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Dan Bell vs. Josh Wink

Time

TRIBE Promoter
Uh-oh... looks like UR vs Sony all over again. kinda.

Making it's way though illegal MP3 sites, BBC Radio 1 and being played by world famous dj's such as Richie Hawtin and Dj Hell is the new release from Josh Wink "Freak" (or sometimes listed as "Superfreak" or "Phreek").

If it sounds familiar when you hear it is because it bears more than a passing resembelence to Daniel Bell aka DBX "Phreak" that was originally released on Accelerate records in 1992.

Says Bell "I've heard many records copy my sound but this is ridiculous. I've known Josh for over 11 years and in my opinion, this is his lowest he's ever gone."

He stands to sell hundreds of thousands of records of this release without giving any credit to the original . Please help us make the techno community aware of what is going on.

Enclosed a lettter (with minor changes) that was sent to UFA (Daniel Bell's publisher for "Phreak"):
It's a difficult thing to establish when an artist is influenced or is in effect copying another artist. I'm aware that in this age and that in
my specific genre of music making that the issue of copying another artist's work has become an even more black and white issue mostly due to the frequency of digital sampling and more specifically the clearing of digital samples.

And while digital sampling has made the idea of copying musical ideas less ambiguous and more easily detected than ever before, I find myself in the situation where I feel I have become the target of good old-fashioned copyright infringement.

I am writing this in the sincere hope that you will listen without prejudice to the evidence I'm providing to you.

1
Introduction:

I believe that the recording artist Josh Wink (aka Winx) has knowingly copied arrangements, sounds and production techniques from my own copyright protected work and has failed to acknowledge the source of his success. It is my belief that Wink has developed a pattern of loosely basing his musical structures and arrangements on my own original work. I also believe that his next release "Freak" is his most daring copy yet of one of my arrangements. [...]

2
History:

I have met Josh Wink several times. The first time was in November 1990 in Detroit where I was scheduled to perform as Cybersonik with Richie
Hawtin at a nightclub called "1515 Broadway". The performance was canceled hours before it was to start and we only found out when we reached the venue. There was no line-up or crowd waiting to get in, only two people were waiting when we arrived. One of them was a disappointed, then unknown, Josh Wink, who I remember had traveled from Philadelphia to see us and was a "big fan" of our music.

I saw Josh Wink again in 1992 in either Rochester N.Y or Philadelphia PA while on tour again as Cybersonik. The DBX "Phreak" (the track in question) was released weeks before on my label Accelerate. He was sent a copy of this record from the +8 label directly (the label pressed and distributed my label Accelerate). He said he "loved" the track "Phreak" and that he "just wished the track was longer" - it's approx. 3 and half minutes long (his "Freak" approx. 5 mins).

The next time I had an encounter with Josh Wink was in 1995 just months after I had released my "Losing Control" record. The record was a huge underground success most notably because it featured a monotone voice repeating the words "I'm Losing Control" on every bar faded in and out of the song. The effect was similar to a melodic hook in popular music. The entire song was based on the manipulation of the vocal. At the beginning of the arrangement the vocal is introduced with the high frequencies muted and only the audible
frequencies are the lower frequencies. As the song progresses more of the high and mid-frequencies are revealed until the whole phrase of "I'm Losing Control" is audible. The vocal is then manipulated and echoed and then disappears by subtracting the frequencies in the reverse way they were added. To my knowledge, this way of slowly manipulating a frequency filter over a repeated vocal phrase, over the course of an entire track was never done before in dance music prior to this record.

