All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

21

Troyka: Moxxy

Bruce Lindsay By

Sign in to view read count
The three young British players who constitute Troyka—guitarist Chris Montague, keyboard player Kit Downes and drummer Joshua Blackmore—keep many things simple on their second album, Moxxy. One-word band name, album title and song titles keep things nice and easy. The album cover—a faux '50s Russian propaganda poster and a departure from Edition Records' usual visual style—maintains this straightforward approach. The band doesn't apply the same policy to the actual music, though—Troyka is adept at creating tunes that mix funky grooves, electronic experimentation and light and almost bucolic melodies with aplomb.

On Moxxy, the funky rhythms and melodies work best when they stay relatively free of electronics. Compared to the band's eponymous 2009 Edition Records debut, Moxxy seems to have reined in any tendency towards overuse of electronic effects to the overall benefit of the material, which possesses a more focused and controlled feel as a result.

Montague gets the bulk of the writing credits, including two tunes co-written with Blackmore. He has a nice line in titles that seem to promise one kind of tune but deliver another. "Dropsy" may conjure images of ailing, swollen-bellied, dissolute Victorian gentlemen, but the tune is a rather more endearing combination of Montague's fluid guitar and a heavier groove led by Blackmore.

"Chaplin" is a slow, melancholy, tune. If it is inspired by the film star then it's definitely his character's pathos rather than his slapstick violence. Downes and Blackmore keep the rhythm simple as Montague creates a sad but lovely solo. Co-written with Blackmore "Rest" centers on another rather gentle, though more upbeat, lead guitar part. Blackmore's "Zebra" shifts between hard-edged, funky, four-four beats and a prettier, gentler, more complex section.

Downes' two compositions are more downbeat. He underpins "Crawler" with a spooky Hammond bass line, creating an unsettling sound picture. "Islands" features subtly effective electronics and Blackmore's spiky drumming. Montague plays some long, fluid, lead lines reminiscent of Robert Fripp's early King Crimson days—perhaps it's no coincidence that the tune shares its title with that group's 1971 album.

Montague, Downes and Blackmore are accomplished players who are also maturing as writers. Moxxy ably demonstrates Troyka's development as a band that is honing its skills and refining the beauty and passion of its sound.

Track Listing: Rarebit; Dropsy; Crawler; Oedipus; Rest; Islands; Zebra; Chaplin.

Personnel: Chris Montague: guitars, loops; Kit Downes: Hammond organ, piano, Fender Rhodes; Joshua Blackmore: drums.

Title: Moxxy | Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: Edition Records

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

Rarebit

Rarebit

Troyka
Label Love Vol. 5: The Jazz...

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Live at Cheltenham Jazz Festival 2013

Live at Cheltenham...

Impossible Ark Records
2013

buy
Moxxy

Moxxy

Edition Records
2012

buy
Troyka

Troyka

Edition Records
2009

buy
Label Love Vol. 5: The Jazz Edition

Label Love Vol. 5:...

Edition Records
0

buy

Related Articles

Read Dirt...And More Dirt CD/LP/Track Review
Dirt...And More Dirt
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 26, 2018
Read Locked & Loaded CD/LP/Track Review
Locked & Loaded
by John Kelman
Published: May 26, 2018
Read Long Story Short CD/LP/Track Review
Long Story Short
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 26, 2018
Read Awase CD/LP/Track Review
Awase
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: May 26, 2018
Read Invisible Touch At Taktlos Zurich CD/LP/Track Review
Invisible Touch At Taktlos Zurich
by John Sharpe
Published: May 26, 2018
Read My Singing Fingers CD/LP/Track Review
My Singing Fingers
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 25, 2018
Read "Kanata" CD/LP/Track Review Kanata
by Chris Mosey
Published: May 5, 2018
Read "A Gathering Foretold" CD/LP/Track Review A Gathering Foretold
by Geannine Reid
Published: December 12, 2017
Read "Nighthawks" CD/LP/Track Review Nighthawks
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: December 2, 2017
Read "Lineage" CD/LP/Track Review Lineage
by Mark Corroto
Published: May 19, 2018
Read "Cub(an)ism" CD/LP/Track Review Cub(an)ism
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: June 17, 2017
Read "Songbook Volume 1" CD/LP/Track Review Songbook Volume 1
by Jim Olin
Published: October 12, 2017