Pitch Black sets off to get folks dancing

The Dominion, 22 December 2000

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SUMMER'S up and for Kiwi electronica duo Pitch Black, it's time to get the dance floors pumping.

Pitch Black head off on a summer tour with Salmonella Dub and King Kapisi tomorrow. The countrywide trip will include performances at the Big Day Out in Auckland and the Gathering in Takaka.

The team of Michael Hodgson and Paddy Free have been together since 1996. Their first album, Future Proof, was named electronic album of the year at the bNet music awards last year, and a second album, Electronomicon, was released in September.

The band describes its sound as "a combination of musical journeys from organic ambient beginnings and layered soundscapes to skanking keyboards, cutting acid riffs and thumping rhythmic grooves, with dub the glue that holds it all together".

It might sound complex, but as far as Free is concerned, their brand of dance music is for everyone, from teenagers to "old crusty hippies coming out of the hills".

Live performance is what Free enjoys best: "It's the best feeling in the world to make people happy and get paid for it."

He loves interacting with audiences and the "energy interchange" that goes on. "With our set, it's not like we push go and six minutes later we put the next track on. We're constantly shaping the sound. It's very spontaneous and no two shows are ever the same."

In the past few years, Kiwis had become more responsive to dance culture, Free said. "It was summed up for me by a pub owner in Tauranga saying he realises that blokes will listen to dance music if they can still drink beer and watch girls dance."

After the tour, there are gigs in Sydney and Melbourne. The pair are also heading to Europe to do the summer festival circuit. Free is confident they are good enough, but said if things did not work out, they would just come back, gather their forces and try again.

Jenny Ryan, The Dominion, 22 December 2000

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