Pivot – O Soundtrack My Heart
Can Warp do no wrong at the moment? There was a time when you knew exactly what lay between the grooves on the labels’ release without needing to read a review or undo the cellophane wrapping. Gone are those days and replaced by a label that has a truly eclectic roster, from then jerky indie of Maximo Park, through the Trip Hop of Leila, the jaunty quirky pop of Born Ruffians and finally on to the cleverer-than-Einstein math rock that is Battles.
So where do Pivot come in to this? Well, it’s hard to say. Pivot take a lot of influences from a lot of areas (think Tangerine Dream snuggling up with Explosions, Battles, Jean Michel Jarre and Four Tet – please don’t let this put you off!) but simultaneously manage to fuse it into a convincing sound that is consistent and recognizably their own.
The title track starts gently enough and owes a little more than a nod to the sound of Jean Michel Jarre, but then by God does it deliver with stabbing bass and drums chopping apart the synths, followed by a breakdown that wouldn’t be out of place on a Battles release. Synth noises reminiscent of Delia Darbyshire and the radiophonic workshop duck and dive between the noise, and bring to mind what the BBC thought the future would sound like back in the early 80s. There’s so much going on here that it’s impossible for your mind to wonder.
‘Sing, You Sinners’ also boasts a Battles influence, but whereas the latter are cold and clinical, Pivot are warmer, gentler and more accessible. This can be seen again on ‘Sweet Memory’ which is like a modern take on those TV cop drama themes – all disco tinged with big beats. However at the end of ‘Sweet Memory’ is a bit of a surprise – Dark squelching bottom burps introduce a movement so beautiful that it outshines many artists who play post rock full time, disappointingly it only lasts for 56 seconds, but maybe therein lies its beauty – you’re left gasping and pleading for more.
The rest of the album continues in a similar way, mixing up a variety of different influences to create a sound of their own: ‘Love Like I’ features an end segment that would fit nicely into 90% of Four Tet’s ‘Rounds’ whilst ‘Didn’t I Furious’ is surely a Trans Am track that’s got lost. So, not the good time, hard rockin’ album you’d expect from a bunch of guys from down under but all the better for it. It’s a grower and you’ll be rewarded the more you dig into the many sounds that make up the whole.
Top Tracks: ‘Sweet Memory’, ‘Didn’t I Furious’.
Released 18/08/2008 on Warp