material from Bochum Welt – a beautiful daydream closer to ‘April’, complementing tracks such as opener ‘Ghost’ which forms an equally atmospheric bookend to the release.
From crunchy beats overlaid with pixelated pads to blissfully organic and spring-like sound tracks via tender piano laced ambient numbers, the music on ‘April’ is never less than beautiful. It can be heavenly yet of this world, but also synthetic and computerised. Together, though, it makes for dynamic and standalone work that is utterly timeless. Expressive and personal throughout, this album is about sound research and melodic sensibility and is as technically awe inspiring as it is purely enjoyable.