Mike Ink - Rosenkranz

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  • While Sähkö experiments have always displayed an impish kind of excitement, like playing with volatile chemicals in the science lab, they're conducted in lab coats, wearing safety goggles and under strict supervision. Wolfgang Voigt's Mike Ink contribution, however, is like the entry of the nutty professor, caution thrown to the wind and elements mixed with no concern for the consequences. The Kompakt founder and longtime Cologne ambassador's work has seldom been straightforward: his early pre-Kompakt Freiland, Auftrieb, Studio One and Profan pieces were more explorations of rhythm, texture and sampled sound using vague techno templates than dance tracks, and even his biggest dancefloor bangers - 'R.E.S.P.E.C.T' or the recent 'Vision' tracks with brother Reinhard - seem somehow too enthralling, as though he's using secret, forbidden weapons. His originals from this 1994 release (yes, 1994) use a palette as blank as any other Sähkö production, but everything's twisted, warped and askew. 'Rosenkranz' works up an autistic funk from a slippery bass pulse, bleeps which bounce everywhere but on the beat and a Salvation Army snare roll, ending with surprise blast of wonky sine waves. In 'Dativ' a brash hat/clap hybrid marks time while a family of rodents scurries underfoot, all while a liquid keyboard chord is drunkenly stabbed, hinting at dub without making any cohesive statement other than eccentricity. The remixes smooth the edges for the disco but they're still bonkers by today's standards. Kimmo Rapatti aka Monojunk's 'Melody Mix' sprints from the gate with a BPM around 140, with the kick played in reverse, and all sound vacuumed out for the breaks. Mika Vaino as Ø joins him for 'Junkmix', laying down trademark Sähkö drums beside an up-down low-end whoomp and flickering off-kilter 909 bleeps - it could be a no-frills Gabriel Ananda track. Like other Sähkö reissues, these still sound great, but while the mixes have surely been staples with Richie Hawtin and co. for decades I'm waiting for someone brave enough to drop Mike Ink on a crowded floor.
  • Tracklist
      A1 Rosenkranz A2 Dativ B1 Melodymix (by Mono Junk) B2 Roughmix (by Ø & Mono Junk)