There are probably monks in the Opus Dei who would think Clink Recordings could do with lightening up a bit. In the six years since Camea and Tim Xavier established the label, Clink's dour asceticism has seemed extreme even for minimal techno. Artists like Oliver Dodd, Alexi Delano and Camea herself sometimes make even Minus' most serious-minded output sound like Chic. In the process, though, they've established a signature sound of metronomic techno with the least possible adornment, save for the dripping stalactites, plucked overhead power lines and demonic whispers that seem to appear so regularly in the label's tunes.
That uncompromising vision, seemingly designed to scare off the uninitiated, shapes the form of Clink's first compilation. Rather than simply rounding up the best of their back catalogue, Camea instead has reduced the already desolate likes of Mark Henning's "Cracker" back to a series of loops before recombining all 21 tracks into a 72 minute mix. Running as a single track, it offers few easy entry points for the casual listener, giving little indication of where any single "tune" begins or ends.
Man cannot live on minimal techno alone, and Camea's slimming down of the differences between the tracks can make Clinkology Vol. 01 seem somewhat monochrome and emaciated at first. But despite those qualms, the mix is an object lesson in how much can be achieved with so little. Clink might be a purist label, but this music is far from pure at heart. Much of the mix has a sinister undertow and even a strange sexuality, albeit one more suggestive of JG Ballard's Crash than the seductive edge someone like Cassy brings to her mixes. The occasional voices that rise out of the darkness—such as the dead-eyed French monologue of Mikael Stavöstrand and Cesare vs Disorder's "La Plaisir" or the strung-out drug tale of Tim Xavier and Insideout's "Girl On Fire"—are isolated and alienating, like someone struggling with schizophrenic voices. Stern and austere, Clinkology Vol. 01 certainly isn't for everyone, but it can be both purging and enlightening for those with the discipline to take it.
Tracklist01. Camea & Alexi Delano - He Said, She Said
02. Tim Xavier - Spandex
03. Mark Henning - Cracker
04. Alexi Delano - Mute
05. Camea - Dub Me Tender (Dana Ruh remix)
06. Oliver Dodd - Thebes
07. Tim Xavier - Viperfish
08. Mikael Stavöstrand & Cesare vs Disorder feat. Lu&nl - Le Plaisir
09. Mikael Stavöstrand & Cesare vs Disorder - Massive Attack (Camea Remix)
10. Tim Xavier and Insideout - Girl On Fire
11. Grinser - Let The World Spin
12. Alexi Delano - Molar One
13. Mark Henning - Baby Chow
14. Camea - Dub Me Tender (Dilo Remix)
15. Mark Henning - Punch Bowl
16. Camea - Flirt Locker
17. Tim Xavier - Cold Fresh Air
18. Tim Xavier - Stepping Into the Unknown
19. Tim Xavier - Spandex
20. Tim Xavier and Camea - You Control Myself (Velvet Edit)
21. Tony Rohr - Eli Odd Hows