URB podcasts pride themselves in introducing you to some of the finest new talent in the world of electronic music. But this week, we are proud to reintroduce an artist who literally defined the beloved known as acid tracks. DJ Pierre started making music in Chicago in the mid-’80s with friends Spanky and Herb J as Phuture. The trio became infamous via their first release, “Acid Tracks” which tweaked the sound of relatively unknown Roland 303 to create other-worldly squeals that would become known as the acid sound.
25 years and unknown thousands of acid records later, DJ Pierre is ready to finally release his first album on LA’s notorious DIM MAK record label, one of the most influential imprints during up to the electro resurgence and EDM explosion, lead by star DJ Steve Aoki. In anticipation for the album, Pierre created this custom mix for URB, his first utilizing the Numark IDJ PRO controller. Using the latest technology, Pierre mixes up tunes from both the old school (Carl Craig, Cajmere), middle school (Kaskade, Tommie Sunshine) and new school (Skrillex, Kaskade, Zedd, Tom Trago), including two brand new Pierre, ”Strobe Lights, Laser, Disco” ft. Venus Flytraxx and “Salekta!” ft. Rory from Stone Love Sound System.
Get the mix, track list and read what Pierre has to say about his podcast after the jump.
DJ Pierre Podcast Tracklist
URB: DIM MAK is a label mostly known for working with the new wave of electronic artists. How did a veteran like yourself end up joining the DIM MAK family?
DJ Pierre: I am more of an artist who is always evolving. True artists evolve. DIM MAK has great leadership. They understand the past and how this music we now call EDM started. It was “House” back then. I was part of that movement in Chicago when this scene jumped off but I think I’ve kept it current enough to be part of the current scene but still have an underground appeal.
The music I made back then was always ahead of it’s time. “Acid Track” was the first of it’s kind, and so was a lot of my WildPitch stuff. I was always making out the box type productions. DIM MAK is like that as well. They are out there—they dare to venture out. So it was destiny. We were meant to meet up at some point. I knew of Steve Aoki (DIM MAK label head) and he knew of me. We connected at some point and he asked for material. It worked for him and the crew there so i’m happy about that.
I just finished a second track called “Selekta” that I did with Rory from The Stone Love Sound System out of Jamaica. If you don’t know about soundsystems out of Jamaica, it’s a good time to find out. They are the main reason why DJ’s do what we do today. David Rodigan started Rodigan International, baseing it off the sound systems out of Jamaica.
I was fascinated by that and wanted to work with the best. And the best is Rory of the mighty Stone Love and I have remixes from EDM legends Alric and Boyd out of Jamaica as well. They were the first ones to bring dance music on a high level to the island.
URB: Back when you started making hits like “Acid Trax” and “Horn Song,” it wasn’t uncommon to sell tens of thousands of copies. What are your expectations for this release, given how people consume music today.
DJ Pierre: The distribution and consumption of music has changed as we know. Vinyl is basically non-existent, but still alive. Digital delivery is what people depend on now. The competition on sites like Beatport, iTunes, Traxsource is out of this world. Everyone has a label—including myself. Gone are the days when only the top guys had a sure shot of dominating sales in the record shops.
So my expectation is this: I am open to whatever is destined for this track. DIM MAK is the most commercial label I’ve been on, so I hope my core base supports it because the track is still all DJ Pierre, who is simply evolving. The same elements that people loved about my work are still there. So I hope my core audience look beyond the fact that it is a commercial label and give it a try, you know. So I am “open” and expecting the best for it.
URB: You invented the term “acid” to describe your strain of dance music. Now EDM is the prevalent term. Do you think the different terminology has any reflection of the music being enjoyed and how you fit into it?
DJ Pierre: I actually did not invent the term. When Phuture, (the group I was in which was Spanky and Herb J), produced Acid Track, we had no idea the impact it would make on the world of Music. BBC just aired a program saying it the the #9 reason clubbing is the way it is today…out of 50! That’s deep.
I see the elements of Acid all over, from LMFAO to other hip-hop superstars today. The term was created when Ron Hardy, a legend and my hero out of Chicago who broke that track at the Music Box, where he was the resident DJ. Whenever he played it, people were going nuts and simply did not know how to dance to it. They did all sorts of crazy moves and the people started saying, “that’s that Ron Hardy ACID TRACK!” So the term “acid track” was born from the people, from our core fans who still follow us today. I thought it was genius, so I dropped Ron Hardy and Kept “Acid Track”.
URB: “Strobe, Lights, Laser, Disco” is a lead-up to your first artist album. What brought on such a prolific burst of music making?
DJ Pierre: I’ve been working on my first album for 9 years. It took that amount of time for me to work out where I want to go. Creativity forces you to be truthful. At least for me. I can’t lie in my productions. Over the years i’ve made about six albums, but they were not telling the truth the way I wanted it told. So when I listen to people like Bart B more, Tommie Sunshine, Harvard Bass, Boys Noize and Green Velvet, they had elements that touched me. They were speaking my language. So that influence sparked something in me to tell my truth. Back in the day I was always thinking of ways to make music the way these guys are doing it now. I just wasn’t sure if I could move out the box people created for me.
Eventually, I had to be honest with myself and accept where my creative process was going. Who knows what it will be by the end of the album. I’m just excited to be be able to create with such new perspective. Spiritual insight as well allows for a true creative process. For lack of a better word…God found me. So that is doing wonders for the way I create.
URB: Tell us about your podcast mix. How did you go about selecting the tunes to represent DJ Pierre in 2012?
DJ Pierre: I play a style called “Afro Acid,” where no matter what audience I play for I find a way to mix things up. So at any given point in a rave, [when everyone is] jumping up and down to an acid track, I will throw in a mellow classic from out of nowhere. This podcast will be no different. DJ Pierre 2012 is about reading my crowd and catering to their needs, but still educating them. So there is always a story being told in my sets.