In the movie A Pure Formality, the reclusive writer Onoff dismisses interviews as an exercise in which “a man asks questions he already knows the answers to, for the pleasure of hearing you repeat it.”
You get a chance to be self-indulgent sometimes. Asking DJ Pierre to describe, in his own words, the “Wild Pitch” sound was something I’ve always wanted to do. In the exchange, he also addresses a story that resurfaces in social media every couple of years – the first appearance of an Acid-like sound on a 1982 record called Ten Ragas to a Disco Beat by Charanjit Singh.
DJ Pierre is interviewed in the April 2013 issue of 5 Magazine – subscribe to 5MagFirst to read this & every issue for only $0.99/month.
DJ Pierre on ‘Wild Pitch’:
Wild Pitch is really like like building a house. You start with the foundation, which is the kick, add the mortar, add the brick… You’re just layering it, and you keep putting the elements in there until it looks like something.
In the beginning, it might not seem like anything. You don’t know what it is. But as you’re layering stuff on the track, it starts to tell you a story, it starts to build into something that you can really nod your head to and dance to. By the time you have them all in there, it sounds BIG, like an incredible energy.
But how do you get them all in? How do they all fit? You have to sneak them in. As a DJ, I would blend for a long time. I like to have a track playing behind another track and you don’t even know two tracks are playing. You could be blending those two tracks for awhile and the next thing you know, you’re like, “Wait a minute, something else is in there playing.” As you hear the elements come in, you’re hearing more and more of the new track, and at the same time, you’re trying to fade the other track out. The next thing you know it’s like this crazy smooth transition into a different track.
As a DJ I like mixing that way. So the Wild Pitch style came out of that. And on the way out, I would do it the same way. Once everything was in, I would break it down slowly, taking little bits and pieces out slowly one at a time.
As for Acid – heck, Acid speaks for itself. If you put the 303 in there and tweak it, it’s Acid. People had the 303 before I did, but they didn’t tweak it. They used it to make just a regular bassline. Once you start twisting those knobs, it’s like “Whoa, what’s going on?” Twisting on the knobs is what makes it Acid.
The 303 is now known as the “Acid box”, and it’s like whatever you do with it is Acid, but that’s not how it started out in the beginning. Sometimes people are saying, “Oh, some guy in India used a 303…” It’s like, c’mon, get out of here.
People are always trying to take credit from Chicago. We started this House thing, we started Acid House, so, it is what it is.
I don’t care who else does it, who else is super big and super famous that throws Acid in their tracks nowadays, we’re not going to let them take it from us. We’re not going to let them say that because LMFAO or some other person makes a track and has a lot of Acid in it that they started Acid House. Because if we’re not careful, the next thing you know, that’s what history will say. “Oh LMFAO made Acid first!” Because they’re the biggest name to mess with it. It’s like, “Okay, they use keyboards in their music too, it doesn’t mean they invented it.” If they use a rock guitar in a song, you’re not going to say they invented rock. But that’s the kind of story people are trying to put out there with the 303. All kinds of people were using the 303. That Indian dude wasn’t the first person to use it. All kinds of musicians were using a 303 as an accompaniment to their keyboards and all of that kind of stuff.