If you like electronic music, you’ve either experienced 1990s rave culture firsthand or you’ve heard about it and wished you had. Either way, you can get a little taste of that time tonight at Luxy when the legendary DJ Josh Wink, real-name Joshua Winkelman, returns to Taipei after 11 years for a three-hour set.
When Wink started deejaying, he wasn’t even old enough to hit the clubs. Fortunately, the extra practice time helped because by the time he turned 18 in 1988, he was already creating tracks and knew how to mix beats so his transition into the club scene was a smooth one.
Before long, the young DJ from Philadelphia had garnered himself the reputation of pioneering the American rave scene with his blond dreadlocks and an acid, house and techno sound.
He was also notoriously known for espousing anti-drug ideals in a drug-centric 1990s rave culture.
Fast forward 20 years and Wink says he still keeps true to his vision. He credits this as the reason he can still do what he does today.
“Someone sent me a video on YouTube of me playing in 1994 and really, my sound and integrity remain [the same] and the set doesn’t sound too dated,” said Wink in an interview with the Taipei Times. “I guess I progress with the times as a DJ and producer.”
He says his sound is still a “mixture of house and techno while blurring the sounds in between” but he’s leaving it up to the crowd to decide what he plays tonight.
“Deejaying for me is all about spontaneity, so I never really have ‘plans,’” said Wink. “I come into a club or venue and get the vibe and really play off the crowd. If people react a certain way, I can take this feeling and mold it and follow or lead a symbiotic relationship between the DJ and the crowd.”
He says his fondest memory was in 1992 when he played in a submarine in Amsterdam just after the New Year. He still travels all around the world for gigs, but a lot has changed. Like equipment, for example.
Although he spearheaded a culture that would later thrive on its use of Technics turntables and a Numark mixer, times have changed and like most other DJs, he’s traded lugging around crates of records for a MacBook Pro and now plays on CDJs.
While he says he misses the innocence of the time, he never dwells on the past. “Things are very corporate now, feelings have changed for sure,” said Wink. “But that doesn’t stop or hinder me from doing what I love. I respect and acknowledge the past without having to live in it.”
As for the future, besides spending time with his kid, Wink has no plans to retire. “I’d like to stop traveling as much and focus more on making music again, as that’s what got me to where I am.”
Josh Wink performs tonight at Luxy, 5F, 201 Zhongxiao E Rd Sec 4, Taipei City (台北市忠孝東路四段201號5樓). Call 0955-904-600 for reservations (English service is available). On the Net: www.luxy-taipei.com. Entry at the door is NT$900 and includes two drinks. oors are at 10pm.