Josh Wink
Denial
Ovum

7.5/10

John Wink appears timeless as a producer. Sounding often as if one foot is back in his acid house roots, and the other in the booming, modern techno he espouses, the Philly boss of Ovum is a prolific DJ and a professor of the game. Keen to imbue meaning into his music as well as raw energy, his latest release on his own imprint playfully riffs on modern life’s obsessions, urging us to live in the moment. But more than anything, it’s just more solid proof after last year’s ‘Talking To You’, he’s still at the top of his game.

The original starts relatively cautiously, studiously blending wobbling bassline, restrained kicks and echoed, percussive drops and hits. But as the vocal first emerges from the murk, soon the power of the simple four word phrase - ‘Live In The Future’ - comes to the foreground as it succumbs to filters, delays, edits, pitch-shifting twists and reverb. As with much of Wink’s work, outwardly it’s a starkly uncluttered combination, but the subtlety of background sonics and the unrelenting groove and vocal ensures it works its way into the subconscious and refuses to be evicted.

The ‘Prise D’acid’ is no trick moniker Taking the original’s solid foundations, the vintage theme looms into view from the start, first filtered out and submerged, before gradually providing the spine of the track. Wink’s done this before of course, many times, but it’s a trick that’s lost none of its impact or power, and twinned with a more muscular kick and metallic, nervous percussion, it’s a different and effective angle on Denial, taking it via watery pads squarely into the rave.

The ‘Tweak Dub’ turns darkest of the trio, taking the same form and structure but showing how the smallest of details can change emphasis and tone. A chattering, woozy synth motif bubbles under throughout, with shifting percussion and a pitch-shifted three-note lead only for company, but Wink’s dexterity with fx and envelopes contrive to pull the elements left and right like a boat tossed on the sea. For the most stripped back of the triptych, it’s still full of vim and vigour, a nudge to the young turks that there’s plenty of life in this techno veteran yet.