Lucky Pierre is the alter ego of one Aidan Moffat, one half of the duo Arab Strap. His debut album Hypnogogia was a warm bed of looped strings and programmed beats that showed some promise but seemed to get stuck in places, growing a bit too repetitive in places to really hold ones interest. Moffat himself said that it was "music to fall asleep to," and for that I suppose it served its purpose just fine. Touchpool is his follow-up and although the string samples and beats are back, Moffat has gathered up a cast of musicians to help add to the sound and the result is a follow-up that simply feels much more fleshed-out and developed.
Opening track "Crush" will sound familiar to anyone who has heard previous work by Lucky Pierre, and yet the track seems to develop with a bit more urgency than past output, layered dark orchestral loops and cracking beats in a way that recalls the more somber work of Third Eye Foundation. "Rotspots From The Crap Map" follows with more sinister cinematics as the sly rumbler sounds like it could be plopped right down in the middle of a tension-building scene from a spy film and feel like the perfect backing.
From there, the album gets a little more playful with "Jim Dodge Dines At The Penguin Cafe." An upright bass sample dances around some playful percussion and guitar strumming while Arab Strap touring member Dave MacGowen adds some lovely pedal steel, turning the track into sort of an upbeat spaghetti western number. "Baby Breeze" arrives halfway through the album and despite running over seven minutes, drifts by on clouds of warm strings and stair-stepping bass and guitar melodies that play off one another in a way that provides some nice movement but also allows the track to breath.
Really one of the only spots that the album finds itself bogged-down is on the album closer of "Total Horizontal," which runs nearly one-quarter of the entire album running length (clocking in at almost ten minutes). Although it flourishes a bit towards the sun-burnt end with trumpet and hazy pedal steel, the underdeveloped beginning just never really grabs as much as most of the other work on the release. A nice step forward from Hypnogogia, Touchpool finds Moffat really coming into his own with this side project.