Our man, DJ Dribbler, penned these sleeve notes for the 2011 re-issue of the 1987 DJ Pierre’s Pfantasy Club record, Mystery Girl, on Glasgow’s Numbers label. Read this.
The contribution from Pierre to this thing we have, this global phenomenon that has never been equalled in impact or cultural relevance, is incomparable. DJ Pierre and Spanky, however unwittingly, laid down the blueprint (together with Marshall Jefferson) for what was to prove to be the biggest thing since rock n roll.
The tracks were called Got the Bug, Dream Girl, Fantasy Girl, Slam and Spank Spank. They ensured that when they said We Are Phuture they weren’t frontin’. The acid house revolution is still as relevant and real today. In the same way that fashions and music repeat themselves in cycles, it’s not that acid house is going to come back… it has truly never been away.
Today, if you were to go to an ’80s Night’ you would be expecting to hear the likes of Madonna, Erasure, Eurythmics and Michael Jackson. You would rightly expect a bunch of New Romantic tracks by Duran Duran, Spandau Ballet and Culture Club. You could also expect to hear some goth music by The Mission, Sisters of Mercy and The Cult. All these fashions and trends were strictly eighties. They define the decade in the same way as the brat pack movies, Fame and Flashdance.
What you may not hear at such a party would be the music of the two most relevant musical cultures from those days – hip hop and house music. These two eighties cultures have conquered the world, commanded the music industry and inspired three generations the world over. The reason behind this is that hip hop and house music never left. “Rock n Roll is Here to Stay” the song went, and what rings just as true is “We are Phuture, you can’t defeat us” – they were the future and still are the future.
These two eighties cultures have conquered the world, commanded the music industry and inspired three generations the world over. The reason behind this is that hip hop and house music never left. “Rock n Roll is Here to Stay” the song went, and what rings just as true is “We are Phuture, you can’t defeat us” – they were the future and still are the future.
It’s easy to forget that pre 1950s there was no rock n roll. Sure, there was Mississippi Delta blues and there was country but there was no rock n roll as we know it. The post-war youth culture movement changed everything. It gave kids a way of dressing, a way of dancing, a way of talking and a sound that their elders and peers were scared of because they did not understand it. As a youth culture and movement it was absolutely perfect.
The fashions of the time; duck’s arse haircuts, Levis, biker boots, teddy boy crepes, Edwardian coats, drainpipe trousers and the vernacular of the day have all dated, but the energy, attitude and ethos of Rock n Roll remain as important and relevant as ever. Rock n Roll has come to symbolise rebellion. It’s a way of being, as much as a genre of music.
The same is true of Acid House. The hairstyles were flat-top fades, the trousers were baggy at the top and tight at the ankles, winkle pickers had re-emerged and cropped waistcoats were abundant. Just like Rock n Roll the fashions of the day came and went and now look dated but the music sounds as fresh and new as ever.
For Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, Buddy Holly and Eddie Cochrane, read DJ Pierre, Marshall Jefferson, Robert Owens and Frankie Knuckles. For ‘bop’ as a verb read ‘jack’. For ‘bop’ as a noun read ‘rave’.
The truth of the matter is that however many derivatives and sub-cultures come out of it, whether they be house, techno, jungle, garage or grime, whatever the people are wearing and however they are talking, acid house music will never die.
(Image of DJ Pierre courtesy of London Unlike)