DJ Pierre "Acid" b/w "Jack Da Groove"
At one time, the story of house music was an underground and niche thing. Like a futuristic oral history, its sagas were created and relayed to new generations of dancers via turntables and loud speakers. If you lived in ignorance of the regions where its influence fell, chances were that you'd be completely out of the loop. Yet, the past 10 years have seen the arrival of new modes of communicating the subtle nuances of this once secret tradition. The socially connected internet, and the database mentality it promotes, has given rise to a new breed of producer that is able to craft near-perfect simulations of classic dance music. Amidst this revival, some older artists have had a hard time establishing a foothold in the new school.
Case in point is "Acid" b/w "Jack Da Groove," the latest single from legendary house producer Nathaniel Pierre Jones (a.k.a. DJ Pierre). Released on Boys Noize's BNR Trax label, it's a four-track homage to acid, the sound that initially brought him acclaim in the late '80s. Unfortunately absent is the wild experimentation that has characterized the various highs of Jones' influential discography. In its stead is a small collection of tracks that feels like house-by-numbers more than anything else.
It opens with "ACiD (Pierre's Open Face Mix)." Growling, it comes out of the gate with an overcompressed TB-303 bassline bouncing along on top of a standard-issue four-to-the-floor grid. Initially, it's not bad so much as flavorless. However, whatever merits its instrumentation has are quickly annihilated by Jones' vocals, which sound like a bad karaoke of "Love to Love You Baby," albeit with the word "acid" replacing Donna Summer's signature moans. From there it drifts, dropping and restarting in all the right places before unleashing its acid squiggle in a predictably structured way. A little better is "Acid Beats," a less over-the-top version that reduces the song down into something that might pass for "bonus beats" on an almost-forgotten '90s Strictly Rhythm single.
Up next is "Jack Da Groove," which bares no resemblance, beyond its name, to Raze's 1987 classic "Jack The Groove." Again, Jones lets the kick drum ride, but this time throws "Video Clash"-style stabs over the top. The most egregious example of bad lyrics on the entire record, the song is marred by a sanitized CliffsNotes reading of Rhythm Control's "My House." Already approaching critical levels of cheese, a white noise riser rips through the soundscape, giving the whole thing a radioactive glow. Angel Alanis' remix fares about the same, merely adding a ghetto-house-inspired bleep and clap before going awry with its own particularly cringe-worthy drop that follows the words "this is fresh."
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