On his first two albums (Hypnogogia and Touchpool) as Lucky Pierre, Aidan Moffat explored hypnotic repetition through the use of drum loops and orchestral loops that ebbed and flowed with just enough subtle variations to coax you into his dream world and keep you there. On Dip, he takes a slightly sideways step, still incorporating treated loops and field recordings, but also ditching more of the loop-based elements in favor of organic instrumentation and improvisations that live playing can bring.
In terms of output, the result is largely the same, as Dip still incorporates a huge amount of repetition over the course of six tracks and forty minutes. On this new release, though, the variations in sound are truly made with a human touch, as he's joined by friends on cello, double bass, and trumpet (while Moffat plays everything from keyboards and percussion to harmonium). "Gullsong" opens the release, and as the title suggests, the track is placed on a beach with gulls through field recordings, while harmonium, keyboard swirls, bass, and some loose percussion all meander around one another for just over six minutes. It's a nice introduction track, but unfortunately it's indicative of the album as a whole in terms of how tracks develop.
"Weir's Way" follows, and is pretty much content to amble along for almost twelve minutes, with cello, flute and horn creating a hazy atmosphere that only starts to pull together around the two-thirds point. Elsewhere, "Gust" sounds like looped and filtered layers of opera vocal snippets, while "Hike" feels completely out-of-place on the release with more dynamic string stabs and an electro rhythm that shatters the pastoral feel of the release as a whole.
Only the absolutely gorgeous "Ache" and the album closer of "Drift" really seem to realize the potential of the new organic and electronic sound that Moffat seemed to really be shooting for. On the former, haunting string melodies layer over a creaky piano phrase and slowly weave a melancholy web that's impossible to escape. On the latter, a repeating piano melody is slowly overtaken by filtered strings and shimmering keyboards. Both tracks are coated with a soft layer of hiss and crackles that only seem to add to their timeless sound. Given his consistent past work, Dip is sort of an awkward sidestep in a new direction for Moffat, but it's still rewarding in places if you have the patience.