DJ PIERRE at Steam Whistle Brewing (255 Bremner), Friday (June 8), 10 pm on. $12 before 11:30 pm, $15 after, free w/ $28 NXNE wristband. http://www.djpmuzik.com. Rating: NNNNN
Sometimes success can be pulled out of the jaws of failure.
More than 20 years ago, DJ Pierre and his friends Spanky and Herb J changed the future of dance music with a bit of luck and a simple little synthesizer and sequencer made by Roland called the TB-303.
The device failed in terms of its original purpose, to provide bass lines to accompany Roland's drum machines for the ordinary bar musician.
But the idiosyncratic way Pierre and his buddies used it (under the name Phuture) made the TB-303 the signature voice of early electronic dance music. That first song, Acid Trax, released in 1987, went on to define what would be known as Chicago acid house, which in turn inspired the UK rave movement.
"This guy we knew made this track, and we liked it so much, we asked him where the bass line came from. He told us it was the TB-303, that it emulated the bass guitar," recalls Pierre in his lazy Chicago drawl.
"Spanky bought it and called me up and said, "I don't know how to work this thing. I can't make it sound like a bass.'
"I started turning knobs and getting into how they were changing the sound, and he was like, "Keep on doing that.' After that, we never used it for what it was made for. It don't sound nothing like a bass."