L Pierre - Surface Noise EP (4 stars)

A veautiful and elegant paean to the hiss of vinyl from Aidan Moffat's alterego (formerly Lucky Pierre)

L Pierre - Surface Noise EP

(Melodic Records)

Aidan Moffat certainly likes to keep busy, and at the moment his found-sound project Lucky Pierre seems to be what is curing the creative itch for him. At the beginning of the year he released his most accomplished album yet under the moniker: The Island Come True was a gorgeous patchwork of randomly sourced noises; a quietly graceful and playfully experimental collection of stitched-together samples. Then, back in July, he became the first artist to release an album through Vine, with the looping mechanism of the app proving a perfect fit for this project. Now, we are treated to another extended player.

Split into six movements, Surface Noise proves to be yet another thoroughly accomplished step forward in Moffat's gradual shift towards increasingly beautiful and elegant compositions. There are no foul-mouthed odes or drunken rants to be found here, just flowering ornate elegies of strings with subtle atmospheric adornments. It is a love letter to the gentle hiss of the record player; these songs feel like they are imbued with a sense of history, particularly as they tend to be very subtly echoed and the grandiose arrangements swell as if they are filling a large cathedral.

This release is naturally more concise and cohesive than previous work, and while that detracts from the sense of insatiable sonic exploration somewhat it is also more absorbing for its ebb and flow. It feels like a perfect middle-point in balancing an incredible level of intimacy, particularly in the scratched aesthetics, with these luscious and monumental arrangements loaded with pathos. Occasionally Moffat does go a little overboard with the crackle and it veers towards noise territory, but the scope and poise of the songs recall the genre's more noble proprietors, most notably James Leyland Kirby's acclaimed work as The Caretaker, in the way it also mixes grace and sadness with the corrosion process of sounds into a more tangible form. A neatly formed little experiment, which is well worth delving beneath the surface of.

Release date Fri 20 Sep 2013.

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