Bochum Welt – Module 2

4 out of 5

Label: Rephlex

Produced by: Gianluigi Di Costanzo

Bochum Welt’s recent Central Processing Unit release, Seafire, didn’t make much of an impact on me.  Some scattered reviews seemed to agree, but it brought to my attention that Bochum Welt – Gianluigi Di Costanzo – had a notable set of releases quite some time before, including some that were apparently holes in my Rephlex artists collection / awareness.  So back to the start I went with Module 2.

Seafire sold out fairly quickly based on hype for Di Costanzo’s return; listening to Module 2, I get it.  Coming in the mid 90s golden years of Aphex Twinnery, Module 2 is an amazingly slick set of tracks that link early AFX coldness with DMX Krew playfulness and then on through the smoother, prettier landscapes of Richard D. James-era Aphex and its ilk.  While the short set – 8 cuts – does eventually lose its edge toward the end, sounding rather cut and paste, the lead in is a lot more unique and bold than the mix-and-match description makes it sound.  Opener Avtomaticesk skips back and forth between house beats and video game bleeps in a manner I’m not sure I’ve ever heard blended so effectively, and is then backed up with tracks that rustle through old school beats, but paired with a video gamey layer that sets the mood as both joyful and contemplative.  It’s a brilliantly effected style, and it’s assisted by that short runtime, as Di Costanzo can move from song to song fairly quickly, keeping the energy high.

While the closing tracks start to borrow from the AFX effect book a bit too closely, it listens more as a loving take on the style than a rip, allowing Module 2 to absolutely stand out as another bright spot in Rephlex’s catalogue from back in the day.  Yeah, if this was the only Di Costanzo work I had, I’d be damn excited about a return as well.  As is, that means I get to track down the good handfuls of stuff he released between now and then to see how things evolved past this intriguing starting point.