The last decade has been a depressing episode in audio history where sound quality has played second fiddle to convenience. Low quality MP3s were designed to make the most of slow internet speeds and expensive storage; cheap earphones have been bundled with audio players; hi-fi separate systems have been forgotten in place of portable speakers. What’s more, we’re told the album as an artform is dying. But not all of us agree with the status quo.

Pitchblack Playback is a series of listening sessions inviting the music-loving public to hear upcoming album releases and classic LPs like never before in cinemas and other intimate spaces—in the dark.

To ensure that there’s no distractions and that you're totally immersed in the music, our events are staged in the dark.* It’s just you and the music. Your sense of hearing is heightened when your vision is cut off and it only serves to make the music feel more intense. In today's stressful modern world, we all need spaces where we can cut ourselves off from the noise and distraction of daily life. 

Pitchblack Playback isn’t aimed at audiophiles who will obsess over every last detail of the equipment used. It’s simply for lovers of damn good music who still value the album as an artform and who want to hear their favourite records and exclusive first plays on a big system with no distractions. We want it to be an experience for everyone, of all ages and tastes.

We use a mixture of cinemas, clubs, live music venues, audio showrooms and bespoke setups to bring you the best listening environment we can, being careful to pick the right room and system for the right record. We then upmix the stereo or mono original recording to play through all the speakers in the room to create an immersive sound field to make you feel like you're right in the middle of the music.

We hope you'll feel the bass through your body and pick up new details you've never noticed before on your favourite albums, and hear new releases for the first time in the most powerful, vivid setting. 

Produced and devised by Ben Gomori.

Pitchblack Playback: meditate on music

*We dim the lights to their bare fire safety regulation minimum and providing eye masks for the full lights-out experience.