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Josh Wink interview - Bringing The Now To The Future

Author: Melissa Hart
Friday, March 2, 2007
This year, the Future Music Festival has managed to combine both well-known artists and many new talents. International superstars such as Carl Cox and Ferry Corsten will be in line for the festival (a necessity), while the likes of newcomers Chris Lake and Sebastien Leger will be rocking the dance music crowds with their fresh and salivating sounds.

One DJ who is able to transcend new music and old-school across several different genres is Josh Wink, a name that's been in the music scene for over two decades. Josh has the amazing ability to make house lovers enjoy techno and vice versa.

'When people try to put me into one category or genre they find it difficult. It's good because the likes of Erick Morillo or Roger Sanchez will play one song at the same time as it is being played by Richie Hawtin or Steve Bug. It's never not played because it is too this or too that.' Josh credits the ability to combine different styles to the fact that he grew up in Philadelphia, where he became involved in the hip-hop scene (DJ Jazzy Jeff et al), and also began DJ'ing '80s pop music at parties and functions as a young teen. Josh also discovered Chicago house music - the diversity influenced the young maturing mind.

Even over the phone, across miles and miles of land and ocean, I get the explicit impression that Josh is an artistic, open-minded, spiritual and easy-going guy. I feel comfortable and at ease with him after only a few minutes.

His creative talent and appreciation for creative freedom emerges as he describes (or more accurately avoids describing) to me what may or may not be in store for Wink fans at Future Music Festival. 'I'll be playing like Josh Wink - a mixture of house and techno and going by the mood of the crowd,' he says. 'I'll try and balance music and tracks that people know with ones they don't. At the same time, I'll go judging by the crowd's mood.

'I love playing live because it's more spontaneous and the crowd dictates what I play depending on the energy that is present and what they want.'

Like a true artist, Josh admits he couldn't imagine what it'd be like to play a structured set. 'The mood of crowd has a lot to do with the DJ that has the first set. I'd like to be first because then I don't have the responsibility to give the crowd this crazy energy that they are expecting. I can be deep and moody and have the creative freedom to do anything without expectations from the crowd to measure up to the DJ before me.

'Just like my albums, I like to create a story with the set while I'm on stage, not just play a bunch of tracks one after another. But what the story is depends on the crowd.'

Josh's releases include the Profound Sounds and Ministry of Sound compilations, but he is best known for the number of singles released which took both the underground and the mainstream dance music scene by storm. These included Don't Laugh, I'm Ready and the highly influential track, Higher State of Consciousness, which has an acid bassline still sampled and remixed frequently today.

Josh's recent release of Swirl/Have To Get Back was like a reassurance to the electronic music scene that he was still in the game.

'The two were unreleased before and people were wondering why I didn't put out any more music and why I was just mixing for other people. Have To Get Back originally released as an instrumental through Richie Hawtin's label M-nus. Then I gave it to a couple other DJs who were playing the vocal version. Hype got out that there was a different version and I decided to release that.

'Many people were asking when Swirl would be released as a single as they got it off the compilation (Profound Sounds Vol 3 or Ministry of Sound's Sessions). I was happy just to put something out. Not neces