Rarities and Remixes, the latest album from Auckland's Pitch Black...
... is a package of rare tracks and lovingly crafted remixes of other artists' music, chosen by Paddy Free and Mike Hodgson to represent their 15 year reign as NZ's favourite electronica act.
Known globally for their stomping live sets, Rarities and Remixes showcases Pitch Black's mellower side. Beginning with a dancefloor friendly, but respectful, reworking of the Richard Nunns and Hirini Melbourne original, 'Te Po' and ending with an equally haunting version of Tiki's 'Past Present Future', the album represents the past, present and future of the Pitch Black partnership.
Included in the remixes are tracks by fellow NZ dub trailblazers International Observer and Salmonella Dub, who appear alongside independent music producer Tom Cosm and reggae legends Katchafire. Also fed through the PB warping machine are tracks from further afield. 'Mirror Beach' by Mirror System (the ambient project of System 7) and 'A New Day', a remix of a Sri Lankan track that Pitch Black did for the Laya Project, a collaboration of regional folk musicians affected by the 2004 tsunami.
Included on the album are three Pitch Black rarities, one of which is a recording of 1996's 'I'm a Wanderer', the first track the pair worked on together, which showcases the industrial beginnings of what would become the Pitch Black sound. A dynamic balancing act between heavily sculpted basslines and choppy melody. Also included is 'Kaikoura Dub', the track used on Whalerider after Mike, having been asked by Niki Caro for some music, gave her a 23 minute mix of a jam recorded in Kaikoura. 'She ended up choosing a sliver for the film. We subsequently used the bones of this track for the tune 'Elements Turn' on Ape to Angel'.
The last rarity is 'Protect the Grain' a windborne ambient track that was previously released on the limited edition EP Flex around the time of widespread anti GE demonstrations in NZ and worldwide.
Pitch Black have always been more than a dance act, but on Rarities and Remixes they demonstrate the full reach of the musical territory they love to explore.