DJ Pierre is often referred to as the Godfather of Acid House and rightfully so, we might add! He has been a part of the underground electronic music community in the US for over thirty years and has been a staple in the foundation of the music we get to enjoy today. His talent for electronics and production have kept him unique and innovative in music for decades. Hailing from Chicago, DJ Pierre now is based out of Atlanta, Georgia where he has been hard at work cultivating the underground Techno community and opening his own venue, Wildpitch Underground.
With so much talent and hard work under his belt, DJ Pierre established his label and brand, Afro Acid with the hopes of continuing to build and grow the genre and open up a platform for new artists. Amongst his travels, he came upon his own version of a prodigy -- a young new artist and producer from Boston, Beyun!
Beyun has a wonderfully colorful background of being born in the Philippines to an Ukrainian-American father and German mother, who gave her a Korean name. Her family moved her from the Philippines to Eastern Russia/Siberia in the early '90s where she spent time in and out of Germany before migrating to Seattle in the United States in '95. She moved to Boston in '06 to study physics at MIT and was first introduced to techno and house music in 2012 during time spent at Berghain and Tresor in Berlin, as well as, Robert Johnson in Frankfurt.
Beyun has been an active contributor to the Boston underground music scene since 2014 when she began actively DJ'ing and producing. She wanted to bring Berlin to Boston, so she founded the event brand, VAULT, who have been hosting monthly techno-focused parties in Boston. Beyun was responsible for nearly every aspect of its production—from flyer design & photography, algorithmically-generated audio visuals, to audio-responsive DIY LED installations.
Now trained in physics, electrical engineering, and computer science, Beyun searches for the intersection between music, art, and technology. She has graced Magnetic Magazine with an exclusive mix, as well as talked to us about the massive changes in her career and her involvement in Afro Acid!
How did you become a DJ/Producer? Were you always involved in music?
Beyun: I grew up on artists like KMFDM, Nine Inch Nails, John Digweed, Depeche Mode, Moby, Daft Punk, Pink Floyd, and Massive Attack. Later I found myself in clubs like Berghain/Panorama Bar, Tresor and Sisyphos dancing for days. This is where my obsession with techno began. At home in Boston, I became obsessed with recreating the feeling I got from Berlin dance floors, and immersed myself in production and DJing. Inspired by Berlin and the book Last Night a DJ Saved My Life, I started a party with Bob Diesel called Vault. Essentially I brought Berlin to Boston but with my own twist.
What has your experience been like, learning to DJ/Produce and then working with one of the most globally recognized producer/DJ?
B: I studied Physics at MIT and I’m a software engineer so when I first came in contact with Abelton through Mmmmaven's music classes, it completely made sense to me. I feel incredibly blessed to be working with DJ Pierre. He has accomplished so much over the span of his 30+ year career, including creating two genres (Acid House and Wild Pitch), but from speaking to him you might never know it. He is incredibly humble about what he's done and is driven to create music with a message—a perspective that resonates strongly with me. He’s taught me to look beyond the matrix.
How did you become involved with the Afro Acid label?
B: I booked Pierre for Vault’s one year anniversary, which happened to be his birthday. Pierre said it was one of his best sets of his career, and people later told me that they had never experienced a dance party like that in Boston. Pierre loved what Bob Diesel and I had created and wanted to collaborate. He was starting his own club in Atlanta called Wildpitch and Vault was exactly the vibe he wanted to cultivate. Opportunities like this don’t come around often, so naturally I moved to Atlanta to work more closely with Pierre. Pierre appreciated my musicality skills and wanted to see what I could do for the label, so he asked me to be A&R for Afro Acid.
Based on the experience you have had, how hard is it to move from DJ'ing with a day job, to working solely off the music? What advice would you give another person looking to do the same?
B: I am extremely fortunate because I work in technology, which enables me to have a flexible schedule and work remotely. However it’s basically a non-profit and pays way below industry standards in compensation. However I deeply appreciate the fluidity, understanding and respect they have for my passion for music. Honestly, it is my dream to support myself from music alone, but until that day comes I struggle. My advice is don’t give up, persistence and hard work will get you there.
Are you currently working on any releases? What is your position at Afro Acid?
B: I'm working on a remix of DJ Pierre & My Digital Enemy’s The Underground, a remix for Katie Otro’s Look, and my second EP - which I’m very excited about. As the new A&R for Afro Acid, I can say we have some very exciting releases coming up and a second Acid 88 compilation in the works. I hear A Guy Called Gerald may be coming on board and I have my ears on UMFANG and Dee Diggs.
What hopes do you have for the Afro Acid Showcases? What cities are you going to perform in?
B: The Afro Acid Showcases are a platform for us to feature the artists we really believe in and share the Afro Acid movement. We recently had a showcase in DC, and earlier this year we held showcases in Las Vegas, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, and Madison. Our next showcase will be a collaboration with MVDZ AUDIO & MNTRA at ADE with DJ Sneak, DJ Pierre, Lessnoise (who is now performing with Pierre as Phuture), Bad Beat from Las Vegas, and Netherlands techno bosses Lucien Foort, Alex Pi and their Dutch crew.
What plans does Afro Acid have for the next year?
B: We are growing and have a solid team. Kat, founder of Design 2 Manifest, is fiercely tackling the marketing and branding side of things. She bridges that gap between conscious and cool. We’re also working on video content for our Afro Acid YouTube channel to share the history of house music direct from its pioneers. Knowing the history is crucial to preserving the original goals of dance music culture, which are unfortunately fading away. House music comes from black and gay culture and originated in Chicago. This music is about bringing people together, embracing our differences, celebrating individuality, and getting lost in the dance. We need this perspective now more than ever. “You may be black, you may be white, you may be Jew or Gentile, it don’t make no difference in our house, and this—is fresh!”
Afro Acid are showcasing @ ADE this year with heavy-hitter talents such as DJ Sneak, Lucien Foort & DJ Pierre, himself! Support by Lorenzo Cheng, Bad Beat, Less Noise, Karim Soliman, TFX, Alex Pi & Fadoua Mae!