Josh Wink celebrates 30 years of Ovum with new EP, ‘The Deepness’

Josh Wink celebrates 30 years of Ovum with new EP, ‘The Deepness’

Josh Wink is celebrating the 30th anniversary of his legendary Ovum Recordings label this year. To mark the occasion, he’s announced a new EP and released its first single, ‘The Deepness’.

The track – out tomorrow (17th May) – is taken from Wink’s forthcoming two-track EP of the same name, and features seven minutes of deep and driving club sounds that have come to define his iconic imprint.

Speaking to DJ Mag about the milestone occasion, Wink shared: “It’s crazy to think about honestly. In some ways, I have a thirty-year-old kid, a grown being! We’ve definitely had our ups and downs, but we’re still doing it and it’s a great thing to be fortunate enough to make music and put it out on my label after thirty years.”

‘The Deepness’ EP will arrive in full later this summer, following the Philadelphia-based producer’s recent singles, ‘Possibilities’ and ‘Rouge Acid’.

“I have a whole bunch of music that was written at this time, when I was going through this growing stage where I was wanting to push myself as an artist and go someplace different,” Wink explained. “‘The Deepness’ felt like a great lead-off track that combines the organic, house movement with this hypnotic, sensual techno that I love.”

“There’s also a hint of me just wanting to have a challenge and make something new, but as soon as I do that, the Josh Wink artist in me comes out and shapes it and makes it my own,” he continued. “So, they’re departures for me in a positive way – growing and moving on, whilst still honouring the style that got me here.”

Wink founded Ovum back in 1994 alongside fellow American DJ and producer, King Britt. The label quickly gained traction though Wink’s own releases, under aliases such as Winx and Size 9, followed by early singles from house music pioneers like DJ Pierre and Lil Louis (who is credited on Wink’s ‘How’s Your Evening So Far?’, a track based on a sample of Lil Louis’ classic ‘French Kiss’).

Wink stresses how important staying true to the sounds he loves and not following trends has been in maintaining the “integrity and longevity” of the label, which has exceeded 400 releases over the space of three decades.

“One thing that has remained constant is the dedication to signing music based on how it makes our heart feel, rather than going for the fads or basing our sound on what’s going on in the music industry,” he shared. “It’s not necessarily been the easiest move, but I think you can listen to a lot of our catalogue and appreciate it for music that sounds relevant today.”

It’s a sentiment the DJ and producer has also applied to making his own music over the years, including legendary floorfillers like 1996’s ‘Higher States Of Consciousness’, as well as ‘No Doubt’ and ‘Don’t Laugh’, both released in 1995 under his Winx alias.

“I was in this weird situation in the ’90s when I made ‘Higher States’… and there was a group of people who just wanted me to make songs like that forever, and as soon as I didn’t, those people would complain,” Wink told DJ Mag. “And then there were people who’d listen to the music and say, ‘you know, Josh is taking a chance and doing something different’. You always have this seesaw of opinions so I basically learned to do what feels comfortable for me rather than listening to what other people expect.

“When I was releasing music on labels like Nervous and Strictly Rhythm in the 80s and 90s, I never really felt like I belonged to a certain category which was a weird feeling,” he continued. “I would play techno parties but my techno wasn’t what they knew of it, and I would play house events and it also wasn’t standard house, it was kind of my own thing, so I was really blurring this line between the genres… I remember Chris Leibing saying to me, ‘dude, this is the best problem you could have! I wanna have that problem’. Which was a neat thing, but also I struggled with never really feeling like I truly belonged.”

Wink explained how, over the years, he has come to appreciate the “freedom” that his approach to music lends him. “It’s a hard thing but it makes it important and I cherish the fact I have the chance to do something different – where I can release a techno record and a deep sensual house record after that. I just want to create and output my feelings and emotions through music, and I’m happy to be able to do that through my label and through my releases on other people’s labels.”

“I think that if you’re a fan of my music, you could hear a different DJ play these new tracks and not know who it’s by and still say ‘the production sounds a bit like Josh Wink, but it’s still different for him,” he continued.

In addition to the new EP, the Philly producer is playing a series of global tour dates in celebration of 30 years of Ovum. These include appearances at California’s Sunset Campout on 21st June and Fusion Festival in Germany the following weekend (30th June), followed by his long-awaited return to the UK for Carl Cox’s Birthday on the Beach event in Brighton, where he will go b2b with Kerri Chandler

“I’m going to be playing a bunch of parties and showcasing my music at festivals and shows all over the place this summer,” Wink concluded. “‘The Deepness’ has got some great reactions so far when I’ve played it out for people so it feels like the right time to move forward and put it out. A couple of labels wanted it but I decided to keep it for my own… I’m really excited for people to hear it.”

‘The Deepness’ is out tomorrow (17th May) on Ovum Recordings. Pre-save the single here, and have an exclusive first listen below.

Find out the 10 tracks that have inspired Josh Wink throughout his career here.

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