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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.

They have toured the world relentlessly, playing everywhere from Amsterdam to Zagreb and the streets of Las Vegas to the Australian outback, supporting acts such as Coldcut, Skream, Easy Dub All Stars and System 7 along the way.

Band Members:
Michael Hodgson
Paddy Free


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Joined: 26/07/16
Posts: 1
Location: Outside NZ
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New Pitch Black Album Filtered Senses being released on 2nd September 2016
Posted: Fri Aug 19, 2016 1:36 am
Founding godfathers of New Zealand dub/electronica, Pitch Black are proud to announce the release of their new album, Filtered Senses, out September 2nd, after sharing their impeccable comeback single “Invisible Chatter” with remixes by up and coming NZ producers, Digital Playground and West Coast American artist, Kaminanda, earlier this month.

It has been nine years since the award-winning duo released their last album, Rude Mechanicals, and 17 years since their ground-shifting debut, Futureproof. What followed on from that 1999 debut album, would develop into an illustrious career for Pitch Black releasing four studio albums, four remix albums and performing shows all over the world.

The pioneering pair have been living in different countries since 2011, and working on their seperate projects alongside their collaboration as Pitch Black. Both are renowned individually as solo artists and producers, Free has recently collaborated with Moana & the Tribe, Nga Tae and has created many new audio works for Aotearoa's finest choreographers, while Hodgson has been producing and remixing under his solo electronica guise, Misled Convoy, and creating multi media works in London.

Over the years, aside from rousing dance floor punters, generating rave reviews, winning awards and gaining thousands of fans across the world, from the Burning Man heartland in America, to the clubs and festivals of the UK, Europe, Japan, and Australia. They have allured favour among many DJs (both radio and club) including John Peel (Radio One/BBC), Nemone's Electric Ladyland (Radio 6), Nick Luscombe (Xfm), Greg Roberts (Dreadzone) and Pete Lawrence (Big Chill). Their music has been used in fashion shows, computer games, TV shows such as True Blood and CSI plus many films, including the Oscar nominated Whale Rider.

As individuals, they have very different approaches to music which can be summed up as: Free, manic groove-merchant of the pair, wants to do it for the crowd, while Mike, the dark dub-meister and experimental sound artist wants to do it to the crowd.

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Joined: 17/07/02
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Pitch Black Not Dead!!
Posted: Thu Apr 16, 2009 8:37 am
Pitch Black Not Dead!!
Remix Album, Tours Coming Up

Although Paddy and Mike have been keeping a relatively low profile in NZ of late, it does not mean that they have disappeared from the scene completely! Gigging overseas more often than at home, the alleged-Godfathers of Kiwi Electronica have been going hard out in many parts of the world – especially the virtual ones. No, this doesn't mean they've become addicted to Second Life, but are taking their music and their careers more and more online.

Their tours to Japan and the US late last year were their biggest yet - their 3rd and 5th time playing there, respectively - and will be followed by almost three months of solid touring in both those countries plus the UK and Europe this year from June through to August.

Internet download sales has been working well for the band, with (legal!) paid downloads currently averaging 5,000 per month from places as far a field as Finland and Invercargill.

The band recently posted one of their tracks, Harmonia, up for remixing on the web, and after the demand for the files crashed not only the download site, but also the server AND the network carrying them, they received 35 fully finished versions! Two of these will be among the tracks on the forthcoming Rude Mechanicals remix album entitled: Rhythm, Sound and Movement (inspired by the lyrics from the title track).

Rhythm, Sound and Movement is released digitally worldwide on April 28th, and on CD on May 4th. It features remixes from Kiwi electron-herders International Observer, Simon Flower and Kerretta, American dub-tronica artists Bluetech and Patch, Melbourne-based Deep Fried Dub, plus a wide range of international remixers.

The remix album, like Pitch Black themselves, covers a wide variety of styles from ambient through to downbeat dub, up to 4/4 stomping bizniz and full-on drum'n'bass workouts. As a teaser, the remix of Transient Transmissions by Deep Fried Dub will be available for free download on April 14th from Amplifier. Also, seven additional remixes will be available as bonuses for people who buy the whole album as a download.

Mike and Paddy's semi-emigration to cyberspace has contributed to keeping the boys busy in other ways. They are currently working in the studio on remixes for International Observer, Friends Electric (UK), and The Laya Project - an album of music from countries affected by the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami that was released last year as a fundraising effort. Paddy is now considered a world authority on live-performance music software Ableton Live, He was flown to Ableton Headquarters in Berlin to give input in developing the software, and Pitch Black frequently give workshops all around the world about live electronic performance. The last ones in London and Amsterdam were standing-room only affairs.

