DANNY RAMPLING ON ACID HOUSE!
“Acid house at its inception was in some quarters totally misunderstood. The term ‘Acid’ came from Chicago — Ron Hardy, DJ Pierre, Farley, Adonis, Knuckles and all the other Hot Mix 5 crew — to describe the new emerging sound created with the Roland 303.
“Acid house wasn’t a British term to describe the music. Initially, the American producers coined the term and created the music. We embraced the music in the UK and shaped a movement. However, the UK tabloid press believed acid house music to be the work of the devil by sensationalising the biggest thing since punk rock.
They said that the followers were using LSD, which wasn’t the case generally on the scene. Nevertheless, the tabloid press scandalised the emerging scene with headlines of ‘Evil acid’ and ‘Lock up your children’, believing it to be a destructive music movement which spawned the rave scene.
Their reports actually helped grow the rave scene in a matter of weeks, as kids wanted to be part of this exciting new against-the-grain culture — an exciting new music and fashion scene.
“There certainly was a legacy connection to the ’60s psychedelic movement and Summer Of Love, to the powerful life-changing bye-gone era in respect of youth culture coming together as One — a new unified tribe of collective consciousness.
Much was changing by the turn of the ’90s: the Berlin Wall had fallen, Apartheid was crumbling, and a new music revolution was underway — music with lyrics of hope and positive messages. ‘Someday we’ll live as one family… brothers, sisters we’ll make it to the promised land…’
There was music with a strong message of unity — a continuation of blues, soul music, disco, and a new electronic revolutionary sound created in Chicago, with combined influences from the great European electronic bands like Kraftwerk, Depeche Mode and many other synth bands.
These created the blueprint for the greatest acid track ever produced — Phuture ‘Acid Trax’, the epic, groundbreaking 11-minute journey into the sound of the 303.
“My own experience of acid house past and present is having a great DJ, uplifting spirit, a good basement or a warehouse underground space in the darkness with strobe-lights and the crowd — as one celebrating the 303 sound.
No camera-phones pointed at the DJ, just us together, with the music melding into the sound. In recent times, acid house productions — the new wave of the sound, with underground 303 sounds — are not for stylish, over-designed VIP club-spaces. It’s the music of the people — in warehouses, basements where it began, where it belongs true to the core.
“We are all together in this movement, and that’s exactly how Seth Troxler’s Acid Future was recently. Seven thousand people with great energy contributing to our heritage throughout the whole day — the vibe was very connected to how it began.
People were there in the rooms for the love of music, and there was such a friendly atmosphere with no issues. I played a set of classic acid combined with new and future acid house. When I dropped a forthcoming Steve Mac 303 track, ‘Jack Said’, the room exploded and throughout the set the energy soared.
I loved Rework from Germany who played before me, and DJ Harvey followed my set and continued to lift the room with his magic. Seth and Craig Richards went back to back with great music until close — by and large it was a perfect day.
“It does seem that acid house is coming back. There’s a whole new wave of acid productions that take the foundations of it and bring the past sounds up to date, with a modern 303 feel.
I have an original 303, and great things — either with music or fashion — come back and have their day in the spotlight again in a modern form. There is clearly a demand, and Roland responded to the call by rebooting the TB303. It’s a sound that continues to shape our present music community’s taste.”