June 10, Hidden Agenda
Getting lost several times in Kwun Tong while looking for the aptly named Hidden Agenda venue would be enough to leave anyone in a sour mood. But for those navigating the old industrial area in search of the live show by Berlin-based Pitchtuner, any anger would have been washed away by the duo's upbeat electronica.
The 90-minute show at the dusty warehouse-cum-nightclub consisted mostly of tracks off their third album, Riding The Fire, which sees the duo of Johannes Marx and Miki Yoshimura refine their rock-oriented grooves into more danceable beats and catchy hooks.
The name Pitchtuner first came to Marx when he was at university studying the connections between man and machine. The pitchtuner (used to tune guitars, violins and other string instruments) is perfectly adapted to work alongside people, he says. It's easier to understand what he means after watching Pitchtuner's live act - he and Yoshimura radiate so much post-modern eccentricity and electronic joy that you can't help but wonder if it's the instruments that play them.
The support of the small, yet energetic crowd seemed to add vigour to the band's spirits. 'You need to rise up, if you want to go to heaven,' Marx told the crowd, as he commanded them to crouch down low and rise up slowly with him.
Pitchtuner pull off the rare feat of combining darkness with reckless joie de vivre.