“As always, we’ll reach the other side.
As always, I send my best regards.
I do not know where I am headed next,
but I know that, as always,
a great adventure awaits…”
As the year 2013 comes to an end, we’ve covered some seriously incredible artists and their work here on The ChipWIN Blog. It’s amazing how time flies, and I’m happy to say that this has been a HUGE year for the chipmusic community. As many of you know, SMILETRON has been put to rest, so to speak; no more productions will be seen under this alias. However, a new path is being forged by this legendary musician, artist, and wanderer, under the name of Tri Angles. Expressing himself with a new sound, Tri Angles weaves a beautiful, intricate, lo-fi soundscape as a gift from himself to the world with each song he creates. ‘EXILE’ and ‘OUTLAW’ are Tri Angles’ most recent presents to the world, just in time for the holidays.
‘EXILE’ opens with its namesake. The track’s percussive effects are quiet and soothing, never overpowering the chill-out vibes that Tri Angles’ melodies inspire within their listeners. Karle Moulden provides beautiful guitar work for an already awe-inspiring track, and adds to the mood by blending riffs in seamlessly. ‘RETROGRADE’ provides a drum ‘n bass-esque feel to Tri Angles’ signature sound, and ‘HALO (ft. Bubu)’ is an aural experience I won’t soon forget. This track in particular instills a feeling of adventure and longing within me; it reminds me of the many walks in the woods I used to take as a child, and provides a certain sense of wonder for any listener. ‘EXILE’ closes out with ‘TRANSIENCE’, a calming piece that sounds as though it’s straight from a dream. Beautiful chords ring out above an almost near-absent percussion, and as the notes swell, a euphoric sensation arises within its listeners.
‘OUTLAW’, Tri Angles’ most recent single, is a lo-fi drum ‘n bass masterpiece. Opening with a rather straightforward melody, it is quickly changed into something entirely different with the addition of many other instruments. The scratching sounds that appear around the midpoint of the track are a welcome addition to this piece of ambient art, and they leave just as abruptly as they enter, providing for two truly different sections within the song. [Editor’s note: Also, Firefly reference FTW. 8) ]
With Tri Angles having been one of the most influential artists in my life, and, through his previous alias as SMILETRON, one of the first chipmusicians I ever listened to, I’ve always been intrigued by what his musical influences are, and about his musical career as a whole. I reached out to him, and we spoke at length about these things and more. For all of you ChipWINners out there, here’s my exclusive interview with the one and only Tri Angles!
Aydan: First, I wanna say thanks for taking the time out of your day to be willing to do this interview with me. I really appreciate it!
Tri Angles: Of course! It’s my pleasure.
Aydan: I suppose I’ll lead off by asking about your influences. Can you try to describe from where you draw inspiration to make your music?
Tri Angles: Hmmm…from life, I suppose. I’ve always been told that to be a good storyteller, you should write what you know; I try to apply that to music. I write about things I experience, and the ways I view them. I try to put some kind of creative spin on it. I’ve always been of the opinion that for the purest musical output, you have to limit the amount of outside influence coming in, so most of my inspiration comes from life itself, as opposed to say, other musicians, my peers, etc. The vast majority of what I write about comes straight out of my soul.
A lot of it comes straight out of my dreams. I sleep a lot, probably too much. I’m a daydreamer, and a night-dreamer, ha. Always been a little out there. I’ve also been really into this space opera and sci-fi/future western kick lately, and there’s definitely some spillover into what I write.
I guess I try to be a little bit larger than life when I am doing musical things, because that’s what I feel any good storyteller should try to be. You embellish a little, perfect your art, and share it with everyone you can. Past that…just trying to make the coolest sounds that I can!
Aydan: That’s…incredible. Being able to pull that much musical talent without taking much influence from other artists, if any at all, is almost unheard of nowadays. I really respect that! Your music is really inspirational to a lot of people throughout the chipmusic world, myself and Hoodie included, and you’re a really talented musician and artist.
My second question is about the change from your previous alias, SMILETRON, to your new alias, Tri Angles. Can you explain the reasoning behind the change? I personally feel a huge change between SMILETRON’s style, so to speak, and that of Tri Angles.
Tri Angles: Mainly I felt like SMILETRON was a finished story. It felt like the right thing to do, so as hard as it was to let go of my comfort zone, I wrapped up all the loose ends, poured all of my soul into it, and released it into the internet forever. I guess, in some way, that part of me will live forever, and I think that’s a pretty powerful thing.
I really wanted to branch off into new things, experiment with new styles and sounds; my life has been changing pretty dramatically over the last year and I needed a new…direction, I guess. I’m more than a little rebellious at heart and that plays into a lot of it.
At the same time, a lot of it is still the same. I suppose you could say it’s kind of a sequel. I wanted to start a new journey, but in a completely different direction while still retaining everything I had learned and accomplished on the last one. I definitely feel like there is a lot more room for growth and exploration on this current musical trajectory than there was with SMILETRON.
It’s a little sad to say that I wanted to distance myself from being a “chiptune” artist, because…well, for being so closely tied to the chipmusic scene, I probably write the least amount of actual, legitimate chipmusic out of any of my musical peers. I do definitely try to incorporate that mindset into writing new music, though. I have a lot of respect for it, but at the same time I feel it’s been healthy for my musical growth to distance myself from it.
At the same time, I stay close to the chipmusic world because I really do love it, and the people who comprise it. As far as musical “scenes” go, it’s definitely the tightest-knit, most inspiring, community-driven group of musicians I’ve ever come across and it’s amazing to be a part of it, even if I just drift around the fringes these days.
As for how Tri Angles came to be, well…it’s the name I’ve been given. It seemed like the appropriate, natural progression of things. I adopted it wholeheartedly, even into my personal life. A little bit of anonymity is nice.
Aydan: Anonymity is definitely welcome nowadays. One last question, concerning your future forays into music. Are you thinking of taking an even more dynamic change in direction with your music? Or can you give me a hint as to what your future endeavors may entail?
Tri Angles: Honestly, I don’t know! I kind of just take it as it comes. I feel my musical mind being pulled in a lot of different directions, and it’s getting harder and harder to just pick one and follow through. But I’ve been dreaming a lot recently, so much, an almost overpowering amount…so I imagine things will start materializing pretty soon! Probably some familiar sounds, some new sonic territories. I only know to keep moving forward.
Aydan: Well, whichever path you choose to follow, I wish you the best of success.
Tri Angles: Thanks, friend. :)
Aydan: Not a problem, friend. :) Thank you so much for doing this, again!
As Chris noted two months ago, a large part of the experience of listening to Tri Angles’ music is the responsibility of the listener to interpret it and give it a meaning of their own. I truly hope that each and every one of you has gathered something from this, be it insight, inspiration, knowledge, or anything else.
Happy holidays. <3