Acid house was born in 1985 with the fated introduction of the Roland TB-303 Bass Line synthesizer to one Nathaniel Pierre Jones, aka DJ Pierre. Though DJ Pierre’s origin story is the stuff of underground dance music legend, he also recorded under dozens of different names over the course of his 30+ year career. Initially arriving on the wings of Chicago house’s first wave in the mid ‘80s and forging a stylistic prototype for the sound with the trio Phuture, DJ Pierre delivered the screeching, squelching bass synth that was the signature of 1987’s “Acid Tracks.” Pierre hasn’t let up since then, and the 16-track Wild Pitch is a welcome sliver of high points culled from productions dating from the early ‘90s to the present.
Wild Pitch opens with a conservative rework of “House for All,” an obscurity originally produced in 1993 by Baltimore’s Blunted Dummies. It’s followed by DJ Pierre’s lead single for the Get Physical label, the sublimely acid-drenched “MuSiQ.” It’s the third track, though—“Meet Hate with Love”—that is the rawest, most resonant reminder of DJ Pierre’s skills as a producer. Pounding at 125 BPM, “Meet Hate with Love” is definitive acid house in tone and principle. The track begins with a lone, fierce kick drum, slowly incorporating a warbling bass synthesizer, minimal piano chords, and a booming chorus sung by Ann Nesby. Tethering the sonics are astutely layered sound bites from Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Stride Toward Freedom” speech. By looping King’s instruction to “meet physical force with soul force,” DJ Pierre channels the foundational hope and virtue of house music’s classic era.
The spiritual exhilaration of “Meet Hate with Love” carries on through Wild Pitch. DJ Pierre taps into underground dance music’s promise of transcendence on tracks like “Let the Music Take You Higher” and “Love and Happiness.” Whether it serves as an introduction, or simply an update, Wild Pitch is an undeniable demonstration of DJ Pierre’s decades-deep artistic mastery.