The Philly DJ, producer and label boss gives us a track-by-track run-down of his new album, When A Banana Was Just A Banana…
"Music was just music when I was growing up,” says Josh Wink. “Nobody was ridiculed or had views of 'I only listen to this one kind of music'. Today, so many people tend only listen to one style of music with a strong opinion of why. I grew up listening to everything. I miss the innocence of how it was – like when you were younger, a banana was just a banana. So in a nutshell, the new album speaks of the loss of innocence of music.”
February sees the release of the new album from Josh – called, in case you hadn't guessed, When A Banana Was Just A Banana. Dropping on his own label Ovum, his fourth album comes in three formats, the CD format is in a continuous DJ mix style, whilst the vinyl and digital formats are unmixed and perfect for DJs and dancefloors.
We've already had a taster of what to expect after the release of Josh's single Stay Out All Night earlier this year. That track was immediately made Essential New Tune by Tong on his Radio 1 show, where he classed it as "the biggest dance record in the world right now", and it got huge DJ support from Dubfire, Laurent Garnier, Steve Bug and Loco Dice to name just a few. So Josh is on form right now, and that's a very good reason to get excited about When A Banana…
So with out appetites wetted, we spoke to Josh to get the lowdown on each individual track…
1. Airplane Electronique
"This was first started June 2007 after playing the Piknik Electronik party in Montreal. I kind of got an idea of the track with style of music I was playing at the event – a mix of tech and house with a twisted feel. I started the groove and got back to finishing the track in October 2007. The name came from flying back from the party – but the spelling of Electronique is more French (Montreal style) than the name of the party."
2. Counter Clock 319
"This was originally called 319 Acid, similar to 516 Acid, but the '319' came about as I started it on March 19, 2007. After playing around with ideas and effects, I'd created a panning motion in the track – listen to it in headphones and travels in a counter-clockwise fashion. I was listening to a set by Dixon and I noticed how slow and groovy most of it was – that influenced me to make a twisted, intense track that was in the same tempo range."
3. What Used To Be Called Used To Be
"This was based on a remix I did for my friend Someone Else [Sean O'Neal] in October 2006. This was the groove and acid line, but Sean and I agreed that a different remix was needed, and that was released on his label FoundSound in 2007. So I asked him if I could change things around with my remix and perhaps release it on Ovum, and he said sure. I've been playing this out since then with great reactions, and had to release it, Acid baby…"
4. Jus Right
"The original groove was done in 2005. I found it again February 2008 when I was cleaning files on my computer. I finished the track the same month. It reminds me of some old French 80s disco house, which I'm a sucker for. We wanted to leak this out for the summer season in 2008, as it really has a summer/sexy vibe to it, but we weren't sure what to do with it as people don't expect me to release things like this. Then Matt at Ovum said, 'It's you, and it's deep and pumpy – we gotta put it out.' The track was originally 17 minutes long, which to me was 'just right' to tell my story. But several edits were completed to make it shorter and we agreed that it still had the same feeling. This was played at the WMC this year, and someone YouTubed it. People were wondering who it was so we decided to release it."
5, Dolphin Smack
"This originally was intended for my B-side track on PokerFlat in September 2006. But I left it and came back to it in October that year to complete it. It's been changed many times as I constantly get ideas on 'unfinished' tracks by playing them out. I remember playing it at my Ovum Last Wednesday residency in Philly, and someone came up to me and asked, 'What was that track with the dolphin in the break?' That's when the name Dolphin came about. Then to me it sounded like a dolphin on heroin – hence Dolphin Smack. If I get the right crowd at a gig, this breakdown is magical as it's very out there. I'm excited to release this."
6. Minimum 23
"This tracks it influenced by 90s NYC house, as was Stay Out All Night. It's another track that wanted to marry the various sounds of US-style house and my production electronic-tweaky-ness. And it's another track I've been playing out that gets a pretty insane response. The name has changed too. As with most of my tracks, it starts with dates of the month. Then the titles come to me later – they don't really mean much, but they're fun to make up."
"I started working on this when I was asked to do the Screaming Hands remix for Radioslave in November 2006. But it wasn't going in the direction I wanted. So I worked on it a bit more, and put it away for another day. I was still in my 'making more house versions of tech production' mood. The name of the track half came from Slave – the other half is because it's hypnotic as all hell, I remember being in San Diego in 2007 and Dubfire was there – we found out that we were both playing in LA the next day, so he gave me a ride to LA in a rented truck and we listened to each others music on the drive. Still to the day, he asks me about getting this track. I'll finally get it to him one day."
8. Everybody To The Sun
"This was originally based around a vocal of someone saying, 'everybody to the sun.' I started it in December 2005 and found it again, took the vocals out and completed it in January 2007. I started playing it out to great response, and I still get threats from Marco Carola and Paco Osuna that they'll hurt me if I don't give them a copy. My response is, 'Ah well, it's not mastered yet.' The version before this one went a little crazy with analogue madness during the break. This version is a lot more subdued and hypnotic. No bassline here, but the bass of the drum every four measures gets the ladies' hips going."
9. Stay Out All Night
"I was listening to a lot of 90s NYC and Chicago house – which I'm very influenced by – when I made this track, and decided to do a bunch of music that was more house-tech than tech house. I had a a lot of fun bringing in jazzy Rhodes lines, jacking house beats and a deep-ass bass to my sets. This really stood out when I was playing it for the first times at the end of 2007. I played it for Matty B at Ovum and he thought it would be a great idea to leak it out at the 2008 WMC. We gave it to 15 people and the magic started there. It's great how it was played by so many diverse DJs and continued to blur the lines between the new styles of tech and the old sound of house."
When A Banana Was Just A Banana is out in February 2009 on Ovum Recordings. The single Counter Clock 319 is also out that month with a remix from Chris Liebing. Visit www.ovum-rec.com, www.myspace.com/joshwink and www.myspace.com/ovumrecordings
And to find out more about the album check out our EQTV video interview with Josh – online soon!
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