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Josh Wink- Who Wants to Become a DJ -To Become Unemployed-

Author: Jonty Skrufff
Monday, September 22, 2003
Coming up via America's underground rave scene of the early 90s Philadelphia producer/ DJ Josh Wink was already a big name when in 1995 he released Higher State Of Consciousness.

The acid house anthem became a worldwide chart hit (as did follow-up Size 9 [I'm Ready]) paving the way for Wink to work with Nine Inch Nails, hip hop poet Ursula Rucker and most recently Sting. Prolifically busy ever since and still one of America's best known DJs, he's also always stood out from the crows for cheerfully admitting he never takes drugs.

"One of the reasons that's always stopped me taking drugs was thinking that I might have had a bad trip," Josh told Jonty Skrufff this week.

"The other reason is that music has always made me feel high. I can be a better friend, I can deal with so many things in a much better way without drugs."

Josh's drug-free credentials make in an ideal candidate to discuss the RAVE Act impartially, something he believes is already seriously damaging the scene.

"A huge problem is how the RAVE act has affected the economy in terms of record sales. In the early '90's the rave thing exploded over here and everybody started aspiring to become a DJ and travel internationally. We had DJs coming to play here from all over the globe, so raves became an outlet for this whole generation aspiring to become DJs. They would go and buy equipment, music and all that goes with it, because you had raves happening on a weekly basis," said Josh.

"Since the RAVE act came along so many aspects of raving have become illegal and people don't want to go out because it's no longer the way it used to be. Record sales have gone into decline because DJs are not buying records anymore. In fact, who wants to become a DJ with the current circumstances- To become unemployed-"

RAVE Act problems aside, he's otherwise beginning a new period of record release activity, which includes his remix of Sting's latest single Send Your Love, an acid house EP "20 to 20" and a new compilation CD Profound Sounds Volume 2. Chatting down the line from his Philly studio he's both cheerful and articulate.

Skrufff: How long did it take you to do the whole Sting remix-

Josh Wink: "It took longer than usual because I don't use the Protools software like many of my colleagues do. Also, the vocals were not satisfactory for a long time, as they were a little too spread out. In the end I chose to give the whole track a more alternative, more underground sound still keeping it digestible for the larger public."

Skrufff: Do you generally go to the studio with ideas already in mind-

Josh Wink: "Yes, I do, though its' in the studio where I normally draw my inspiration for new ideas. This time I wanted to do something housier and sexier, but also electronic sounding. The way I make music is that I always try to sound different, I have more fun that way. Fortunately, I can produce music that crosses boundaries, stuff that Eric Morillo plays and stuff that Richie Hawtin and Dave Clarke would play."

Skrufff: How much active involvement have you had in fighting the RAVE act-

Josh Wink: "A little bit, just because a friend of mine in New Orleans (Disco Donnie) got hit by it first, so I've tried to help him out as much as I could. I read and talk to people about it a lot too, I explain why I feel it's a witch-hunt. But America is very different from the rest of the world. Our culture is only 200 or so years old, which inevitably leaves us behind. When I say culture I also mean 'drinking': Your age limit in the UK and virtually everywhere else is 18, while ours is 21. You guys go out for a drink or to meet friends, whereas in America social drinking does not exist. Then with every culture comes another sub-culture. The adult tax payers' kids started going to raves till 10am, the parents found out about it, they called the police, who arrested a few people for drugs. Something had to be done to resolve the problem 'radi