Josh Wink called, he told me he had a similar track called "Don't Laugh" that had a "laugh" instead of the vocal "Losing Control" that was
manipulated and arranged in a similar way. It was strange that Wink had phoned me about this because I had never received a call from him before or since that day. "Don't Laugh" was released in 1995 and was licensed to several high profile record companies who were able to promote the single into mainstream markets that were not familiar with "Losing Control". In contrast, Peacefrog records of the U.K., the original label to release "Losing Control" froze sales at 10,000 copies in order to make the release rare and in-demand to develop prestige for the label. Even though the release was the biggest seller on the label to that point, no promotion was done. In the end, 500,000 copies of "Don't Laugh" were sold worldwide. Despite the
similarities and the overwhelming feeling that he was trying to capitalize on my ideas, I felt that that there was no recourse for me because his track still had some differences.

3

In 1995 Josh Wink released a successful mix-c.d. on the DMC label entitled "United DJs of America Vol. 3 " in which he licensed "Losing Control".

In 2000 Josh Wink released "How's Your Evening So Far" a track that featured a digital loop of Lil Louis' 1988 hit "French Kiss" . The track also featured a voice repeating the title - similar again to "Losing Control" - only this time the way the vocal was manipulated in almost the exact same way, as if 7 years later he finally figured out the specific technical approach on how the original was done.

Regarding the Lil' Louis aspect of the song the New Music Express reported on July 4th 2000:

"JOSH WINK has run into a legal wrangle with PETE TONG's label ffrr over his version of the LIL LOUIS' acid house anthem `FRENCH KISS'. The record is due to be released in the US on Ovum label at the end of July, but a worldwide release is not likely until an agreement has been reached over how the Wink version will be credited".

Josh Wink reportedly resisted the Lil Louis co-writing credit that he was eventually forced to put on his release. Many reviewers noted that the release sounded like a remix of "French Kiss" rather than a new song.

In December 2001, Josh Wink showed up at a club in Philadelphia PA that I was djing at and told me that "I have a track called "Freak" that's going to be really big" and that it was inspired by early tracks. The track has been tentatively titled either "Freak" or "Superfreak" (I also have a track entitled "Superphreak" a 1993 release on Peacefrog) and has been played on Pete Tong's show on Radio 1 in London.

This track "Freak" sounds like a remix or remake of my track "Phreak" from 1993. It features a pitched-down robotic voice saying "Freak" on
every bar. The arrangement is sparse like the original Also the main musical repeating notes are very similar and may even be samples of my track cut up.

There already is a big buzz in several countries regarding this release and I believe it is slated for release on the Ovum records in the summer months. I feel that this is the last straw and that this track is too close to my own. Please help to publicize this situation. His New York lawyers claim there are no similarities. Let the
people judge for themselves by supplying them with all the information.

Thank-you for your understanding and attention,
Daniel Bell

www.7th-city.com
 

jeffpayne

TRIBE Member
This is pretty interesting...

At what point do you say that a certain record sounds to closely like another and therefore must be a rip off of the original? Especially in a genre where sounds and samples are thrown around so much.

It sounds like Dan has a case here due to his history with Josh....hmmm....I wouldn't think that this would be intentional though.

Dan said himself that Josh Wink was waiting outside of a club in Detroit and then again in Rochester or Phili a couple of years later just to see Dan spin. Maybe he just had such a BIG influence over Josh and that's coming through in the music Josh produces.

Just thinking....

J.
 

oddmyth

TRIBE Member
I'm glad someone is finally standing up for their stuff!!

Maybe that will get some of these slack-ass producers to put out some halfway original material!!

Big ups to the DBX!!

Cheers
[odd]?[io]
 

Tech_Head_Rob

TRIBE Member
yo, but Josh Wink isn't a half assed producer man... he's got releases with Tresor and shit. That's one of the most respected labels in the world!

we don't want you to take a 'biased' opinion of the facts.
pffffffffft

there's no way in hell that passage is unbiased. Just look at the language used, it totally backs up Dan Bell's story and makes Josh Wink sound like a money grubbing bastard.
i bet the truth is somewhere in between these two statements.

that being said, its too freaking bad. Bell and Wink are two wikkid producers that have been around the block and added to our scene. Its unfortunate the they're squabbling like this.

all in all, i for one am going to download the two tunes rightabout now...
 

jeffpayne

TRIBE Member
hey man I'm not taking sides on this. I was just typing what was on my mind at the time. I TOTALLY respect Josh Wink as a producer and Dj.

