About

Dark IDM/Industrial/Synthwave from the bowels of NYC. A Toby Driver and Bridget Bellavia collaboration.

Drawing on their experience in a variety of genres including IDM, post industrial, jazz, hardcore punk, ethereal wave and popular music, Bridget Bellavia and Toby Driver have created a body of work that defies classification. Driver, a prolific avant-garde composer takes the reigns with a densely electronic compositional work. Bellavia, a vocalist, songwriter, and visual artist tells tales of the human condition, authoritarian machination and lyrical horror such as with the tale of the haunted glove in Psygh Øn Raindom ÆllÆy. Bellavia draws from literature, film and art to create vocal melodies and lyrics as well as visuals for live shows. From astral projection to supernatural manipulation, Driver draws on countless caliginous forces to fashion unpredictable and somber arrangements. Piggy Black Cross is a tumultuous yet harmonious project that will stir the inmost affection.

"Morbidly beautiful darkwave." - Heavyblogisheavy, Editors' Pick

"Melds the saturated sci-fi atmospheres of synthwave with glitchy electronica, unorthodox compositions, and just a squirt of the sultriest goth. The beats are sparse but tricky, the moods continually shifting from numinous to dystopian, and the rarely repeated vocal phrasings conjure eros and loss and everything in between." - Toilet ov Hell, Top Albums of 2018

"Pounding relentless energy articulated via a collection of inner engines with continually shifting gears. By far the most exhilarating and ecstatic [albums] I’ve heard all year." - 5against4, Best Albums of 2018

 
 

Press

Respected Insights

PBC Takes Over The News

 

African Paper

PIGGY BLACK CROSS: Always Just Out of R.E.A.C.H.

Translated from German:

If the name Piggy Black Cross doesn't mean anything, half of the New York duo may still be known, because Toby Driver has been playing in quite successful bands like Kayo Dot, Secret Chiefs 3, Gregor Samsa or Tartar Lamb in a confusing borderland between prog rock, metal, experimental electronics and certain gothic elements - and probably especially appeals to those who are not looking for the typical in the directions mentioned. If you have to think of a passage from Current 93's “The Descent of Long Satan and Babylon” in the name of your most recent project, you shouldn't hope too much for spooky, eschatological folk music, because Piggy Black Cross deliver a tricky, rhythmic crossover without looking old-fashioned could attract friends of Skinny Puppy and Hunting Lodge to the dance floors.

One can also understand the NIN comparison, which has already been made here and there, but about the rocking drum work and the spacious electronics, about the accurate breaks and changes in tempo, all of which are the foundation and backdrop for the cryptically titled opener “Psygh Øn Raindom ÆllÆy” Bridget Bellavia's singing, which is still unfamiliar here, is followed by further elements that give the project its very own character: Synthetic swabs that would have fit into a Giallo soundtrack, broad, melancholic sound surfaces that remind of the exhausted dreaminess at the end of the night and me spontaneously made us think of the Kirlian Camera of the early nineties - which also had a song called “Raindom”, maybe that's a coincidence, but maybe also part of a diffuse game with references.

Over the course of the five tracks, it is becoming increasingly apparent that the singer, who also sings in another band called Paranoid Fiction in the area of ​​the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, has an effortless ability to vary the use of the voice. She chases her message with aggressive force through the distorted to erratic bars or plastic hand drum imitations, but after a few short sighs she lets an almost ethereal soprano glide over metal-heavy blast beats. The gentle hovering vocals, which sometimes make you think of a more folky version of FKA Twigs, let some pieces reveal the disguised pop songs that they ultimately did not become, because Bellavia and Driver had different plans for the material, which included brutal stomping as well luscious rhythms and a gentle brass section from the annals of smooth jazz. 

5  Against 4

The Isolation Mixtapes

This week’s Isolation Mixtape focuses on artists, groups and composers beginning with the letter P. As usual the mix celebrates some of the best and most striking music from the last decade, with two tracks from each of the years 2010 to 2019, featured in chronological order.

Exhi Metal

6 new tapes out now: Amenra // Skemer // Onhou // Piggy Black Cross // All You Know Is Hell // Yin-Yin – Tartarus Records

Piggy Black Cross – Always Just Out Of R​.​E​.​A​.​C​.​H.

