Paddy Free

Paddy Free

 Auckland, Auckland, NZL

Live Electronica combining Taonga Puoro (traditional Maori instruments), Maori Vocals, natural soundscapes and organic beats. With moods ranging from ambient textures to full-on dancefloor beats, Always with an emphasis on human energy and Wairua (spirit).


Paddy Free is one of New Zealand's best known electronic musicians. He has written music for television, film, theatre, dance and multi-media art, as well as acting as producer and engineer for many world-renowned New Zealand bands.

Paddy first came to prominence in 1996 as a founding member of Mesh, the Auckland-based "live organic techno" band that combined dancefloor technology with traditional Pacific instruments. Firm favourites in Auckland's emerging dance scene, Mesh impressed punters with their high energy live gigs and innovative sound. Paddy's love of Pacific music has seen him perform at WOMAD with Mesh and Henry Taripo, and in 1998 he travelled to Tonga to perform at the Heilala festival with the group A Pride of Lions.

Paddy was the co-producer and co-engineer of Salmonella Dub's Killervision and One Drop East albums, and producer of Inside the Dub Plates which has sold over four times platinum. He has been twice-nominated for Best Producer at the Tuis - the New Zealand Music Awards - and in 2002 was awarded Best Engineer.

As a producer/engineer, keyboard player and general studio boffin, Paddy has worked with a diverse range of New Zealand bands such as Crowded House, Neil Finn, Supergroove, Emma Paki, Moana and the Moahunters, Oceania, Stellar* and The Exponents, to name but a few.

As a composer for arts and contemporary dance projects, Paddy has worked with Atamira Dance Collective, Mau and Black Grace. He has composed several soundtracks for installation works by multi-media artist Rachael Rakena. Rachael's latest work, Aniwaniwa was shown at the Sydney and Venice Biennales in 2007.

However it is Pitch Black, with Michael Hodgson, for which Paddy is best known. Since forming in 1996, Pitch Black have been at the forefront of New Zealand electronica, renowned for their mind-blowing multimedia live performances and four sonically cutting-edge albums. Since 1996 Pitch Black have played all over New Zealand and toured to Australia, England, Scotland, Ireland, France, The Netherlands, Germany, Spain, Austria, Croatia, Japan and the USA. Twelve circumnavigations of the globe with three more to follow in 2010.

Pitch Black have just completed an epic 12-minute remix of the Laya Project's "A New Day", and are stoked that the track has been chosen as the first track for the double remix album.

Paddy has been performing a live solo set of Pacific-influenced electronica since 1999, and his debut solo album, a collaboration with renown taonga puoro expert Richard Nunns, entitled Karekare: Te Reo O Te Whenua was released on July 14 2008, on Dub Conspiracy Recordings. Combining electronica with taonga puoro and vocals in te reo Maori from Tiki Taane and Waimihi Hotere, Karekare represents a uniquely New Zealand sound, truly The Language of the Land.

Karekare has seen much love from luminaries such as Bob Duskiss at Global Noize and has been receiving extensive airplay on Pathaan's Musical Rickshaw show on UK BBC6.

Karekare was represented by Creative New Zealand at WOMEX 2008, the World Music Expo in Seville Spain, and many tracks from Karekare have been used in New Zealand films and television programmes.


As Paddy Free:
Karekare: Te Reo O Te Whenua (2008)

With Pitch Black:
Futureproof (1996)
Electronomicon (2000)
Ape To Angel (2004)
Rude Mechanicals (2007)

As Producer:
Salmonella Dub - Killervision (1999)
Inside The Dub Plates (2001)
One Drop East (2004)

Set List

A typical set lasts 60-90 minutes, beginning ambient, then moving into medium-tempo dub grooves, building to full-on pounding beats in the Drum'n'Bass/Jungle territory.

Current Set List:
1. Weherua Po (ambient)
2. Karekare (94bpm)
3. Lali (85bpm)
4. Tetekura (99bpm)
5. Tuatara (96bpm)
6.Rua (69/138bpm)
8. Wairua (132bpm)
9. Te Reo Tupuna pt 1 (161bpm)
10. Te Reo Tupuna pt 2 (165bpm)
11. Whai Atu (167bpm)
12. Jungle (160bpm)
13. They Are Among Us (148bpm)
14. Space Cadet (141bpm)