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Triumph 2000

At this point, one can't help but wonder what the hell the rest of the former Spacemen 3 have been doing in the '90s, or if they're even still alive. With their band Triumph 2000, former S3 and member Richard Formby and vocalist Howard Storey reintroduce the same shadowy presence at the edges of the psychedelic envelope that Formby pushed in his previous project, Spectrum. The sound unapologetically and voluptuously wallows in the studio's hallucinogenic wading pool, but about half the album sounds remarkably like a live band. This may have something to do with Formby's penchants for collecting and playing instruments (like the harmonium, dulcimer sitar, and vintage keyboards) and for creating his own loops and samples, rather than finding them in pre-existing recordings.

The other half of the record sounds like a DJ's nostalgic magic-carpet journey to the psychedelic '60s (a la the Beatles or Donovan) through the beat culture of post-'60s dance music (house, hip hop, breaks). Batik and paisley meet Kangol and Adidas. Other British artists have rediscovered such East vs. West musical territory lately (Cornershop and Primal Scream, to name a few), and Indian, Pakistani, Algerian and Morroccan recording artists and producers have also been stepping up in numbers to claim said territory as their birthright. But few capture the retro style and smell-of-incense vibe as impeccably as Triumph 2000. Salaam al-achem, krishna krishna hare rama, boom bap zigga zigga.

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