Triumph 2000

Phazed & Confused

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This experimental group is the latest project from guitarist Richard Formby, formerly of Spacemen 3 and Spectrum. In keeping with his space rock roots, Triumph 2000 adds a welcome dose of live instrumentation to the usual assortment of retro synths and samples you've come to expect from experimental electronic music. Opening with the six-and-a-half minute "Oscillate," Phazed & Confused leans heavily on the psychedelic properties of rhythmic repetition, as the song blends droning organs, shimmering guitars, and pulsating drums to create an overwhelming assault on the senses. It's a sound not unlike an instrumental version of Spacemen 3 co-founder Jason Pierce's band, Spiritualized. Unfortunately, Howard Storey's mediocre vocals come along on the Middle Eastern-influenced "Baris" and brings the otherworldly vibe crashing back down to Earth, reducing the band's sound to a poor man's Love & Rockets. The songs without Storey work far better: "TFS #8" works a sparse electro-funk groove driven by sparkling synth sounds that give way to throbbing dance beats, while "Untitled (Colonne Sonore)" uses oboe, harpsichord, and strings to give it a creepy trip-hop vibe that grows freakier with each passing second. Storey redeems himself somewhat on the bluesy epic "Out There," but the less that's heard by him in the future, the better. Still, Phazed & Confused is a fine effort from a former member of one of alt-rock's most underrated bands.

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