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  Offworld Music
Record label catering to innovative music, artists and producers - from drum&bass to hip hop and electronic.

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  JOSH WINK: PROFOUNDLY GROUNDBREAKING

Bad Boy Bill
   

 

WEBLINKS
- JoshWink.com
- Ovum Recordings
- System Recordings
- Profound Sounds 2 review


 

 

 

Bad Boy Bill BTD Behind The Decks
Listen & buy here

 

 

 

 

Don't miss Josh Wink's new CD entitled 20 to 20 coming out in October, with all
original acid house tracks!

 

 

 

 

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Cooler Kids
   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Philadelphia-based DJ and producer Josh Wink has released his first mix CD in four years with "Profound Sounds Volume 2." Long-time King Britt collaborator and Ovum Recordings' head-honcho, Wink continues to break new ground and master technology's latest breakthroughs with an absolutely masterful interpretation of the long-standing, DJ-releases-a-mix-CD formula. After first remixing and re-editing all of the personally selected tracks himself, he DJ-mixed them together into one cohesive flow, allowing the listener to hear the entire CD as the whole, originally conceived project, rather than just a collection of mixed tracks.

Josh Wink is drug-free vegan who began DJing at the age of 13. He has remained in the forefront of the electronic dance music subculture by continually releasing his own tracks and remixes. Beginning in the 80's, and throughout the 90's, tracks such as "I'm Ready", "Don't Laugh", and "Higher State of Consciousness" propelled Wink to stardom on the Pop charts in England. With the release of 1998's "HearHere", he was introduced to the burgeoning U.S. scene and worked with such diverse collaborators as Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails, Caroline Crawley of This Mortal Coil, and Ursula Rucker of Jazzanova and The Roots. The single and MTV-ready video for "Are You There?" slowly cemented Wink's presence in the U.S. and pushed the boundaries of "DJ as an artist", which is so commonplace nowadays.

Since the 1999 release of "Profound Sounds Volume 1", Wink has been steadfast in his operation of Ovum Recordings, and busy with various remixing projects. Recent reworkings to hit the dancefloors worldwide have been "Blue Jeans" by Ladytron, "Starry Eyed Surprise" by Paul Oakenfold, and "Free Love" by Depeche Mode. He is currently working in the studio with another Philadelphia-based underground stalwart, G-Love (of G-Love and Special Sauce). Both appeared together recently on the same bill at the 2nd annual Bonnaroo Festival in Manchester, Tennessee.

But it is with the release of "Profound Sounds Volume 2" that marks a truly unique departure for typical DJs and offers the listener a broader range of accessibility. This mix is a true interpretation of the intense, yet at some points beautiful and sublime, Josh Wink live set, similar to the one he performed at Bonnaroo, finishing the night behind Mark Farina in front of a exuberant, crowded arcade tent. By adding his own personal touches with a laptop, CD player, a state-of-the-art mixing console, and plenty of software, Josh Wink has harnessed the concept of "DJ as an artist" at it's fullest potential in an extraordinary way... and captured it on plastic.

I had the opportunity to speak with Josh Wink by phone recently, while he was in the studio working on new original material for an upcoming full-length artist CD, as well as a new vinyl remix. Ever a gentleman and the consummate professional, Wink was cheerful and to the point in our precious 15 minutes together……..

Carl Noone, Jr.: I got the chance to see you recently at the Bonnaroo Festival in Tennessee and again at the DJ Connection at De La Guarda in New York City. How was performing at each of them for you, personally?

Josh Wink: As someone who was going JUST to have a good time, I had a great time (at Bonnaroo). As far as a performance, it was growing pains on the main stage. Where Mark Farina and I played on Saturday night, that was our environment and we were well receipted. A lot of people said that our tent was the one to catch that night. On the main stage, it was a rock concert, and you know I'm not a Mix Master Mike or Z-Trip with all these crazy tricks. It (playing the Bonnaroo Main stage on Sunday afternoon between Galactic and James Brown) was definitely difficult. All in all, it was an excellent experience and I had a wonderful time.

That was my second time doing De La Guarda. I did it last year, and it was so well receipted, we decided to do it again. I really enjoy playing all that weird, atmospheric, spacey stuff in the beginning. One thing you can do as a DJ is create an atmosphere and a setting. A lot of people actually came up to me afterwards and they said, "the music you played in the beginning was SO wild, we had no idea what to expect because of the music you were playing". And then it segues to the part with the paint splattering on top of your head and everything. When it gets more pump-y and dance-y, I like that too, but I like the stuff in the beginning a little bit more.

You ARE using Final Scratch, correct? Is that the next big thing for DJs?

Correct. For me I can only speak, and it's a great tool. I'm able to carry around 1200 records without having to lug around 12 record boxes.

Has using Final Scratch changed you as an artist, in general?

