When you’re as iconic a figure as Josh Wink, it’s not so easy to sum up a career in a few words—but there are a couple of terms that might serve to get a handle on the seminal electronic-music producer’s lifework. One of the most apt, certainly, would be longevity.
A brief scan of Wink’s mammoth résumé reveals the following: Early-’80 days as an underage mobile DJ; a major role in fostering his native Philadelphia’s burgeoning warehouse scene during the house-music explosion later that decade; name-making ’90s club hits like “Don’t Laugh”, “Higher State of Consciousness” and “I’m Ready”; a label, Ovum Recordings, that’s undisputedly one of the most essential dance-music imprints; and his current position, after all these years, as one of the scene’s most vibrant and creative DJs and producers.
Ahead of a few new releases on Boys Noize and Carl Cox’s Intec, we sat with him to ask a few questions…
Electronic Groove: Hi Josh, thanks for taking the time to answer some questions. We’ve been fans of your sound since the “Higher State of Consciousness” days. What has been your secret to keep innovating in such a tough industry after so many years?
Josh Wink: I don’t know. I get inspired by a lot of things but not one thing in particular. I imagine keeping a hard set integrity is a big way of me being who I am and maintaining innovation. But it’s no secret.
“Underground has always been more
of a frame of mind”
Electronic Groove: We were talking about the first time we saw you play at Ultra Music Festival around 99’ when it was a beach fest. What’s your take on the evolution of the scene and in particular festivals from an underground crowd to the EDM mainstream. Has it affected the quality of the music or has the the scene suffered from it?
Josh Wink: There isn’t really an “Underground” any more. As everyone has access to either the mainstream or the underground with ease now a days. Underground has always been more of a ‘frame of mind‘. The scene emerged out of a small group, and now it has transformed to a huge entity. Kind of out of control. There have been some great things to come about of this mutation but there are many things that suffered as well.
Electronic Groove: You’ve played in huge festivals like Tomorrowland and Ultra to name a few, and we’ve seen some very nice small-club sets like last years 20th Annual Ovum Recordings at Do Not Sit On The Furniture. What is your favorite kind of venue to play and why?
Josh Wink: I enjoy both. I know what I have to do as a performer for each scenario I find myself in. However, I enjoy the smaller more intimate settings, as it’s more personal and gives me feelings I had in the beginning of the electronic music movement in the 80’s.
Electronic Groove: Your a native from Philadelphia, a very important city in USA’s history. Do you have any current musical ties to your home town?
Josh Wink: I enjoy and appreciate the music that has birthed out of Philly. I didn’t really appreciate the Disco movement during the 70’s as I was too young. However, when I became a dj and got interested in buying music and digging. I was able to appreciate the sound and it’s importance in Philly.
Electronic Groove: Tell us about the approach to your show on SiriusXM “Profound Sounds”. How do you plan and get ready for each episode? And how did the relationship with SiriusXM start?
Josh Wink: It started 6 yeas ago, I had a friend who was friends with a program director at Sirius and helped get my foot in the door and they enjoyed and still enjoy the diversity my show brings their channel. The shows are direct and live recordings from my gigs around the world. So, there’s no real planning of the music programmed, that has to deal with my feelings on the gig I played. Only real planning is choosing which show out of all my performances to use, and then what to say in the episode.
“I am thrilled we’ve been around for 22 years! It’s amazing”
Electronic Groove: Ovum has had an incredible trajectory. Are you satisfied with the what the label has become?
Josh Wink: I am thrilled we’ve been around for 22 years, it’s amazing! I am also happy for the consistency of the music being released yet, what I’ve realized is that quality doesn’t always translate into sales. But, we’re okay with this at Ovum. As we are happy releasing good music regardless on if we think it’s going to be a huge seller. I mean we hope they do! C’est la vie
Electronic Groove: Production wise; are you working on any new releases? What can we expect from Josh Wink and Ovum Records in the near future?
Josh Wink: Yes, working on releasing either an LP or mini LP. I’ve been making music over the last 2 years that I play out that has never been released. So, be on the lookout. Also I have a release on Boys Noize records in August, along with remixes of my “Talking to you” on Carl Cox’s Intec. And then a remix I did for Luke Slater’s Planetary Assault System on Mote Evolver and exclusive tracks for the upcoming Cocoon and Soma Records compilations. So, yes I have some new things coming out!
Electronic Groove: What advice would Josh Wink give to all the kids out there trying to make in the dance industry arena?
Josh Wink: Want to get into it for the love of it. Not what you can get out of it. Truly love it and don’t be discouraged if it’s difficult. Things are easier if you love what you do without perceptions.
Electronic Groove: We are always in search for new musical acts. Has anything caught your eye that you can share with us and our readers?
Josh Wink: I am having a hard time keeping up with all the new cool acts and music out there. It’s exciting! But too much for me to really focus on and keep track of.