Mike Ink is one of Europe's leading producers of minimalist pure house and techno, released primarily under his own name and as Love Inc., M:I:5, and Gas. After kick-starting the German acid scene during 1991-92 and releasing some of the style's more popular tracks, Ink reoriented his focus on the essentials of a distinctively German brand of minimalist techno, launching the Profan and Studio 1 labels, all widely hailed in the techno underground as among the finest sources of purist European dance music. His analytical, almost religious affection for the four-on-the-floor beat (and not much else!) definitely places him against the dominant trends of the hyper-hybridized post-rave dance music environment into which he's released the bulk of his material, but also gained his work acclaim alongside that of labels such as Concept and Basic Channel.
A native of Koln, Germany, Ink, together with artists such as Biochip C., J. Burger, and Air Liquide, was a founding member of the Structure label group, which included the Blue, Monotone, and DJungle Fever labels, largely responsible for the early '90s German acid house revival. Unlike his early colleagues, however, Ink has resisted the urge to diversify, sticking to his puritanical aesthetic through a series of EPs and album-length releases for Force Inc., Extreme, Trans Atlantic, Burger Industries, and his own Profan and Studio 1 labels. Breaking his various stylistic pursuits into definite chunks, Ink reserves the Love Inc. name for his more commercial house tunes, while M:I:5 and his own name usually grace his techno releases and Gas is reserved for his beatless experimentations. Ink's Respect, released on Force Inc. in 1994, is a good introduction, and remained among his most acclaimed work. Ink material has trickled out from a variety of sources since, including a 1996 single for Warp, a Love Inc. LP for Force Inc., several Gas full-lengths through Mille Plateaux, and his American debut in 1998, the J. Burger collaboration Las Vegas (released as Burger/Ink). He also collected his Studio 1 and M:I:5 material for two separate 1997 CD compilations. [See Also: Burger/Ink, Gas, Love Inc.] ~ Sean Cooper