Guérin’s Dissections: ‘DESTINY’ by Tri Angles

- Posted December 13th, 2017 by

‘DESTINY’ is an essay on wanderlust. It is a statement of contentment and restlessness. Tri Angles conjures amazing emotions in his music, and this album is no different. Though only loosely connected to chiptune at this point, Tri Angles is still part of the community, and his work deserves recognition for the ways it pushes genre boundaries and demonstrates composition prowess. In an album that most closely resembles the music he produced under his previous pseudonym, SMILETRON, ‘DESTINY’ truly captivates and shimmers with a unique beauty that most other musicians can only dream of. Under the fold, let’s dream together in the gem littered cave Tri Angles has constructed for us.

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This album is Tri Angles’ most cohesive artistic statement. The album works as a whole on a level that his previous work hasn’t achieved. Now, that isn’t to say that his previous 50-odd releases haven’t been worthwhile. On the contrary: the vast majority of his prodigious oeuvre is something everyone should experience. Every track on this album could stand on its own as a single, but together, they mesh perfectly. Each reverberation, each guitar pluck, each piano chord struck, and each twinkling synth blurring together beautifully. Every bit of this album is placed impeccably. All parts sound like they were always meant to be created and listened to in the context of this album.

Tri Angles uses these disparate parts to create deep, atmospheric landscapes by slowly layering instruments. One song in particular that demonstrates this ability is ‘LOST SOULS’. The track title belies the true nature of this piece. Most people would view lost souls as sad, pitiable even, but Tri Angles makes something beautiful out of getting lost in the interwoven cloth of his songs. Starting with only a Joe Hisaishi-esque progression stretching itself out on piano, this song unfurls itself with a forlorn guitar wailing in the background. Strums across strings reverberate across each other and around the subtle percussion which beat out a simple, hypnotic rhythms. The bass in this and almost every other song on this album acts a solid ground for the song to wander along. It acts less like a melodic line to match the melodies that swirl around this song and more like a guiding force to push the song forward toward its almost inevitable shifts and progression.

Probably my favorite moment on this album that centers around the use of interesting bass instruments is in ‘STORMCALLER’. This song has the slowest but most satisfying build I’ve heard in a long time. Like a growing storm front with thunder rumbling in the distance, the bass slowly fades into the track to contrast the glittering synths. It slowly revs up underneath the pattering amen breaks and intertwines with the guitar before slowly becoming more and more resonant. About two minutes into the track, the bass then transforms into something you’d hear in an acid song before returning once again to low rumbling. Short glitches spurt and stutter about this track like single raindrops that fall before the full downpour starts. The thing I like most about this song is the way that it both fits neatly within but also defies the structure of a modern EDM song.  It has all the halmarks of one—intro, build, drop, main sections, breakdown, outro—but it stretches these out until they are unrecognizable. The shifts between them are so subtle that I almost didn’t notice this structure. Though he uses standard breaks, jungle, and liquid drum and bass styles in ‘COSMIC DRIFT’ and ‘HAUNTING ME’, he focuses moreso on breaking genre conventions.

Tri Angles plays with the standard structure in other ways throughout this album. He builds intros into heavier and heavier sections until the only way for a song to continue is to stop entirely. This weighty build and release is executed perfectly in ‘MIDNIGHT TIDE’. While the beginning of the song utilizes heavy bass and steel drum in a vaguely retrowave feel. He builds tension with a rain stick of all things as a tinny hihat and echoic snare create rhythmic tension with an almost marching drum style. Slowly the song transforms into a more traditional Pacific Island style. A wood flute and a harp taking center stage while a swirling bass  surrounds the listener but never touches the center of the stereo field. The song fades out with simple snaps and more steel drum, while feedback grows louder and louder, crickets chirping in the background.

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That sort of ability to pull the most abstract sounds from his mind and place them perfectly within the context of an electronic song will continue to amaze me. Tri Angles is slowly progressing into new fields of music and slowly others are starting to join him on that journey. Kubbi’s remix of ‘HAUNTING ME’ at the end of this album is the perfect way to cap off this journey. And what a journey it has been! I hope you enjoyed this meandering recollection of my favorite parts of this album. This is most certainly the most beautiful album I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing on this blog. There are so many more little facets of this album that I didn’t touch on, but I leave them up to you to find.

ઈ(@̴̨̊̋̐̃̀̽̽ͅ❦@̴̨̊̋̐̃̀̽̽ͅ)ૐ \Keep Chip City w e i r d/ (๑ ऀืົཽ₍₍ළ₎₎ ऀืົཽ)✧
-Guérin

Tri Angles
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