#100 - DJ Pierre - Wild Pitch mix
House music icons don’t get much bigger than this true hero of the scene and with his new album ‘Wild Pitch: The Story’ just out now on Get Physical, the man has dug deep and delivered this stunning ‘Wild Pitch’ mix for the big 1-double zero! DJ Pierre, we salute you!
Famously, DJ Pierre as good as invented the squelch of acid house alongside Spanky when playing with his Roland TR-303 drum machine as part of Phuture back in the late eighties. From there he went on to clock up more than 200 credits under aliases like Doomsday, Prime One, Raving Lunatics, AC!D FACE, DJ Pierre’s Afro Acid Project and many more.
However, his Wild Pitch productions and mixes have been some of the most celebrated house releases since the early 90s. His Wild Pitch mixes were characterised by long intros, layer upon layer of strings, repetitive vocal samples, and filtered hypnotic sounds on hard beats. Working with labels like Strictly Rhythm, Trax, King Street, Nite Grooves, International Deejay Gigolo and more recently Get Physical, Pierre has contributed hugely to the global evolution of house music for thirty years plus. This mix for EPM Podcast 100 is a timely reminder of that. Jam packed with essential tunes that, old or new, still sound impossibly fresh.
“House is always going to be here. There is always going to be some form of underground dance music. It's not going to snuff out. People will always have a need to express themselves. I get a really spiritual vibe from what I do. With the right beat, the right flow, I get a hypnotic feeling from the music I produce. I could be doing something more commercial, but then it wouldn't be true." DJ Pierre
Q&A with DJ Pierre
1. How did you approach the mix? Was it a different process to how you would DJ in a club?
This was a live mix actually! Nothing planned. Just from the heart. I do DJ the very same way, unplanned and organic but I have the crowd and the vibe as an early indication of where to go. Sometimes that may not work as well because what you feel when someone else is DJing may not be what is real when you get on the decks. Especially being 30+ years people are curious and demanding and expectant. So the vibe changes a bit when I get on. Some may think I will do a classic set all night but I end up mixing it all up with some new stuff and tracks that are not even out yet. So normally I get people saying I had no idea you could play recent stuff like that but yet still keep the integrity. I'm like yes...that's afro acid style. That's who I am. No boundaries
2. Before house, what clubs were you going to in Chicago?
We were doing Skate parties and school parties man. I was too young for the clubs! I was interested in playing the music like early italo disco, hip hop, disco you know. I was in DJ contests making a name for myself you know. Scratching Pierre was my name back then -^-
3. Who musically at that time was your biggest inspiration?
My family is a very musical one. Everyone played an instrument. My uncle and namesake Nat Jones played with Duke Ellington. So I heard the Jazz greats and lots of music from jazz to reggae being played. Coltrane was my favorite. Slave, Boosty Collins, Krafwerk, Cameo were also favorites. As a DJ, the DJs on the radio like Hot Mix Five were inspiring. Once I started DJing more, Lil Louis gave me my first realDJj opportunity, so he played a huge role in my development. Ron Hardy of course is the biggest inspiration to me as a DJ. He imparted on me that music has no rules. It really doesn't.
4. I recall years a go in an interview that you could tell people who were into house music in the mid-late 80s by the clothes they wore. What for you then was the un-official house music uniform in Chicago?
That is definitely true. We all had little telling ways that would let you in on what style of music you followed. That was our gang...music and we wore the colors/clothes to match. We wore Gibau and Z. Cavaricci jeans. We had like a classy look. Long sleeves buttoned down. Paisley shirts, patent leather shoes, Treton and K-Swiss sneakers. We looked good man.
5. ‘Wild Pitch’ is surprisingly your debut album. After 30 years in dance music, why now?
Timing and God. I had nothing to do with it. This was not the album I was working on. I had an entire album right now but totally different story there. Maybe even 2 or 3 albums! LOL. But I started working on an EP for Get Physical Music and we got into a creative groove. The end result is Wildpitch. Very natural process. That's true art, you know.
6. What for you is the essence of a ‘Wild Pitch’ production?
The layering. The command or demand of time rather. You have to allow the track to lead so it may be a bit longer than most tracks. But the layering and storytelling on the one track is what makes it wildpitch.
7. The music biz can be a tough old game. What’s the secret to your longevity?
I know how to pray now. I can meditate and eventually navigate. I'm not perfect but I've gotten better at it over the years. You need that peace in this madness you know. Second is finding a purpose. I know now that DJ Pierre is not by accident. All the players that helped shaped me along the way were not accidents. So knowing that I have something to contribute keeps me going. As an artist I want to grow. I'm always curious as to what's next. So I would say lastly curiosity. Because I am curious I can work with whomever I'm inspired by and I can allow myself to stretch musically. I just did a track for PHUTURE with Trap music as the main focus. It's called Acid Bass (Acid Trap). Trap is a style of music coming out of Atlanta-mainstream. I live there now and it's all around me. So, yeah, I will go there. BUT still you know and feel my integrity and respect for the foundation of HOUSE in there.
8. Describe a perfect ‘non-music’ day?
I honestly do not have those. My wife is amazing and so are my kids...they allow me the time I need to create. Even when I’m not in the studio and at home, I'm creating in my head or I will jot an idea down you know. So...that's me I guess.
9. What’s next for 2018?
Transformation. I feel it coming. I see it in the music I'm making. I can't stay at the same place musically and I've been having this itch to go somewhere creatively and I've now got my flow. So expect another album next year. Also PHUTURE is gaining new life and new energy. I'm working with a new member-artist called Lessnoise. We got a different flow from me and Spank but it's dope. So I want to see how we can tell the new Phuture story. Phuture will survive you know.
EPM Podcast 100 Tracklist – DJ Pierre
01 Techno Acid Militia - ‘No Struggle, No Progress (DJ Pierre Dark Matter Remix)
02 Mark Reeve - ‘Drumstick’
03 Psyk - ‘Myriad’
04 Savile - ‘3 Hours in the Meat Sink’
05 Planetary Assault System - ‘Turn’
06 Katie Ottro - ‘Look (DJ Pierre Dark Matter remix)
07 Leo Laker (Tresor, 207)
08 DJ Karizma - ‘Work it Out’
09 Mark Bernard - ‘Load’
10 Groove Junkies - ‘Higher (DJ Pierre Wildpitch mix)
11 Roland Leesker - ‘My Warehouse (DJ Wildpitch mix)
12 DJ Pierre - ‘Stobe Light Laser ACiD’
13 DJ Pierre - ‘Numbers Renumberd’
14 DJ Pierre - ‘ACiD Love’
Order ‘Wild Pitch’ on Get Physical here