14 Questions For Josh Wink


Philadelphia’s Josh Wink helms the mighty Ovum label, regularly rocks dance floors at festivals and clubs all over the world, and has a plethora of amazing albums, singles and remixes to his credit. On the eve of the release of his latest singles collection, When A Banana Was Just A Banana, Wink fields questions submitted by Big Shot’s readers.

Image: Chris Soltis

1. I’ve heard some buzz about your upcoming album. What can fans can expect to hear?
Warsaw, Poland

Josh Wink: The album [When A Banana Was Just A Banana] is a collection of singles. I will be working on a different LP next year with more of a concept. This album is solely a collection of tracks that I’ve been playing out in clubs/festivals that need to be released. The [tracks] blur the lines of house and techno.

2. How is your year so far?
Candice Tompkins
Latham, MA

All has been great! I’ve been blessed with being busy DJing, traveling to great locations, and having great crowds to perform for! Ovum Recordings is still going strong, and we look forward to the new releases and doing more Ovum nights around the world.

3. What is your involvement these days with Ovum Recordings? How do you go about signing music, and can I send you a demo?!
DJ Silver
Miami, FL

It’s hard to keep up with all that technology presents us with. We’ve been bombarded with demos in all formats. And it’s hard to make the time to listen to all the CDs, USB drives and links. But Matt Brookman (who runs the office and the ship) listens to a lot [of the submissions]. I get a lot [of music] on the road and sift through the ones that will be released and the ones that get passed on. Time and patience is a virtue! We sometimes take our time, but that’s what happens when we get over 20 demos a week! Once we get something we like, I tend to play it out and get a crowd reaction—that’s a good judge of [a track] being something we’d like to release.

4. I heard a world famous DJ recently play nearly the same identical set in a different city during the same DJ tour. Can you believe the nerve of this guy? I was annoyed. I’ve heard you play many times over the years, and I’m always impressed how you mix it up and always bring something special to each DJ gig. How do you manage to keep things fresh while you’re on the road?
via the Internet

There’s too much good music being released for me to always play the same sets! But we as DJs definitely have our favorites and support them whenever we get the chance. I’m happy that you have been able to catch a show when I’m in your area, and I’m also happy that you are continually impressed. I still have a passion for performing as a DJ, and with this passion, it makes it easy to want to keep doing what I’m doing. I always spend time before tours/trips getting new music together; burning my vinyl to CD, getting new releases categorized, etc. But when it comes to the performance, it’s always a spontaneous process. I really feed off of the club or festival’s vibes and moods, which helps me decide when to go artistically. But it’s always different, hence having different sounding sets.

5. You’ve had a lot of hit records like “Higher State of Consciouness” and have done extremely well for yourself since you started releasing records back in the day. What else do you want to do with your life beyond DJing and making music?
Munich, Germany

Well, it’s a good question. A lot of my friends and colleagues in the music industry are asking themselves the same question, as it’s a difficult time to make a living with Internet file piracy and the recession. I would think I’d be involved the music industry and doing something music-related. If not, maybe [I’d become] a doctor or a cook.

6. I’d like to know when was the last time you made a decision based upon principle?
New York City

A lot. I feel it’s important for one to keep their integrity and do things that work with your beliefs. I don’t do any work with cigarette companies and everything at Ovum is approved and worked on by our teams with our vision. I try and make logical, educated decisions about which events to participate in. Principle is important, when one has control. The problem is nowadays so many things get twisted and are out of the control of an individual.

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Josh Wink / When A Banana Was Just A Banana (Ovum)

Josh Wink

A far cry from collabs with the likes of Trent Reznor back in his Sony days, Josh Wink resurfaces with an album of floor-friendly tunes.

It’s hard to believe that six years have passed since Josh Wink released 20 To 20. Hard to believe because the Philadelphia based DJ/producer has been a ubiquitous figure without an album to promote—a true testament to his phenomenal skills as a club DJ. On When A Banana Was Just A Banana, Wink keeps ambitions low doling out a stacks of standard peak-hour friendly cuts for DJs and fans to maintain his recognition level. There’s hardly any progression from anthems like “Superfreak” or “How’s Your Evening So Far?” that came with his last album in 2003 other than that the beats are housier than might be expected in the age of minimal. Wink is no dummy, and the shift to an SF house underpinning is just the kind of refreshing soulful lift found in “Stay Out All Night” but lacks the kind of intensity plaguing all of the “back to the house” tracks coming out right now. The problem with this album is that Wink is still relying too much on the same excess he employed on more rave-oriented tracks from 15 years like “Higher State Of Consciousness” and “Don’t Laugh.” When bombast is a featured part of an artist’s repertoire, where do they go to up the ante? Clearly on cuts like “Counter Clock 319,” Wink is clueless, making both the track and the album far more novelty than anthemic. It’s a shame, too, because tracks like “Airplane Electronique” and “Jus’ Right” possess such a distinct and equilateral blend of house and techno that they even sound fresh and innovative in 2009. The disappointment here is that Wink just didn’t make enough of those good tech house tracks to go around on When A Banana Was Just A Banana, leaving the whole affair feeling just a smidge flat and uninspired.

Sean-Michael Yoder
File under: Mark Farina, Dave Clarke, Justin Martin