Graham Reid | | 1 min read
New Zealand's premier electronica act Pitch Black -- Paddy Free and Mike Hodgson -- have also been its most exportable as they have taken their innovative shows (lights, cameras, live action) to a global audience via installations, exclusive parties, fashion shows and the like.
Their albums have always been stand alone items however which work just as well in the absence of the light show and cocktails, and this excellent collection of rarities, unreleased tracks and remixes (including their deep remix/revision of Salmonella Dub's For the Love Of It, Katachafire's Sensimillia and other material) is yet another which commands serious paying time.
Included here are remixes for International Observer (House of the Rising Dub), the Laya Project (A New Day) and Tiki Taane's Past Present Future alongside a previously unreleased piece from the soundtrack of Whale Rider (Kaikoura Dub).
And in a nice gesture they also drop in I'm A Wanderer from '96, "the first track we wrote together".
From '96 to now (their remix for Tom Cosm on The Opaque dates from this year), Pitch Black have been delivering consistently interesting, quietly beguiling and often daringly innovative electronica which remains gently in the genre but also step deftly into other areas with distinctive results.
Nowhere is that more evident than on the opener, their remix of Te Po by the late Hirini Melbourne and Richard Nunns which incorporated taonga puoru (traditional Maori instruments). Their version appeared on the Te Whaiao remix collection.
That Pitch Black can reach to stuttering electrobeats in one direction, ambient world music in another (the Laya Project) and Maori music in yet another with equal ease and a coherent vision shows why they have lived out the dream in the global village more than in their homeland.
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