In the fact that I am able to have the possibility to play more diverse music, and go without not having to play it before because I didn't want to bring all these record crates with me. So it allowed me to create the possibility to choose more records to play. A lot of time and effort goes into it; to building your "crate", to building all your MP3 audio files, and that takes a long of time. If you have 1200 or so records in your computer, you lose track of some of them along the way. It's still a learning process for me. I've been using Final Scratch for over a year and a half now. For me, it's a great tool that's allowed me to bring a lot to the table.

How has touring changed for you over the years?

I've been fortunate to have been touring internationally since 1991, so I've been doing this a long time. I've been pretty fortunate because of my long track record of doing what I do, that most gigs I ended up showing up at were pretty good. What's changed is traveling in general, with the whole issue of terrorism. What was once my easy livelihood of traveling around, has now become a little more cumbersome, more work. I just look at it now as "this is just a part of what I do. I have to show up early and I have to get searched. I have to take off my shoes", and that whole thing. They look at you really weird when you are carrying a bunch of records and a computer. You always get double searched. We all have to deal with it now. Carl: You still call Philadelphia "home". What makes it so special?
Josh Wink: I was born here. It's twelve minutes for me to get to the international airport from my house. I got a good piece of property for the amount of money that I paid for it. I can be just "Josh" riding around town on my bike. And I don't have to worry about being "Josh Wink". And it's a lot more laid back than a lot of other cities. I travel almost every weekend, so I'm out of town, and then I come back, and it's still a nice place to come back to.

Do you still shop for records? Do you have any favorite places to shop?

Yes. I shop at AKA Music or Spaceboy for all types of music. I do most of my shopping when I'm out of town. 611 is below our record label, so it's a cool thing because we can stay on top of all the stuff that's coming out. They're right below us, so if there is a cool record or a big record, I can hear it downstairs or they'll tell me about it. When I'm out traveling, I'm sure to got to local shops, local stores, Mom and Pop's, just to see the stocking and what's going on. Buying records is different in every city.

Has the popularity of Dance music reached its peak in the U.S. yet? Does it still have room to grow?

No, I don't think it has. It still has room to grow. Really, all it's doing right now is just lending a service for commercials to bastardize Dance music. That's the only way it can really be accepted here in the United States. Through Pringles ads and Mitsubishi ads. That's the only way that electronic music has done anything here in America. It's not supported on the radio. It's not supported on MTV. And this has been an issue long before Clear Channel started their monopoly on buying radio stations. I don't think it's Clear Channel's fault. Yes, they have a monopoly on most of the music in America regarding radio, but electronic music has been tried here and it just doesn't work. A lot of that goes with the fact that this type of music was played at raves where this person did this type of drug, and police busts happened, and people were overdosing. So parents and children complained to their Governors, and their Senators, and this type of music was taken off the radio because they didn't want to be associated with it. That's a HUGE problem.

Have you witnessed firsthand any of the damage since the R.A.V.E. Act was passed?

Josh Wink: Several years ago, there were raves all the time. Now there's just a few. That's a big concern. Once there were a LOT of DJs buying records, and now there's a lot of DJs that aren't buying records because there's no place for them to play. It's a shame what has happened. I think a lot of people were irresponsible going to parties and a whole bunch of people have set the standard for what raves are about. They became more drug oriented than they did music oriented. Carl: Was there a particular event in your life that prompted you to become more outspoken about being "drug-free" and a "vegan"?
Josh Wink: No, I kind of just do it for myself. If people ask me, then I tell them. I don't think it's important for me to necessarily preach what I believe because what I do works for me. It's a shame that these things (the R.A.V.E. Act, the war on drugs) can happen. I think it's pretty much a witch hunt. America deals in sensationalism, and sensationalism sells and that is how America is dealing with things.

What's next for you? Are you still collaborating with King Britt?

No. King and I are still friends but we are not making music together. We are not running the label together anymore. Ovum Recordings is just myself and Matt Brookman right now. I am actually in the studio right now, taking a little break from working on a Sting remix. Original music is soon to come. We (G-Love and I) laid down some stuff one day; him on vocals, guitar and harmonica, but I've been real busy with other stuff on my plate. That can mean any possibility can happen.

Is there anyone you would like to work with?

I've never really given it much thought. On the last album I worked with Trent Reznor. For the new album next year, I thought about working on something with him again. I had a good time with that track. I haven't really given it much thought, mainly because I haven't delved into that idea yet.

What's the next big single we can expect from Ovum Recordings?

The next single is a DJ Pierre track called "I'm a Freak on the Floor". It's been doing really well. We promo'd it right before the Winter Music Conference and we are about to release it in a couple weeks. We are getting a lot of, lot of play off this right now for an underground house record. It's made a couple single-of-the-month's and a few magazines overseas, so were happy with the way it is setting up.

-- written by Carl Noone, Jr.

 

 

 

 

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