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An ode to Josh Wink’s ‘Higher State of Consciousness’

22 years of laying waste to dancefloors

  • Patrick Hinton
  • 21 April 2017

Music tastes are broad. We all have our favourite styles and sometimes identify into particular tribes, but it’s common for one person to hold an equal appreciation for music varying across the board from soothing ambient to hard-as-nails techno depending on their mood.

Josh Wink’s 1995 floor-thumper ‘Higher State of Consciousness’ is a track that falls firmly into the bigger and bolder end of the scale. There’s multiple versions, but the most popular is the ‘Tweekin’ Acid Funk Mix’, with its fizzing acid line that surges forward with hyperactive abandon, like a 303 that’s been hand-reared on a diet of steroids and sherbet fountains.

Adding to the mayhem is a breaksy drum beat and deep, distorted vocal sample hypnotically drawling “Welcome to the higher state of consciousness” that teeters on the edge of ridiculousness but works in the context, making for a haywire production that has a dancefloor impact more ferocious than almost any other record in history.

As a general rule in life I like to be understanding and open to different opinions, but it’s a struggle to see how anyone who is into clubbing and dancing can dislike Josh Wink’s ‘Higher State of Consciousness’. It’s the perfect peak-time track. An effervescent, vibrant masterpiece constructed exclusively from elements that are going to whip up a frenzy. If it had an internet dating profile the bio would simply read “just here for a good time ;)”.

Sure, there’s no subtlety to it, and it’s more than a little bit silly. But there are vast arrays of music to turn to for a more nuanced listening experience, and in the context of booting off a rave it’s hard to think of anything more potent. The manner in which it builds from the bare-bones drum opening to the introduction of the acid line that first chugs, than ramps up its intensity to increasingly frantic levels, soon spiralling out of all control into a cascade of flickering electronics is feral. It's like a shot straight to the veins of 100 per cent pure, distilled banger, sending limbs jerking uncontrollably.

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