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Pitch Black - Single Review: Exodus

22 Oct 2022 // A review by Steve Shyu

Having been in the scene for over a quarter of a decade, Pitch Black would know a thing or two about the past and present. Consisting of producers and musicians Paddy Free and Michael Hodgson, the duo toured the globe and played countless numbers of festivals and gigs both in Aotearoa and abroad. Their latest release is inspired by and also in homage to a night in the 90’s, when Michael mixed a live show by Ras Bonte from Christchurch and was impressed by the band’s cover of Exodus by Bob Marley. Fast-forward to 2022, and this redux was birthed.

A short chorus of trumpets welcomes the listener, and an electronic bass drum and hi-hat enters. There are more trumpets, courtesy of David Fullwood, with a suite of fanciful shimmering synths. Of course, there had to be the bright, and energising central vocal line “Movement of Jah people”, provided by Sandy Mill. Then the iconic bassline enters, which those familiar with reggae should recognise instantly.

At a very basic level, there isn’t too much here that wasn’t already in the original track. Though the lyrics are stripped back, and the aural atmosphere given an update, the heart of the original song pumps just as hard here. As a sonic reimagining of the Bob Marley classic, this has certainly made great work of it, feeling both like a tribute but also as a remix.

The creators stated their work reminded them of “climate migrations that we are going to see more of in the coming years”. Being such an undeniable issue for the future, upon further listens, there is an eeriness and sense of foreboding that creeps in. With its electronic backbone, and expressed with modern eyes and ears, a track like this could not be more applicable to images of real-world events. But I digress!

Being a great cross of reggae and electronica, there is no reason not to put this one on your “Backyard Sessions” playlist. Perfect as a soundtrack for a Sunday barbecue, lazing in the sun with your mates, or just with the volume up in the living room paired with a cup of coffee to get a day going.

Oh, and there’s a super fun remix by Misled Convoy, taking the Pitch Black tune and jazzing it up to a more brisk-paced outing, and layering on generous amounts of effects and filters, making for a trippy, house-party atmosphere just about anyone can groove or tap their toes along to.

Check out Exodus by Pitch Black, and the Misled Convoy remix, on YouTube, Bandcamp or follow them on Facebook and Instagram.

Rating: ( 4 / 5 )
 

About Pitch Black

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 1996, they have spent the subsequent 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".

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 thanks to Michael's cutting edge visuals.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Pitch Black

Releases

Mixes + Mavericks
Year: 2022
Type: Album
The Light Within
Year: 2020
Type: Album
Third Light
Year: 2019
Type: Album
Buy Online @ Mightyape
Invisible Circuits
Year: 2017
Type: Album
Buy Online @ Mightyape
Filtered Senses
Year: 2016
Type: Album
Buy Online @ Mightyape
Remixes and Rarities
Year: 2011
Type: Album
Rhythm, Sound and Movement
Year: 2009
Type: Album
Rude Mechanicals
Year: 2007
Type: Album
Buy Online @ Mightyape
Lost In Trancelation
Year: 2006
Type: EP
Frequencies Fall
Year: 2005
Type: Album
Halfway: Between Ape and Angel
Year: 2005
Type: Album
Buy Online @ Mightyape
Ape To Angel
Year: 2004
Type: Album
Buy Online @ Mightyape
Flex
Year: 2003
Type: Album
Electric Earth
Year: 2002
Type: EP
Electronomicon
Year: 2000
Type: Album
Futureproof
Year: 1998
Type: Album

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