Pitch Black are Michael Hodgson and Paddy Free. Having pumped their way through New Zealand’s electronic music scene since their inaugural performance at the annual Gathering New Year’s eve festival in 1997, they have spent the last fourteen years rousing dance floor punters, generating rave reviews, winning awards and gaining thousands of fans across the world.
Hard to box into a single audio ‘genre’, Pitch Black is a combination of musical journeys. Their sound is distinctive; ranging from organic ambient beginnings and layered soundscapes to skanking keyboards, cutting acid riffs and thumping rhythmic grooves, with dub being the glue that holds their sound together. One critic has described them as like “Orbital meets King Tubby, or Rhythm and Sound in Technicolor”.
Their debut album, Futureproof, was released in August 1998 and rose to the top of the New Zealand electronic charts, despite no marketing or advertising. Electronomicon followed in September 2000, and led to a sell out 30-date tour of New Zealand and Australia. Both albums spawned remix projects, featuring mixes by local luminaries such as International Observer, Epsilon Blue and Downtown Brown.
Their third baby, Ape to Angel, was released in New Zealand on October 4th 2004 to critical acclaim. The Ape tour was the biggest yet, with 42 shows across the world, including their debut performances in America. The album was then released in Europe through Dubmission in July 2005 and in America on Waveform in August 2005, with a Japanese release, with a bonus remix disc, in May 2006.
Their last album, Rude Mechanicals, came out in New Zealand and Australia in August 2007 and the rest of the world two months later. Possibly their most accessible album to date, it ranges from downtempo dubs and ambient soundscapes to trancefloor grooves and drum and bass, and was lauded by veritable music institution Q Magazine as “the sound of the future”!