Things go bump in the night on a Clink record. Over the course of three years, Camea and Insideout's Brooklyn/Berlin imprint has established its own unmistakable brand of steampunk minimalism. Rusty fans whir, typewriters clack and telephones ring over heaving low frequencies. "Happy Ending" is a perfect example of the label's trademark sound, opening with a swollen techno breakbeat that rumbles through a dark alley of ominous fog, echoing scrapes and voices caught in mid-gasp.
"Computer Says Love" is built from the same oversaturated bass foundation with creaks and groans in the floorboards and a marble-mouthed voice just outside the window. A squiggly sheet of aluminum provides the sole melody before the track breaks apart into a floor-stomping beat. Alexi Delano's remix transforms the slow burning tension of the original into an intense piece of slice and dice, powered by springy drums, hard snares and lots of metallic claptrap. After the bass doubles-up midway through, things go from slightly eccentric to absolutely demented with modulators pushed beyond eleven and voices oscillating between growling and helium tones. Over the course of seven minutes, Delano transforms a quirky remix into a cartoon parody of the original.
Digital "exclusives" are normally the killing fields for secondhand remixes, but Happy Ending delivers a pair of tracks that are on par with the vinyl material. Alexi Delano's second stab at "Computer Says Love" is just as unhinged as his first outing, but the dark and screwy palette works better here, conjuring images of Dennis Hopper huffing laughing gas and hitting some nerves that haven't been struck since DBX's "Electric Shock." Insideout's mix of "Happy Ending" offers more restraint and structure, submerging the vocals and razor-blade synth beneath a river of knocking drums. Of the five tracks on this EP, it's the least likely to inspire a panic attack.
This record presents such a specific and focused sound that it's difficult to make clear distinctions among the individual artists. Maybe it's not important. In the case of Clink, it's all about mood.
Tracklist A1 Happy Ending
A2 Computer Says Love
B Computer Says Love (Alexi Delano Remix V 1)
Digital: Computer Says Love (Alexi Delano Remix V 2)
Digital: Happy Ending (Insideout Remix)