Best Albums of 2019: Pitch Black ‘Third Light’

Third Light (Dubmission Records)

Active since the late 90’s, eclectic dub-based duo Pitch Black (New Zealanders Michael Hodgson and Paddy Free) don’t release many albums, but downtempo that’s as delicious and groove-laden as Third Light is worth waiting for. This stuff is built to go the distance: smooth grooves with gnarly trimmings, lots of big beautiful bass notes, and uncluttered production that lets the pieces breathe and burrow slowly under your skin. The sexy, growling title track is a stunner, one of their best straight up dub pieces. The bleepy robot tones and clattering drums of “Artificially Intolerance” make for a brilliant mashup of techno and jungle meshed with their trademark stoned basslines. And “Silver World” and “Lake Within” are both sublimely dreamy reminders that they actually write really great melodies and progressions, just not as screamingly obvious as a lot of tunes in dubby psychedelic downtempo these days. If you like this one then you’ll dig the previous three albums as well: Ape To Angel (2003), Rude Mechanicals (2007) and Filtered Senses (2016).

Best Albums of 2019 Reviews Index

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