|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, Pitch Black have spent the last nine 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, created by Paddy Free and Michael Hodgson. 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 "Richie Hawtin meets King Tubby, or Rhythm and Sound in Technicolor".
Their debut album, Futureproof, was released in September 1999 and rose to the top of the New Zealand electronic charts, despite no marketing or advertising. Their second album, Electronomicon, followed in August 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 thru Dubmission in July and in America on Waveform in August 2005. England ’s DJ Magazine rated it Album of the Month, giving it 5 stars.
Ape to Angel was followed by a remix album, Halfway, released in New Zealand in November 2005. The collection featured versions by Bluetech, Antix, peak_shift, Agent Alvin and others.
It is their live show that really makes Pitch Black stand out from the rest of the crowd, both sonically and visually. Their tracks take on an added dynamism and their performances reveal the dialectic behind the band - Paddy wants to do it for the crowd, Michael wants to do it to the crowd. Visually they are in another dimension due to Mike's cutting edge visuals, which he manipulates at the same time as mixing the sound! Not for nothing have they been hailed as the "Hexstatic of New Zealand" and have been warmly embraced by England 's Big Chill community - playing 3 times at their annual festival.
Over the years they have also found favour among many DJs, both radio and club, including John Peel (Radio One/BBC), Nick Luscombe (Xfm), Greg Roberts (Dreadzone) and Pete Lawrence (Big Chill). Their music has been used in fashion shows and several films, the latest being the Oscar nominated Whale Rider.
Pitch Black - Ape To Angel
01. Ape To Angel
03. Lost In Translation
04. Big Trouble Upstairs
06. Elements Turn
07. The Random Smiler (Live)
08. Emty Spaces Missing Units
|Ape to Angel is the latest album release from New Zealand electronic heavyweights, Pitch Black. They chose to publicize their latest album with a birth notice:|
Ape to Angel is out in NZ. It is a lush deep dubby journey with a few surprises. It weighs in at a healthy 60+ mins and both parents are doing well.
Not just a clever attention getter; it begins to explain the Pitch Black musical ethos. Duo Paddy Free and Michael Hodgson first played together at the Gathering in 1996/97 and have been cranking out the music ever since, building up a strong local and international fan base in the process.
Ape to Angel follows albums Futureproof and Electronomicon. Ape to Angel as always, pushes the envelope. A heady mix of trance, dub and drum'n'bass, it is easy to enjoy, whether you like all or none of the three. One of the great things about this album is that you can put in on and play it in the background, or you can crank it up and allow it to command full attention.
It's hard to single out any one track from the album. The album contains one live track 'The Random Smiler', which should add a little frustration for those that missed the excellent live show before they headed off overseas. Opening track 'Ape to Angel' does well in setting the standard for the album, which does not falter after this.
this is an excellent album that i highly recommend to anyone who is interested in any type of laid back electonic music. enjoy, and remember to support the artist if you like it