21

Troyka: Moxxy

Bruce Lindsay By

Sign in to view read count
Troyka: Moxxy 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.

Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: Edition Records


Related Video

Shop

More Articles

Read Malnoia CD/LP/Track Review Malnoia
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 24, 2017
Read Get 'Em CD/LP/Track Review Get 'Em
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 24, 2017
Read Radioactive Landscapes EP CD/LP/Track Review Radioactive Landscapes EP
by Troy Dostert
Published: April 24, 2017
Read Wake Up Call CD/LP/Track Review Wake Up Call
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 24, 2017
Read The Many Minds of Richie Cole CD/LP/Track Review The Many Minds of Richie Cole
by Rob Rosenblum
Published: April 24, 2017
Read LifeCycle CD/LP/Track Review LifeCycle
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 23, 2017
Read "Just for Fun" CD/LP/Track Review Just for Fun
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 26, 2016
Read "avantNOIR" CD/LP/Track Review avantNOIR
by Nicola Negri
Published: March 29, 2017
Read "The Joy of Being" CD/LP/Track Review The Joy of Being
by John Sharpe
Published: April 12, 2017
Read "Easy Living" CD/LP/Track Review Easy Living
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: March 10, 2017
Read "A Chicken in a Bottle" CD/LP/Track Review A Chicken in a Bottle
by Anthony Shaw
Published: April 17, 2017
Read "Source" CD/LP/Track Review Source
by Eyal Hareuveni
Published: August 25, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM RECORDS | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!