Celebrating their tenth anniversary the ever popular Pitch Black have given us a live recording to download free for one week from January 25th. Weighing in at over sixteen minutes, the file isn't the smallest so you have two download options: 128 kb (15 MB) & 192 kb (22MB)
On 31st December 1996 Paddy Free and Michael Hodgson played their inaugural gig at The Gathering on Takaka Hill. They rocked up with only two songs that they'd written to date, and played a stonking 40 minute set. "It seems like only yesterday we were bumping down the one-way metal road to the first Gathering" says Mike. "We jammed with samples on top of beats - with my mixing desk way off to one side... but we soon sorted that one out."
Since then they have shared the stage with acts such as Coldcut, Kraftwerk and Underworld, and rocked everywhere from small basement clubs to massive stadiums. They have released three albums, three remix discs, and embarked on six world tours. Pitch Black songs have been included on many international compilations, film soundtracks, and they recently licensed tracks for use on CSI: Miami. Their latest project has been the music and sound design for "Cube", a forthcoming game for the Sony PSP developed in New Zealand by Metia Interactive.
Having been introduced to each other at a party in 1996 by a mutual friend who said "you two have to talk about music", they did just that. Subsequently Mike turned up at Paddy's house with a 25 minute track and said "can you turn this into a song?" Paddy added his ear for sounds and structure to Mike's dub madness - the likes of which he'd never heard before, Mike said he loved it, and the unique sound of Pitch Black was born.
"We come from such totally different musical backgrounds and headspaces" says Paddy. "I love a good pop song and an arrangement that grabs you and takes you away into another world, and Mike is a sonic terrorist who enjoys pushing unfeasibly large subs at people, while melting their brains with the dub".
Their inaugural album, Futureproof came out in 1999, and was heralded as "a New Zealand classic" by Loop Magazine. Pavement went even further: "This debut collection wipes the floor with all who have come before and sets a new benchmark by which all future local electronica releases will be measured". Second album Electronomicon,
which was the highest selling alubm at Amplifier until 2005, was released in 2000 with a sold out NZ tour, to be followed by Ape to Angel in 2004: which earned Album of the Month and five stars from London's DJ Magazine.
Applauded not only for their sound, Pitch Black have built a reputation as a live electronic/multimedia act of world standard. Collaborating with computer programmer Ross George, Mike developed the Mideo video sampler for triggering synchronised video to music in real time. Delivering the full-sensory experience has always been central to their gigs, and performing live is fundamental in the development of their music - No accusations of email-checking or "just pressing play" for these men!
Both Mike and Paddy mix individual projects into their creative lives, which in turn feeds back into Pitch Black. Mike has been producing experimental music under the name Misled Convoy and producing large format video shows, with ex Kog man Bruce Ferguson, all over the world for clients such as Louis Vuitton, Lancome, NBC, L'Oreal and Tourism NZ.
Paddy's long-term association with Salmonella Dub has seen him act as producer and engineer on their multi-platinum albums One Drop East and Inside The Dub Plates, as well composing soundtracks for Atamira Dance Collective and art installations at the Sydney Biennale. Paddy's debut solo album, a project combining Taonga Puoro (traditional Maori instruments) with electronics will be released this year.
Not content to rest on their laurels, 2007 will see Pitch Black busier than ever. A return visit to Japan, more tours to the UK, USA and Europe, and last but not least a new Pitch Black album in September.