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Josh Wink

Esteemed producer, DJ, and label owner Josh Wink makes dance music in a wide variety of styles, from manic acid breaks to hypnotic minimal house. The Philadelphia native emerged with a bounty of tribal house and acid records during the early '90s, including multiple collaborations with King Britt, and the two founded the long-running Ovum Recordings in 1994. He scored numerous international club hits and even made the Top Ten of the U.K. pop charts with his 1995 classic "Higher State of Consciousness." His 1998 major-label debut full-length Herehear included tracks that went in a more rock-influenced big beat direction. A trio of acclaimed Profound Sounds mix-CDs followed, as well as the more stripped-down yet inventive techno and house full-lengths 20 to 20 (2003) and When a Banana Was Just a Banana (2009). His subsequent work, including collaborations with Truncate, has been heavily influenced by minimal and Detroit techno, while 2023's The Half Full EP is a slice of summery deep house. After being turned on by punk rock in the '70s, Josh Winkelman was inspired by a diverse group of dance-styled artists during the 1980s -- ranging from Depeche Mode to Kraftwerk to Run-D.M.C. -- and began working with a Philadelphia-based mobile DJ service from the age of 13. After he met up with a fellow DJ, King Britt, at one party, the duo began recording. One of their first productions, 1990's "Tribal Confusion" by E-Culture, was released on New York's Strictly Rhythm Records and became a success in America's exploding club/rave scene, which Wink and Britt soundtracked by DJ'ing at events around the country. Wink had also recorded for Nervous, another vaunted East Coast dance label, and Belgium's R&S before forming Ovum Recordings in late 1994 with Britt. Ovum and Wink had an international club hit right out of the box with 1995's "Liquid Summer," and the single led to Wink recording for a maze of European labels. During 1995, he recorded "Don't Laugh" (as Winx), "I'm Ready" (as Size 9), and the especially trippy and hard-edged "Higher State of Consciousness," all of which topped European dance charts and even made several pop charts. He also issued his first mix CD, United DJs of America, Vol. 3: Philadelphia, PA. His 1996 debut album, Left Above the Clouds, released as Winx, included several of his hit singles as well as downtempo material and spoken word interludes. The major labels came calling in 1997, and Wink decided to sign not only himself but the entire Ovum Recordings label to a deal with Columbia. Herehear, Wink's 1998 full-length, included collaborations with Nine Inch Nails' Trent Reznor, poet Ursula Rucker, and Philly mod punks the Interpreters. The mix album Profound Sounds, Vol. 1 followed the next year, showcasing a smoother tech-house sound. "How's Your Evening So Far?," a 2000 single with Lil' Louis based on his classic "French Kiss," was followed by 2001's "Evil Acid." Another club hit, 2002's "Superfreak (Freak)," was included on the acid-heavy full-length 20 to 20 in 2003. Wink also issued Profound Sounds, Vol. 2, which included an unmixed bonus disc featuring singles and interview footage. Profound Sounds, Vol. 3, divided into "Subconscious" and "Conscious" discs, appeared in 2006, including an official release of Wink's popular bootleg remix of Radiohead's "Everything In Its Right Place." Additional singles, including releases on minimal techno labels M_nus and Poker Flat, preceded the 2009 full-length When a Banana Was Just a Banana, with a Remixed & Peeled collection following the year after. Ovum issued a series of annual Winter Warmers compilations from 2012 to 2015. In addition to those collections, Wink continued issuing singles such as 2013's "Balls," 2014's "Denial," and 2016's "Shoelaces" (on Boysnoize). 2017's "Resist" was remixed by Truncate, who would work with Wink on future singles. "Aries on Mars" appeared in 2018, and Wink guested on Maceo Plex's 2019 Drumcode single "Destination Mars." He released "Feel" on Ellum Audio in 2020. Bedrock Records issued Wink's "New Year's Day Acid" in 2021, and he collaborated with Truncate for the track "Be Aware." 2022 brought the Rekids-issued "Detroit Stab," a second Truncate collaboration ("Let Go"), and "Balls Back." Another Drumcode release, Mind's Eye, rounded out the year. The deep house-influence Half Full EP was released by Freerange Recordings in 2023.
© John Bush & Paul Simpson /TiVo


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