Live Stage

Luminate Festival 2017

Pitch Black

New Zealand


Pitch Black are award winning multimedia artist Michael Hodgson and Salmonella Dub producer 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 1997, they have spent the last fourteen years rousing dance floors, generating rave reviews, winning awards and gaining thousands of fans across the world.

Having started their career playing at Canaan Downs in '97, we are honoured to welcome Pitch Black to Luminate and back to Canaan Downs-Pikikirunga to celebrate their 20th anniversary and release of a new album 'Filtered Senses'.

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 due to Mike's cutting edge visuals, which he manipulates at the same time as mixing the sound. Not for nothing have they been hailed as the "Hexstatic of New Zealand" and have been warmly embraced by England's Big Chill - playing the festival 3 times.

Their debut album, Futureproof, was released in September 1999 and rose to the top of the New Zealand electronic charts, despite no marketing or advertising. Electronomicon followed in August 2000, and led to a sell out 30-date tour of New Zealand and Australia. Both albums spawned remix projects, featuring mixes by local luminaries such as International Observer, Epsilon Blue and Downtown Brown.

Their third baby, Ape to Angel, was released in New Zealand on October 4th 2004 to critical acclaim. The Ape tour was the biggest yet, with 42 shows across the world, including their debut performances in America. The album was then released in Europe through Dubmission in July 2005 and in America on Waveform in August 2005, with a Japanese release, with a bonus remix disc, in May 2006.

Rude Mechanicals, came out in New Zealand and Australia in August 2007. Possibly their most accessible album to date, it ranges from downtempo dubs and ambient soundscapes to trancefloor grooves and drum and bass, and was lauded by veritable music institution Q Magazine as “the sound of the future”!

They have toured the world relentlessly for the last nine years, 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.



Live Stage 2017

Click here to view full lineup

  • Zen Mechanics
  • Mr Squatch
  • Rosie MissChief Band
  • Mad Hallelujah Tribe
  • Redwood Reider
  • Matiu Te Huki with My Golden Soul
  • Acapollinations
  • Cheshire Grimm
  • Ott & The All-Seeing I
  • Desert Dwellers
  • Knights of the Dub Table
  • Sika
  • The Alpaca Social Club
  • Smoke Sign
  • Nigel Gavin & Shelf Life
  • Unseen Dimensions
  • Dubarray
  • Kallidad
  • Dark Nebula
  • Murray Kyle
  • Wild Marmalade

Luminate: to shine light, elevate spiritual consciousness, put a smile on your face; earth friendly festival of music, art, culture, intentional community, sustainability, celebration and inspiration; celebrating the ancient festival of Lughnasadgh, midway between the summer solstice and autumn equinox. Luminate Festival Educational and Spiritual Trust. Registered Charity CC43938