12" Vinyl UK
For fans of Boards Of Canada, Autechre
The union of Bochum Welt and Central Processing Unit makes perfect sense. Here we have a principal figure from IDM's 90s heyday linking up with an imprint that has brought the sound and spirit of Rephlex Records into the modern day. As such, it is unsurprising that Bochum Welt's label debut, the 2019 LP Seafire, has quickly become one of the most vaunted releases in CPU's extensive catalogue.
A few months on from the release of Seafire, the Italian artist returns to the Sheffield imprint with Seafire Remixes. As well as a pair of new versions from Bochum Welt himself, this five-track set also contains a trio of tunes which rewire Seafire originals - one remix apiece from EOD, James Zabiela and Telefon Tel Aviv.
One can think of Seafire Remixes as chronicling a night at the club in reverse - at least until its final track. 'More Light (Radio Edit)' and 'G1 (Ambient Mix)', the two Bochum Welt originals which kick things off, maintain the heady glow of Seafire. Both are lovely, wistful lilts, full of gently-pattering drums, plumbingpluming synths and keening keyboards. They recall the most cerebral end of Boards Of Canada's output, flushing you with the warm afterglow of the party as you begin to bed down, dawn just starting to break through the window.
If these opening jams represent the night drawing to a close, the mid-section of Seafire Remixes rewinds to the thrill of the dance. bbbbbb recors mischief-maker EOD and British dancefloor veteran James Zabiela both tackle 'More Light' on their remixes, and each producer makes the same decision to gee-up the track with drums. The former's version plumbs a load of IDM-techno beats into the floaty-light original to give it a buoyant positivity not dissimilar to Andrew Weatherall (RIP). Meanwhile Zabiela's snapping broken-beat electro rework is pure peaktime euphoria, with 303s squirming gleefully under clattering drums and a needle-gun bassline. It's a distillation in sound of some of the very best aspects of dance music culture - rhythm, communality, utopia.
Telefon Tel Aviv's reworking of Seafire's 'Color Me' ends this otherwise-uplifting EP on a more pensive note. Unsurprisingly given the pedigree of the artist, Telefon Tel Aviv's 'Color Me' flip is the most leftfield production on Seafire Remixes. Eerie, spectral synths clatter and churn away atop skittering drums which have a ghost of trap about them. This heady fug sounds very much like the morning after the night before, with Gold Panda, Teebs and TOKiMONSTA all recalled.
Covering a large amount of sonic terrain - electro, IDM, techno, abstract hip-hop, ambient music - Bochum Welt's Seafire Remixes EP is simultaneously one of the most stylistically diverse and most aesthetically unified Central Processing Unit releases to date.
RIYL: Daniel Avery, AFX, Boards Of Canada, Autechre [info sheet from distr.]