words: Andy McColgan
DJ Pierre is back with a new floor-filler, a massive homage to the early days of house. EQ finds out more – and we managed to get our hands on a mix from the man himself.
In 1986, armed with a Roland 303, DJ Pierre created Acid Trax under the moniker Phuture. This track – alongside a handful of other electronic belters under guises such as Phuture Pfantasy Club, Pierre’s Pfantasy Club (with Felix Da Housecat) and Phortune – created the idiom for the squelchy Chicago acid house sound that every clubber worth their salt been losing their mind to on dancefloors worldwide from the 1980s till today. The Chicago-born pioneer has also released material on Strictly Rhythm (where he was A&R for a time), Jive, Emotive, Nervous, Twisted, Ovum, King Street (including his debut mix CD The Afro Acid Project) his own Afro Acid Plastik imprint, and more through the years.
But now Pierre is in cahoots with DJ Hell’s estimable Gigolo imprint, releasing the label’s latest monster in the shape of I’ve Lost Control. And this stunning piece of phuturist house has already been gaining exposure from the likes of Ame, Laurent Garnier, Radio Slave and Alex Smoke, among others. The new EP – a homage to house stalwarts Sleazy B and Marshal Jefferson’s 1985 classic of the same name – sees one of the pivotal shakers in the evolution of dance music on top form. And because I’ve Lost Control will make you lose control time and time again, EQ decided to track down Pierre to talk about his influences and the new release…
DJ Pierre, it’s an honour. Your reputation precedes you – and the new record ain’t half hot. How are you today?
I’m good man. A pleasure to speaking with you as well.
What DJs or figures were instrumental in you bringing out your early seminal releases?
Marshall Jefferson, Ron Hardy and Spanky were instrumental in Acid Trax. Felix Da Housecat got his start on a Chicago favourite, Phantasy Girl. They still play that on the radio here in Chicago. I feel really good about that because look what Felix has been able to accomplish. Louie Vega had a hand in The Horn song with Barbara Tucker. Kingstreet Records and Strictly Rhythm as well. There were quite a few people who were very helpful to me.
How did the success of Acid Trax and the Phuture-related early output impact on your career?
Definitely for the better. It opened the door.
The ‘acid’ tag was used in the UK to describe a whole scene, rather different from the one in the States and Chicago. What was your take on the acid house era in Britain?
I had no idea it was happening until someone tracked me down and brought me to the UK to DJ. They were like: “You’re a superstar here!” I was like: “Really? I’m not even a star in the US.” So the UK took it to a whole different level. They were serious about that track. It made an impact on the rave scene here in the States as well, but it was more intense in the UK. The love for that track is what helped shaped the image of DJ Pierre and Phuture today.
What do you think about the current revolution of computer software for making and playing electronic music? The equipment you were using in the 80s would have been infinitely more primitive…
The software is necessary. We have to adapt to and accept the technology that’s out there. But we should be making the same quality of music. The software can cause you to be lazy. We shouldn’t give in to that. We still need to manipulate this software and make music that reflects our individuality. Kind of like what we did with the 303. We hit success because we made it do something it wasn’t intended for.
When did you hook up with Gigolo?
In the summer of 2008. I speak a lot to the crew over there. They’ve basically welcomed me in the family. Hell is busy as can be so I basically keep in touch with the other Gigolo family peeps.
Any contemporary influences that you feel are reflected on the new record?
Yeah, the techy minimal sound had a part to play – in my mind at least.
What can we expect from DJ Pierre in the near phuture?
Lots of goodies far as production goes – my album for sure. Plus more touring with a residency in Ibiza this summer, and I’ve just been invited to take part in the Ministry Of Sound’s 20-year acid world tour. So I’m happy about that.
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