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more drama, josh wink v. dan bell

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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.


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. [...]



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 phraseof "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.


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


Thank-you for your understanding and attention,

Daniel Bell


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I heard about this, but from what people have said Wink's new song doesn't really sound like a rip-off of Phreak, though there definitely influences (and that neither song is all that great). I haven't heard either so I can't comment.

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Originally posted by houseb4titties

I've heard Wink play "Freak" out a few times. And I dig it when he does play it...he usually brings it in at the right time.

I downloaded Wink's "Freak."

I downloaded Bell's "Phreak"

I listened to both.

Wink's does not sound like a rip off of Bell's.

I'm curious. I'll have to check those out.

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