After last year’s awesome I Hate T-Shirts That Say 1977 EP comes the third album from the ever-more interesting Aidan Moffat’s L Pierre. Following the announcement of the Arab Strap split at the end of last year, it is refreshing to hear that Moffat is striding forward strongly with his other project, and now with a fresh new direction it has grown in instrumental scope with Moffat not forgetting but working less on dance beat and effect orientated synths and moving to live drums and percussion, keyboards and harmoniums, also adding cello work from Alan Barr, double bass from Stevie Jones and trumpet work by Allan Wylie, making the project grow in size as well.
the sounds seem to have no edge and wash right over the top of you like the waves which bookend the record
The sound is not necessarily larger though, but we are now looking at something a bit different. Moffatt has stated that his “favourite L Pierre tracks have always been the quiet ones so I wanted to persue that mood and record something gentle and lovely” which is exactly what he has produced with Dip. The new album takes the soundtrack mood of the previous records to different places, starting, on “Gullsong” by the lapping waves on the seashore, one of Moffat’s found sounds recorded on his recently-acquired minidisc player which helped pave the way for the new L Pierre mood. The album has a definite immersive quality, the sounds seem to have no edge and wash right over the top of you like the waves which bookend the record. The outdoors appears as a great influence on the works, and “Gust” could be an English forest, with a breeze and wildlife around, somewhere. This is an uplifting album in an incredibly subtle way. It seems so simplistic yet it’s a complex layering of sounds, building up, sometimes as on “Weir’s Way” over a long period of time, and very carefully. This second track with it’s brass and swelling washes is similar to one of 2006’s most interesting records — Sandro Perri’s Plays Polmo Polpo live interpretations, a comparison relevant to several songs here.
The simplistic orchestration on “Ache” adds weight to its repetitive piano strains leading into the strong string melodies which polyphonically play at the fore of “Hike”, a song more reminiscent of previous L Pierre work with it’s trebly almost gameboy techno beat fizzing in the background and the randomness of the banjo plucking adding to the texture. Closing track “Drift” takes it downtempo to the laid-back mood that Moffat deals out so well, and as he consistently proves, in many different ways. Dip is a hearty and relaxing amble through field and across beach and brook. It is cinematic and dream-like and shows that we can not just expect more from Moffat post-Arab Strap but that it will be worthy and interesting, but don’t neccesarily go expecting anything in particular, as the man states: “I hear dance music is all the rage again. Maybe i’ll reinvent myself as a superstar DJ. I’d make more money that way anyway.”