The b side of Phutures breakout single, Acid Tracks
  • The B side of Phuture’s breakout single, “Acid Tracks”

One of the best parts of the Chicago Cultural Center’s “Move Your Body”—a small, necessary, and imperfect exhibit documenting the golden age of Chicago’s house-music scene—is a listening station dedicated to pioneering acid-house group Phuture. House has quite a history, and while it’s great to see the city celebrate it by posting flyers for Medusa’s nightclub and vintage photos of the scene’s movers and shakers, it’s even better to pop on a pair of headphones and hear Phuture member DJ Pierre talk about the night Ron Hardy debuted the group’s “Acid Tracks” at the Music Box.

As DJ Pierre tells it Hardy played “Acid Tracks” four times that night, and to hear the former talk about it is to get a taste of the surprise and thrill of seeing the crowd succumb to the song’s gnarly pulse. Michaelangelo Matos explains the song best in the first chapter of The Underground Is Massive: How Electronic Dance Music Conquered America, which the Reader excerpted in April:

“Acid Tracks” remains one of the oddest “hit” singles ever made: Twelve minutes of a machine eating its own wires, the 303 gibbering away over drum machine, hand claps, and referee’s whistle.

Take a listen to the song below, it’s today’s 12 O’Clock Track, and prepare for Phuture’s free SummerDance set Friday at the Spirit of Music Garden in Grant Park. If you want to hear more about the history of “Acid Tracks” head to the Apple store on Michigan Avenue at 6 PM to hear Phuture members DJ Pierre and Spanky talk to 5 magazine’s Czarina Mirani and Terry Matthew about the rise of acid house.

YouTube video