Born in 1995, “Higher State of Consciousness” isn’t legal to buy beer in a South Philly bar yet but it is old enough to sit down in front of a Roland AIRA and have a general idea of how to replicate itself like a Von Neumann Machine. Its first progeny would sound a great deal like “Talking To You”.
While acid is returning to festival stages thanks to Roland’s new machine, Wink is an old hand at this. More importantly: he rarely releases a record that doesn’t have some kind of subtext behind it. Though their meaning only sometimes becomes clear later, it’s either a statement about the industry around it or a consciously planted milepost of personal or artistic development; a State of the Nation or the State of Josh.
I’m thinking this one is a State of the Nation. “Talking To You” is straight-up Acid House, but it works the machine like God and Phuture meant it to be – acid is more than a riff or a bassline or something that adds another layer of texture to a painfully dense wad of electronic steel wool. It’s the star of the show and the center of the game, accented (but only for seasoning) with time stretched vocals and other innovations from the generation that blew their heads up at Storm Raves. The vocal sample is aggressive, poking a bony, nicotine-stained finger in the chest of whoever transgressed the law. It’s like someone locked away “Higher State” in an awkward adolescence for 19 years and then took pot shots at it from passing cars. And it’s mad.