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Album review: The Bermuda Triangle – “Different Strokes for Different Folks”

25/02/2011

This is as close to The Bermuda Triangle’s best album as it gets. And don’t get me wrong, this isn’t because it features a remix by yours truly in it (though some people think that it is one of the highlights, so thanks for that) – this is because it covers all the phases Ian Felpel’s style has been through so far. Even though he hasn’t been through much (and he’s going to go far, far further on his next album “If They Disappeared Today, Would I Be Happier Tomorrow?”), this can lay 100% claim to be “the portable Bermuda Triangle”.

Why exactly is it so? Out of all the full-length releases by Felpel, this is the most diverse. From the usual maximum sidechain electronica (about half of the tracks here) to downtempo stuff (“As Black As Sackcloth”) to fairly experimental (“Finnegans Wake” [originally on “Weird”], “Through the Void of Night”) it covers all the ground that Ian treaded as The Bermuda Triangle. It represents his humble beginnings (“Shining Siren”, “Finnegans Wake”, “Through the Void of Night”) to shoegaze techno of “Wonderland” (the two outtakes from the sessions of that album – “All the Good Things to Come” and “Sonic Anarchy”) and his current iteration, encompassing all the influences he’s been through into one recognizable style (“And So the Tale Begins…”, “Watercolour Ghost”).

And all the songs are actually great. Most of them, at least – don’t really like “Shining Siren” and “Finnegans Wake” too much (“Shining Siren” because a loop I used as well on one of my earlier songs when I was still a noob turns up on here… of course it’s screwed with but whatever – and “Finnegans Wake” is actually one of the weaker songs on “Weird”), and “Through the Void of Night” is somewhat interesting. If we don’t take the remix made by yours truly in attention, the rest six tracks are 360 degrees of awesome.

“As Black As Sackcloth”? The creepiest track by Ian to date. “We’ll Miss You”? Glitched out progressive house banger. “And So the Tale Begins…”? Electronica with BANJO! And “Wonderland”-esque guitars! “All the Good Things to Come” and “Sonic Anarchy”? Outtakes that had to be on “Wonderland”, however undiverse would they make that album (here they actually sound refreshing, so I guess that would only do the 43-minute “Wonderland” harm not good). Finally, “Watercolour Ghost”? Electro house that’s not monotonous.

Oh well.

This sort of stuff only makes me more excited for the big event that “If They Disappeared Today…” is going to be. Grindcore, dubstep with jazz improvisations, glitch/drum’n’bass… hoo boy, this HAS to be the mindf*ck of the year.

But for now, this portable The Bermuda Triangle will be perfectly alright for you.

Highlights: “We’ll Miss You”, “Watercolour Ghost”, “As Black As Sackcloth”, “All the Good Things to Come”, “Sonic Anarchy”

Lowlights: “Shining Siren”, “Through the Void of Night”

Download it here for however much you want before it’s too soon… NOW!
http://winter1212records.bandcamp.com/album/different-strokes-for-different-folks

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