Looking back at the article I can see that it's totally one sided and that the writer never even attempted to see what Wink had to say about the whole thing.

should be interesting to see if anything comes of this....doubt it though.
 
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oddmyth

TRIBE Member
Show me a record on Tresor by Josh Wink!!

I double dog dare ya!!

If you've heard any of the tracks in question than you can completely hear the overwhelming similarity to many of Dan's productions. Josh has been ripping people off for years, and last years 'How's your evening so far' was the most blatant of them all and finally got him caught!! Everyone thought it was a French Kiss remix!! Even the f*cking one sheet that came with the record mentioned it!

If you consider taking someone else's ideas and barely tweaking them good production values, then so be it. Josh's inability to produce his own brand of music has been apparent for some time, its nothing new.

No offense, but just because someone produces music, doesn't mean that you have to respect them. BTW there's no such thing as an 'unbiased opinion'.

Cheers
[odd]?[io]
 

derek

TRIBE Member
I can't think of any releases Josh Wink has put on tresor either, but some of the early Ovum stuff he did was alright.

I haven't heard the new track with the bite from Dan Bell...not surprised though. Like Josh Wink is the first producer to bite somebody elses shit. Todd Terry used to get into trouble all the time. Hell, even on one of Jacob Fairley's 12" there a track with a bassline for which I have a house track from 91 that sounds exactly the same. They're both bad ass in my opinion, and who knows maybe it's only coincidence the basslines sound similar.

In my opinion Dan Bell is a far better producer, and his stuff has probably been bit way more than even he knows. I guess the moral is if your gonna bite, at least have the decency to effect it enough so that it's not that noticable.

Peace,

Derek
 
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The Truth

TRIBE Member
Josh Wink's response:

"I was very surprised to learn of Dan Bell's claim. I did not copy his work and, apart from being of the same genre of music, I don't believe the tracks are similar. Except for Dan, no one else has come to me and said that my track reminded them of Dan's track, and those I know who heard both tracks, agree with me that the tracks are not similar except for the genre of music. I seldom sample, but when I do, I clear the samples and follow procedures to ensure everything is legal.

I am very pleased that the track has promotionally been doing well. I don't know what Dan's motives are in making these claims but it sounds like "sour grapes" to me. I have known Dan for a good while and bear no ill will toward him. However, I do strongly disagree with his claim and his recent tactic of trying to tarnish my reputation in the music industry through mass email mailings and press releases broadcasting his unfounded allegations against me of copyright infringement. Given that Bell has not yet begun a lawsuit, much less won one, it is disturbing to say the least that Bell would stoop to such hurtful and unwarranted mudslinging against a fellow artist. I stand behind the integrity and originality of my “Superfreak” song without reservation. "
 

Tech_Head_Rob

TRIBE Member
i just listened to the two tracks..
Dan Bell definitely has a case.

Derek and to everyone else: whoopsiiis!!! i got Wink confused with Joey Beltram. So I take back everything i say about Wink not being a half assed producer. I think i'll crawl back into my hole now...

peace
Rob
 

oddmyth

TRIBE Member
Rob,

No worries..I have a record memory archiving problem. I can remember almost every Tresor release, but I can't for the life of me remember the two values I use most in Probit Tables for Stats :rolleyes: meh..

Cheers
[odd]?[io]
 

PinkAngeL

TRIBE Member
"Josh Wink called, he told me he had a similar track called "Don't Laugh" that had a "laugh" instead of the vocal "Losing Control" that was
manipulated and arranged in a similar way. It was strange that Wink had phoned me about this because I had never received a call from him before or since that day. "Don't Laugh" was released in 1995.



OH how I would love a copy of this record.
A friend of mine HAD it but alas it is gone now.

:(
 
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