Drawing on their experience in a variety of genres including IDM, post industrial, jazz, hardcore punk, ethereal wave and popular music, Bridget Bellavia and Toby Driver have created a body of work that defies classification. Driver, a prolific avant-garde composer takes the reigns with a densely electronic compositional work. Bellavia, a vocalist, songwriter, and visual artist tells tales of the human condition, authoritarian machination and lyrical horror such as with the tale of the haunted glove in Psygh Øn Raindom ÆllÆy. Bellavia draws from literature, film and art to create vocal melodies and lyrics as well as visuals for live shows. From astral projection to supernatural manipulation, Driver draws on countless caliginous forces to fashion unpredictable and somber arrangements. Piggy Black Cross is a tumultuous yet harmonious project that will stir the inmost affection.

Edition of 100 cassettes housed in a diecut cardstock case

tone madison | music, culture, and strong points of view

Kayo Dot's Toby Driver and "the technicality of grace"

Tone Madison: In the last year and a half, you've dropped a couple synth-heavy side projects—Piggy Black Cross and Oixisha—the former being a collaboration with your partner, Bridget Bellavia. Have you played live under either of those monikers?

Do you see yourself continuing to move in this more synthwave/progressive electronic direction in the future? 

Toby Driver: Yeah, Piggy Black Cross has played several shows, and we even did a West Coast US tour. In PBC live, I play a lot of guitar, much more than is on the album...

These projects have informed my other music mostly in regard to identity—they serve to remind me that I can do anything I want with music, and that I have no obligation to be a rock musician, or traditional composer, or anything like that. I get a lot of fulfillment from electronic music because I can construct it on my own, without needing to organize anything with other people. You can probably tell from this answer and one of my previous ones that the thought of having to organize and schedule people for music makes me nauseous. I have some PTSD about it.

Toilet ov Hell

Top Albums ov 2018

Toby Driver has slowly but surely been injecting heavy synthwave vibes into his main project, Kayo Dot. Even so, I could not have seen this coming.

Heavy Blog is Heavy

Editors’ Picks – August 2018

Driver has teamed up with vocalist Bridget Bellavia to craft an excellent exercise in morbidly beautiful darkwave.

Oscvro

The Latest Music Updates

El cantante de Well / Kayo Dot Toby Driver colaboró con Bridget Bellavia, para hacer Piggy Black Cross. El proyecto electrónico basado en Nueva York combina la voz de Bridgets con un sonido que recuerda a grupos como Nine Inch Nails y Skinny Puppy mezclado con los estilos de las otras bandas de Toby.

5 Against 4

Best Albums of 2018

How on earth does Toby Driver do it? Few musicians have wowed me so consistently in so many different guises over the years. In the wake of such disparate behemoths as Kayo Dot, maudlin of the Well and Tartar Lamb comes Piggy Black Cross, a new collaboration with vocalist Bridget Bellavia. Driver describes it as “dark industrial IDM”, but this doesn’t even begin adequately to describe the serpentine majesty captured in these five songs.

Chicago Reader

Few people in heavy music are as versatile or prolific as New York multi-instrumentalist and singer Toby Driver. With his exploratory bands Kayo Dot, Maudlin of the Well, and Vaura; his electro-goth group Piggy Black Cross; and his long list of other collaborative and solo projects...

Driver foregrounds vocals here more than he ever has before, both his own and those of Bridget Bellavia from Piggy Black Cross (who also works with Driver and Chase in synth-rock band Paranoid Fiction)—she delivers a stunning guest turn on “Scaffolds of Digital Snow.”

Silent Motorist

Best Albums of 2018

Always Just Out of R.E.A.C.H was nearly as good as getting another Kayo Dot release this year, and long term readers will recognize this as nearly the highest praise I can bestow on an album. This brilliant meeting of the minds of Bridget Bellavia and Toby Driver is all a long term fan could hope for.

Industrial Island

Best of 2018

We're gonna end this show with Piggy Black Cross. This EP--I gotta be honest--didn't hit me right away in August when it was released. Wasn't until a week ago that it spun on my iTunes on accident and I was hooked. I had a hard time picking only one song off this [album].

Justin Burnett

Bandcamp Rundown: KeyGen Church, Alder Deep, Piggy Black Cross


Haunting, dynamic, emotionally moving album

Everythingisnoise

 Mentions:

“Scaffold of Digital Snow” stands out among the album’s tracks for sounding more like Kayo Dot than anything Driver has done in a long time (including the last two Kayo Dot albums). It has a guitar (undistorted), a smaller role played by the keyboards, and a very sweet guest vocal performance by Bridget Bellavia. She has made other collaborations with Driver in the form of a ‘dark EDM’ project called Piggy Black Cross and in a solo project called Paranoid Fiction. If her performance on “Scaffold of Digital Snow” can be taken on its own, then we can expect many great and interesting things from her in the years to come.

 

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