DJ Spank-Spank (aka Earl Smith Jr.), who was part of the pioneer Chicago’s electronic production trio Phuture alongside DJ Pierre and Herb J, passed away a few hours ago.

Their seminal futuristic 1987 EP ‘Acid Tracks’ started and defined the acid house genre and planted the seeds for the techno and electro sounds and the following UK rave summers of 1988/89.

It was credited to be the first track to feature the high pitched ‘squelch’ sound of the Roland TB 303, originally in the market as bassline machine for solo guitarist. It was just DJ Spank, a synth fanatic, who bought it for 40$ in a second-hand shop and the magic happened. The trio emerged from their studio with a cassette tape of the new track that was given to the DJ Ron Hardy, who previewed it at his legendary club the Music Box – immediately people went crazy for it and the buzz exploded. Initially it became known in the Chicago clubs’ scene as “Ron Hardy’s Acid Track”, but Phuture re-edited the cut with the production of the other house maestro Marshall Jefferson, and the rest is history.

The genius of DJ Spank and his fellows not only defined a sound that is still resonating today after 30 years but even, as their name suggests, ‘invented the future’ for the dance music generations to come.

Fabrizio Lusso

Pay respect to the Man enjoying more than 12 minutes of his immortal sound :