Acid Over?

DJ Pierre tweaked the squelch

Twenty years ago, DJ Pierre (real name: Nathaniel Pierre Jones) made the squelch heard 'round the round. Pierre, along with Spanky and Herb J (as Phuture), created the sound called acid by tinkering with a Roland TB-303 bass line machine and placing the high-pitched result atop humid Chicago house. But he didn't stop at Acid Trax. Unlike so many Chi-house vets, Pierre never dropped out of the game, and even continued to innovate (his "Wild Pitch" technique spawned house's love affair with sound filters). With acid revivalism at a fever (wild?) pitch, Pierre is as relevant as ever. The past hasn't gone anywhere, and neither has he.

This is your twentieth anniversary of making house music, and you're as prolific as ever. Your longevity is insane.

DP: Yeah. I reflect on that sometimes and it's truly a blessing. I think the longevity stems from me doing something unique. Now everyone has kind of ended up doing what I created. There are new elements to it, but it creates the same feeling. From the filter stuff to the tracky stuff to tribal, all that stuff embodies an energy that I was bringing to the industry a long time ago, when no one was.

At WMC, you're spinning with Roy Davis Jr., another Chi-house vet. Do you feel a sense of community with those who've been in the game as long as you?

I feel a certain connection. I want to see them do well, and if I can collaborate with them to help out or whatever, I like to do that. I know a lot of them aren't doing as much [as before], but I am. That's why on my album, The Afro Acid Project [set for release later this year], I'm teaming up with so many great names like Satoshi Tomiie, Tom "Superchumbo" Stephan, DJ Gregory, Roy Davis Jr., Felix Da Housecat, Bad Boy Bill, Steve "Silk" Hurley, and David Morales.

You haven't made an acid track in more than ten years. Why start again?

There's no way I'm going to let there be a revival and not do a few acids to help contribute.

Will your WMC set incorporate vintage acid?

I'm the wrong person to be doing only old-school stuff. Doing that might make it seem like I haven't moved on. But I do incorporate it. I'm gonna make a collage of acid, techno, house, soulful house, and wild pitch. The common factor is, no matter what I play, it's going to bring a good energy and high emotions.

What is it about acid that people still haven't tired of it?

It's something that isn't associated with any describable instrument. It's not no guitar. It's not no drum. It's not no string. It's something that wasn't on this Earth and is now. You don't go in the history books and see this thing that was used before. It's a new sound. It's history right there.

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