L. Pierre - Dip

It's an album of warmth and simplicity, made up of beautiful melodies and shimmering drones (indeed, one imagines that the Buddha Machine could have been used for parts of it)

L. Pierre  - Dip

 

L. Pierre (or Lucky Pierre on earlier releases) is actually Aidan Moffat, once of Arab Strap, I believe. I've never knowingly heard anything by said band but I'm not sure that if I had it would have prepared me for Mr. Pierre's work. Those that know what Lucky Pierre refers to in sexual slang (and I'm not going to repeat here – google it if you're interested) might be expecting something rather different to the largely pastoral and ambient album Dip.

 

The album opens with the sound of gulls and of waves lapping up on a beach. Appropriately the title of it is Gullsong. The gulls continue to cry, and the waves to lap, as a violin, a female voice, a trumpet and what sounds like an accordion join in. They play no tune – rather they sort of keep in time with the waves, creating (appropriately enough) an ocean of sound. Just like the waves that continue to crash on the beach the song doesn't go anywhere; rather it conjures images of the kind of track Brian Eno might have written in 1978 had he been thinking about crofters and fishermen rather than airports. Like the best of Eno's ambient work the song that emerges doesn't sound like people warming up before a gig but rather allows the listener to be transported to places that only actually exist in the imagination.

 

The gulls and waves continue as the song merges into Weir's Way. Here the rather freeform playing coalesces into something approaching a structure. A simple guitar refrain is joined by violin and a little static; the gulls and the waves slowly disappear. The backing mimics the gentle waves and over it a flute (or a pennywhistle?) plays a simple melody. Then there's a tambourine and a banjo and the wave-like backing becomes more of a drone. A trumpet joins in and a female falsetto sings wordlessly. The song has moved from a structured piece back into a soundscape and is entirely captivating. A few minutes later the song returns, backed this time by a more muscular beat. The song continues to shimmer and entrance over its twelve minutes.

 

Gust starts off sounding like a Philip Jeck piece – it could be an old 78 looped as static and surface noise surround a male voice. Again there are no words and eventually a female voice and more background chatter join in. Violins are added before the song slowly fades away. Ache opens like a Satie piano piece before static, bass and violin all kick in. It is reminiscent of the recent work by Matt (The Third Eye Foundation) Elliot, having an almost Eastern European tint to it. The piece is again based around simple looped motifs that subtly change over time. Thus far the album has been largely ambient and simple. Then we get Hike – how to describe it? Well, with its jaunty violin and banjo, and its pounding drum machine beat, it's probably the kind of noise that would emerge from the back room of a seaside pub on the folk night if you'd spiked the locals' drinks with some kind of illicit substance. It's joyous and silly and eventually fades away to sound of running water. The album closes with Drift. A simple twinkling piano melody is again joined by the sound of static and what could be a bassoon wailing in the background. It's an appropriate title and an appropriate way for the album to close.

 

Six tracks and thirty-seven minutes constitute the album. In saying that thirty odd minutes is plenty in no way slights the album. It's an album of warmth and simplicity, made up of beautiful melodies and shimmering drones (indeed, one imagines that the Buddha Machine could have been used for parts of it) and is the soundtrack to the best Scottish seaside holiday you'll never have.

 

Words: Chris Dawson.