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Archive for the ‘DJ Pierre’ Category

b free daily: “Growing Up Club”

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If you’re in Baltimore, you can pick up today’s issue of b free daily and read my story on DJ Pierre, a Baltimore club producer I’ve written about on here a great deal over the past two years or so. He’s got a remix on that upcoming M.I.A mixtape, which is kinda crazy:

“I wanna keep club music alive,” intones Artaz Pierre Wilkins, better known as Baltimore club producer DJ Pierre, between bites of pizza at the Inner Harbor’s Gallery.

Still weary from a night of rocking-off at The Paradox, Baltimore’s premier club-music venue, Pierre politely backs up for a moment to add, “I don’t think club music’s dead — that’s just what’s in the air.”

If the supremely fast, repetitive style of Baltimore club first proved its existence to the wider world in the late 1990s, then the pulse of the city’s dance music has beat more faintly the past few years. 92Q’s club queen, DJ K-Swift, died in July 2008. Excitement that brewed over Baltimore club veteran DJ Class and his potential crossover hit “I’m The Ish” faded last year. There’s been a recent dearth of local club music in general.

At just 19 years old, Pierre responds to this dearth with a fury of fresh club music. He releases the occasional free download (it’s 2010 after all), but he’s best known for a stream of mix CDs, packed with his latest songs and some from his club producer peers. The forward-thinking club phenom has titled his latest mixtape, released this month, Volume 9: The Future. One of his tracks will appear on M.I.A.’s Vicky Leekx mixtape, set for release on New Year’s Eve…

Written by Brandon

December 29th, 2010 at 6:26 pm

How Big Is Your World? DJ Pierre – “In The Studio (2 Step)”

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On “In The Studio (2 Step),” DJ Pierre buries his club-ready chants of “two step” and “it’s that feel good music,” under layers of airy piano, dusted drum kicks, and some distortion blasts that’d make Salem jealous. The more prominent Pierre vocal though, has the Baltimore producer boasting that he’s “in the studio all night,” cleverly inverting the hundreds of club joints that celebrate being out until the wee hours of the night, living it up. The song’s about music production and sonically, there are even a few lo-fi nods to the fact that this is a recording. The synths that open the track are in-the-red. At the peak of the song, when all its shambling elements brilliantly lock-in for a tangled, catchy shuffle (seriously, the last minute of this track goes), Pierre sings wordless mumbles, which sound like rough, guide vocals to be turned to a hook later on. Messy studio chatter, complete with audio clipping ends the thing. To swipe Nick Sylvester’s idea, I’ll call this a song that knows it’s a record. These are extremely strange qualities for a club track though. Baltimore club is one of the most dogged and pragmatic genres out there, preferring in-the-box innovation over the glitchy, experimenting of Pierre’s work here. How can a track that begins with a burst of noise and ends with behind-the-scenes audio make its way into a club set? Does that even matter? Compliments to Pierre for making something as lawless as “In The Studio (2 Step).”

Written by Brandon

November 4th, 2010 at 6:25 pm

City Paper: Best Of Baltimore

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(photo by Frank Hamilton)

This year, I was fortunate enough to be involved in the the Baltimore City Paper’s “Best Of Baltimore” issue, which mostly meant hanging out with dudes who write for the paper and watching them hash out a lot of this and then offering my two sense on a couple of categories where I sorta kinda have some authority. So mainly, the club music categories in Arts & Entertainment, but please check out the whole issue.

Written by Brandon

September 23rd, 2010 at 6:51 am

How Big Is Your World? DJ Pierre – “Can U Feel It?”


OJ Da Juiceman’s hiding inside of this song, I think. Listen close to those squeaking, oscillating high-pitched sounds that start talking to the Eno-esque pulses 38 seconds in: those are the pitched-shifted “Aye!” ad libs of young Juiceman…I think. Specifically, it sounds like Pierre has grabbed some pieces of –wherein Murder Mark sampled the Gucci track of the same name and then covered it in a haze of OJ Da Juiceman “aye!”s and “okay!”s—and incorporated it into his much more chill, Art Of Noise-esque club track. As “Can U Feel It” unravels, the manipulted “aye”s grow closer to sounding like a human voice, giving this askew dance track that very important feeling of progression.

