Mike Ink: Rosenkranz (Sähkö)
Really cool, weird minimal stuff from Wolfgang Voigt’s alter ego Mike Ink. Originally released in 1994 on the Finnish minimal techno label Sähkö, these tracks sound just as fresh now as ever. It’s a testament to Voigt’s ingenuity and uniqueness as an artist that his tracks stand the test of time significantly more than most of his contemporaries. The title track is a tiny, fast kick/snare combo punctuated with bleeps and flanged percussive sounds, cycling in ways that aren’t so far off from his Studio 1 or M:I:5 monikers. “Dativ” is a weird complement, sort of like “Rosenkranz” minus all of its more aggressive, dancefloor elements. There’s something almost loungey about how understated it is by comparison. Two remixes of the title cut round out the EP courtesy of Mono Junk and Mika Vainio (of Pan Sonic). Mono Junk’s “Melody Mix” is iconically named as it’s really just a non-stop high-end pulsing tone over an even faster treatment of the rhythm section, sounding like a hopped up version of Joey Beltram with very little melody in earshot. I prefer Mono Junk and Mika Vainio’s “Rough Mix” which is quite dirty and dusty, all murky 909 drums and minimal 303 sounds. It’s down and dirty in the best possible way, crudely minimal in a way that even now still sounds uncompromising.