Josh Wink / When A Banana Was Just A Banana (Ovum)
A far cry from collabs with the likes of Trent Reznor back in his Sony days, Josh Wink resurfaces with an album of floor-friendly tunes.
It’s hard to believe that six years have passed since Josh Wink released 20 To 20. Hard to believe because the Philadelphia based DJ/producer has been a ubiquitous figure without an album to promote—a true testament to his phenomenal skills as a club DJ. On When A Banana Was Just A Banana, Wink keeps ambitions low doling out a stacks of standard peak-hour friendly cuts for DJs and fans to maintain his recognition level. There’s hardly any progression from anthems like “Superfreak” or “How’s Your Evening So Far?” that came with his last album in 2003 other than that the beats are housier than might be expected in the age of minimal. Wink is no dummy, and the shift to an SF house underpinning is just the kind of refreshing soulful lift found in “Stay Out All Night” but lacks the kind of intensity plaguing all of the “back to the house” tracks coming out right now. The problem with this album is that Wink is still relying too much on the same excess he employed on more rave-oriented tracks from 15 years like “Higher State Of Consciousness” and “Don’t Laugh.” When bombast is a featured part of an artist’s repertoire, where do they go to up the ante? Clearly on cuts like “Counter Clock 319,” Wink is clueless, making both the track and the album far more novelty than anthemic. It’s a shame, too, because tracks like “Airplane Electronique” and “Jus’ Right” possess such a distinct and equilateral blend of house and techno that they even sound fresh and innovative in 2009. The disappointment here is that Wink just didn’t make enough of those good tech house tracks to go around on When A Banana Was Just A Banana, leaving the whole affair feeling just a smidge flat and uninspired.
File under: Mark Farina, Dave Clarke, Justin Martin