Techno Tuesday: Josh Wink’s tips for a powerful extended set
Techno Tuesday is a feature on Dancing Astronaut documenting the culture of underground dance music. We’ll bring you exclusive interviews, tracks, and narratives from artists within the techno, tech house, and deep house world in an effort to shed light on some of the best talent outside the world of mainstream dance music.
Those who last the longest in dance music are the ones driven by passion for their art and the scene that has risen out of it. Josh Wink is a perfect example of this, and he is most certainly here to stay.
His fabled career began nearly three decades ago during the acid house days, and since then he hasn’t ceased in growing his extensive repertoire across multiple monikers. He also cares deeply about giving back to the scene, and does so in the form of his prolific Ovum imprint which is currently helping to breed the next generation of house and techno greats.
Aside from his life as a producer and label owner. Josh Wink is a DJ’s DJ through and through. He helped raise the dance scene from the ground, and through his work proliferating what he loves, also holds a deep understanding on how to control a dancefloor. He can be seen impressing the masses in any location, from grungy warehouses in Los Angeles to open-air festival stages.
Wink’s birthday is coming up on April 20, and to celebrate, the legend is preparing to hold an open-to-close set in is home town of Philadelphia. Thus, we thought there’d be no better time than to pick his brain for ten tips on how to prepare the finest extended set experience.
Intro from Josh: “Open to close”, “all night”, or extended sets have changed over the years. Before computers, USBs, and high capacity storage drives came into the our lives, crates & crates of records, reliable turntables and solid mixers were the only things needed to ensure a good night of music. Now, 5-12 hour sets are much easier with our full library at our fingertips, as it’s easier to have, access, and find those songs we have in our mind when we want to play them. So my top ‘open to close’ tips are based on the today, ‘now’ scenario. Not the way I grew up playing vinyl from 10PM-4AM with limited lights and visuals.
1) Show up to the venue early to do a proper sound check. Get out on the dance-floor and listen to the system. Talk to the sound engineer about thoughts on how it sounds now and ideas for when people pack in. Check the mixer, sound system, computers, cables etc…
2) Make sure that my booth for the next 6 hours is a pleasant workspace. Check the monitor set up and make sure they are positioned and sounding spot on. Make sure the mixer, CD players, controllers and other gear are placed to where I am at ease and feeling at home.
3) Find out where the toilets are.
4) Envision the musical journey of the night. Make a mental map of how the music may begin, end, and all in-between.
5) Be open to the idea that all may go completely different from my original musical vision.
6) Have my favorite drinks and snacks on hand & be aware that people in the booth may drink and consume those favorite drinks and favorite snacks while I perform.
7) If there are lights/visuals, I introduce myself to the light jockey and get in ‘sync’ on ideas of what I like.
8) I like making sure there is chair in the DJ booth to have the option to sit and ease the back, if needed.
9) I try and do the above. If not, deep breathing… All will be just fine.
10) Smile and have fun. I love what I do, especially when I get to do it longer.
So there we have it — ten road-tested tips from one of the best in the business! Catch Josh Wink playing all night long at his annual Winkdown party on April 21st in Philadelphia. Oh, and happy birthday Josh!