Upcoming Gigs:

Wellington: Saturday 18th April - Summerset Festival

Melbourne: Thursday 4 June – Roxannes
Sydney: Friday 5 June – Void @ Spectrum
Brisbane: Saturday 6 June – Step Inn
Byron Bay: Sunday 7 June – Buddha Bar

Santa Cruz: Friday 12 June - Raindance Festival
Southern Washington: Saturday 13 June - Oracle Festival
Los Angeles: Tuesday 16 June - Zanzibar
San Francisco: Thursday 18 June – Fat City
Marin County: Friday 19 June – Know:Audio Festival
Northern California: Saturday 20 June - Stilldream Festival

muzic.net.nz Admin

Joined: 17/07/02
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Pitch Black release and Aussie tour
Posted: Fri Apr 25, 2008 2:07 pm
On the back of a massive year, Kiwi electronic act Pitch Black announce the release of their first two artist albums and a return to Australia for four very special shows.

Having wowed us with their 'Rude Mechanical' album in 2007 Pitch Black have decided that the time is right to make their first and second albums 'Future Proof' and 'Electronomicon' available to Aussie fans. Not only have the double-disc recordings been re-mastered so they sound better than the original releases, but they also include a number of hard to find remixes.

Paddy Free and Michael Hodgson aka Pitch Black could be best be described as Kiwi Electronic Royalty. They have been blowing crowds away since their first spin back in 1997 and have continued to impress with world-class performances ever since. The Pitch Black sound is a distinct combination of musical journeys ranging from organic ambient beginnings, layered sound scapes to cutting-edge acid riffs and thumping rhythmic grooves. Their live show is a full-sensory experience with revolutionary visuals like nothing you have seen before, mixed with their signature scorching beats.

If you like your electronic music with drive, atmosphere and little shake of imagination thrown in for good measure, you won't want to miss Pitch Black!

Catch Pitch Black live on

Sat 26th April
Groovin The Moo / Maitland Showgrounds, Newcastle NSW

Sun 27th April
Bald Faced Stag Hotel / Annandale, Sydney NSW (with The Versionaries & Foreign Dub) - tickets: www.moshtix.com

Fri 2nd May
Hobart Fringe closing party / The Loft, Hobart, TAS

Sat 3 May
Miss Libertines / Melbourne (with Deep Fried Dub, Systah BB & ShiKung) - tickets: www.moshtix.com

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Pitch Black Turns 10
Posted: Tue Jan 16, 2007 10:02 pm
Pitch Black are ten!!

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". Sophomore album Electronomicon 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.

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Joined: 17/07/02
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New remix album for Pitch Black
Posted: Tue Aug 30, 2005 1:58 pm
Pitch Black are delighted to announce the release of Ape to Angel in America, the UK and Europe and the near completion of the remix album Halfway: Between Ape and Angel.

Ape to Angel has just been released in the USA by Waveform Records (www.waveformhq.com) and in the UK and Europe via Dubmission records, Jasper Edward’s label that also runs the successful Spacific nights in the UK (www.spacific.net).

This follows a successful whirlwind tour last year taking in 5 countries which resulted in the signing of the album. Pitch Black are off to tour the USA and Canada in October, with gigs in San Diego, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Tahoe, Seattle, Portland and Vancouver.

Ape to Angel was just named Album of the Month and received a 5 star review from DJ Magazine in the UK.

The new remix album, Halfway: Between Ape and Angel is scheduled for release with Rhythm Method on the 7th November 2005. Featuring remixes by local and international artists including Blue Tech, Spectrum, Doof, Max and Bluey, Pylonz, OG, Module and Peakshift amongst others.

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Joined: 17/07/02
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New Album For Pitch Black
Posted: Wed Mar 5, 2003 5:48 pm
Thanks to Kog Transmissions for the following...

Pitch Black have started work on the next album and hope to complete it sometime in 2003.


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Joined: 17/07/02
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Location: Manawatu
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Pitch Black Nominated For B.Net Awards!
Posted: Fri Jul 26, 2002 4:07 pm
Pitch Black have received the following nominations in the 2002 B.Net Music Awards:

* Best Electronic Release (Electric Earth & Other Elements)

* Best NZ Remix (Unadrummer)


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