Pivot – ‘O Soundtrack My Heart’ – Album Review

Disposing of conventional thought since the late Eighties, Warp Records’ pioneering philosophies and aptitude for electronic music has resulted in a number of its illustrious proponents – Aphex Twin, Autechre, et al. – being purveyed on its label. Their recent deracination from the purist’s sense of the genre may have left some of its highbrow enthusiasts with a notion of being forsaken, however, they have never the less been innovative in their search: Maximo Park stirring indie with its metronomic pace; hip-hop tripping-out to the electronic beats of Flying Lotus; and Battles equating it within their propensity towards math-rock.

Having originally formed in the late Nineties, Australian three-piece Pivot have remained hidden from the international radar until now. Their debut album, ‘Make Me Love You’, released in August 2005 went down with glorious praise Down Under, and now this antipodean trio (the band now based in Sydney, Perth and London), who signed a 16 album deal earlier this year with Warp, aim to do the same on an global scale with ‘O Soundtrack My Heart’.

Their retrograde stance on beat simplicity over esoteric sound confusion is something to behold. In a genre where avant-garde audacity can alienate the listener, Pivot’s intelligible restrain aids to reign in on progressive electronica’s bewildering disorder of inaudibility.

There is concept behind the creation. ‘O Soundtrack My Heart’ does exactly what its title entails: it romanticises over the emotions that are evoked through one of our most complex of organs. ‘October’ opens the album with the naive sincerity of a virtuous soul; akin to Kraftwerk’s Radioactivity, the pulsating ‘Geiger Counter’-esque introduction converges into undulations of ethereal guitars that shimmer against a back drop of minimally altered drumbeats.

Tracks burst with technological spatters of electronic sensitivity, exposing a kaleidoscopic vacuum of emotion. From the haunting incantations of ‘In The Blood’, ‘Fool In Rain’ and ‘Nothing Hurts Machine’ that resonate with a twisted Stanley Kubrick plotline, to the hypnotic lullabies of ‘Sweet Memory’ and ‘Love Like I’, each track induces a celestial detachment and capitulation to the remoteness of human endeavour and feeling.

‘O Soundtrack My Heart’ can appear aurally aloof at times, but it only abets in its ability to centre one’s own thoughts against Pivot’s creative intelligibility; their sagacious aptitude for infusing leftfield experimentation into an opulent soundscape of versatile arrangements is a beguiling effort at new-wave romanticism for an electronic age.

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