Notice how “Can U Feel It?” lacks most of the basic, decades-old elements of Baltimore Club (no quirky/raunchy samples, no “Think” or “Sing Sing,” it’s not all that aggressive) and instead, wanders around in its own strange sonic space. I like to tell people that club music isn’t a subgenre, it’s a genre and though that sounds really good but only kinda makes sense, the point is club’s pretty much mutating into something unrecognizable to older ears and that’s awesome (it’s even more awesome because somehow these tracks still work next to the classics in mixes). DJ Pierre is at the forefront of this still figuring itself out mutation.

Also check out Pierre’s latest track which at first, teases itself as a “Samir’s Theme” derivation and then waddles into far murkier territory.

*you can also read this post on Tumblr now, golly!

Written by Brandon

September 15th, 2010 at 8:23 pm

City Paper NOISE: "Not With a Bang, Not With a Whimper"

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My review of Saturday night’s ridiculous Big Bang! is up on the Baltimore City Paper’s music blog. There were some pretty big fuck-ups here and there, but none the fault of the talent or the promoters and despite the lights going up early before DJ Pierre got to play, it was still an awesome night. Apparently it’s going to happen next month with King Tutt returning and DJ Pierre finally getting to spin. Also, go cop DJ Pierre’s Vol. 7 mix CD, it’s pretty much all I’ve been listening to lately.

“Booked at the Depot, but moved at the last minute to after-hours spot 1722 a couple of doors down, and then ended early by 1722, this past Saturday’s installment of Senari’s Big Bang was all about keeping everybody, from those in attendance to the talent to promoter Puja Patel herself, off-balance.

At least part of the off-balance feeling, though, was intentional. Unpredictability is one of the most rewarding aspects of many of Patel’s shows, especially past Big Bangs: DJ Booman at the Hexagon earlier this year and now, grab-bag dance party sets from Bmore Electro’s Craig Sopo and Nacey of Nouveau Riche rubbing up against worker-bee club sets from King Tutt and DJ Pierre. The goal is diversity and an aggressive blurring of borders—and what better transition from electro to club than King Tutt?

The only “problem” with this mixing of scenes is that the promise of club music to anybody in Baltimore has the unfortunate effect of pushing everything that isn’t club, no matter how awesome—and indeed, there were moments of pulsing, treble-filled glee in Nacey and Sopo’s sets—off to the side, simply because anything that isn’t club music can’t compete. That’s the whole schtick of Baltimore’s signature music. It sonically wrecks anything and everything in its path.”

Written by Brandon

October 15th, 2009 at 2:23 am

Best of Baltimore: AllBmoreHipHop.Com

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So, Baltimore City Paper’s Best of Baltimore issue is out today which is always really fun. I wrote the blurb for “Best Idea”, celebrating the website AllBmoreHipHop.Com, which has a ton of free mixtapes from Baltimore artists and stuff. My suggestions, as in, the ones I don’t really think any reader of this blog could deny, would be Barnes’ Blockwork, Mullyman’s WiRemix 3 and Ogun’s Checkmate. Oh yeah, here’s the blurb:

“It’s really simple: A web site solely devoted to disseminating new singles and mixtapes from Baltimore rappers. Bringing Baltimore into the “Web 2.0″ world, AllBmoreHipHop hosts downloadable versions of homegrown releases from rappers established (Ogun, Skarr Akbar) and up-and-coming (Al Great)–but that’s all it does. No fashion tips, no opinion pieces, and no knucklehead comments fray, just MP3s from artists whose music you’d usually only access if you caught them live–or at Lexington Market and had $6 in your hand for a physical copy. And the site’s section for music videos is full of locals such as Mullyman, Tim Trees, 100 Grandman, and Skarr Akbar–a healthy way to feed the hypebeast that dominates the internet rap world in 2009, in a city that could afford some over-exposure.”

Some other “No Trivia” favorites got awards too, young Club producer DJ Pierre and the totally fucking slept-on Mania Music Group. And Mullyman and DJ Class, but you probably already know about them. Other co-signs would be the paper’s two shout-outs to Mondawmin Mall, which is this awesome mall that’s a lot like the one in Dawn of the Dead and is hilariously known as the scary mall white people don’t go to but isn’t all that scary at all. Also, infinite shouts to Andy Nelson’s BBQ and Club Paradox.

Written by Brandon

September 16th, 2009 at 4:04 am