Bochum Welt – Desktop Robotics & Feelings on a Screen (25th Anniversary Edition)

2 out of 5

Label: Central Processing Unit

Produced by: Gianluigi Di Costanzo (music by)

I remain… perplexed by the modern Bochum Welt output on CPU. Would this material have a place here, if Bochum wasn’t a legacy Rephlex artist? The title is firstly somewhat misleading, and this is neither the full contents of either of the original EPs it references (Desktop Robotics, Feelings on a Screen), nor is it solely selections from those – it’s three tracks from the source material, two maybe new songs / mixes, and three tracks from completely other releases. Strange? The sequencing on this thing is also utterly off, starting strong with a trio of tracks that work through a classic BW Kraftwerk vibe on opener Desktop Robotics, from the same-named EP, then bringing in some jovial bounce on HMT (202 Mix) – I’m guessing a remix of DR’s Hug Me Tight – and rounding things out with the gentle atmospherics of Leafs Brought By the Wind, also from the DR EP. But the thing kind of tanks after that, with a remix from Good Programs (To Be Coloured In Yellow) brought in – Marleybone – which is very wrongly placed after the subtle Leafs, as it’s more ambience, but minused much emotion. So we stall for two minutes, and then get the lead, title tracks from Feelings On A Screen, which is admittedly quite pleasant, but also somewhat “standard” electro, though it’s successfully paired with a grooving futurist Gerald Donald (as Heinrich Muller) remix of “Saint”… taken straight from another another EP: Robotic Operating Buddy. What is going on here?

Timothy van Leijden (Like a Tim) provides a DMX-y remix of Feelings’ Greenwich – previously featured on the Rephlex Like-a-Tim Remixes disc, but at least its original is from one of the featured EPs – and then we conclude with the slow-roll ambience of North – also, I think, new.

So the first three tracks flow together well, but the rest of it is fits and spurts. Marleybone and North would work alright with some more context in a dedicated EP / release, while their sequencing here practically robs them of impact. And the other tracks on the B side (Feelings, Saint, Greenwich) are, similarly, individually not bad, and maintain some consistent bounce, but neither are any of them really standouts, and don’t land on the sweep of tonalities the A-side’s first three tracks offered.

The mostly average / misplaced material combined with the puzzling overall selection of tracks really is a roadblock: I just don’t get what the intention was here.