Buckethead – The Trip-Hop Underwater Graveyard Album
Good evening everybody, in our previous album episodes, we looked back at Buckethead’s most significant, infamous and Holy Grail of albums.
In today’s episode, we’ll take an in-depth look at what is arguably one of his most underrated albums ‘Bermuda Triangle’.
With over 400 album credits to his name, you could easily pluck out a Buckethead album and call it underrated, and you probably wouldn’t be wrong. Ah, the genius of Buckethead.
But Bermuda Triangle was released in mid-2002 at a time when Bucketheads fame was arguably at its peak. He was a member of guns n roses, the album was released shortly before GNR’s European tour and a month after a highly memorable performance at the very first Bonnaroo festival.
And still, Bermuda Triangle didn’t quite reach the level of admiration among fans and critics like other albums at the time such as Colma, Monsters and Robots and Electric Tears.
“he represents the future of guitar”-Bill Laswell (Praxis) 2002
Recorded on a portable 8 track, Bermuda Triangle was essentially self-released and is far more experimental than the previous albums mentioned, which might have contributed to it not reaching the aforementioned heights of some of its counterparts.
The album was “made during trips between LA and the Bay Area” in late 2001 by Bucketheads friend and producer Extraxd, using what was, at the time, fairly new hip hop technology.
“Bermuda Triangle is the water slide in a theme park that is Buckethead”-catalyst
When talking about the album in a 2002 press release, producer Extraxd stated “part of the creative process was to drive around the bay area and take in the people and sights for inspiration.
We both really love water, so we drove around and experienced some cool stuff”.
He also described the album as being “like an underwater graveyard”. Nice.
“Buckethead is fascinated with the Bermuda triangle and all things aqua”—catalyst
A majority of the songs on the album Buckethead played using the Kaisers gift guitar. Which, we previously spoke about in our video ‘Unsolved Buckethead Mysteries’. The guitar was then used in promo shots for the release, before being given away as a prize through Buckethead’s website.
(Death Race 2000 – Sampled for the song ‘Isle of Dead’)
Whilst Buckethead was in San Francisco recording the album, the September 11th attacks happened. An event which inspired Buckethead to compose the track ‘9/11’. Buckethead later stated, via his hand puppet herbie that “if the world was going to blow up, he might as well be soloin”. Fuck yeah.
“he is insane and so is his work ethic”- Extraxd
Buckethead’s website described the album as “trip-hop” and “futuristic” and I’d definitely agree. From funky to trippy, weird noises to background voices, delayed patterns to killer solos. Start to finish the album flows well and has a number of underrated gems Including, Forbidden zone, Sea of Expanding Shapes, Phantom lights, Beestro fowler and Whatevas.
Personally, I’m a huge fan of this album. It was the 2nd Buckethead album I ever heard after ‘Electric Tears’ and I pretty much wore out the CD playing it. Especially the song ‘Sea of Expanding Shapes, which I played on a loop over and over again.
So, if you haven’t heard the underrated gem that is Bermuda Triangle yet, what are you waiting for?