Make a difference: Support jazz online

Support All About Jazz Your friends at All About Jazz are looking for readers to help back our website upgrade project. Of critical importance, this project will result in a vastly improved design across all devices and will make future All About Jazz projects much easier to implement. Click here to learn more about this project including donation rewards.

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

More Articles

Read Not Nearly Enough To Buy A House CD/LP/Track Review Not Nearly Enough To Buy A House
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 21, 2018
Read Journey to a New World CD/LP/Track Review Journey to a New World
by Troy Dostert
Published: January 21, 2018
Read Disappeared Behind the Sun CD/LP/Track Review Disappeared Behind the Sun
by John Sharpe
Published: January 21, 2018
Read 2018 Neujahrskonzert New Year’s Concert CD/LP/Track Review 2018 Neujahrskonzert New Year’s Concert
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: January 21, 2018
Read Lux CD/LP/Track Review Lux
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 20, 2018
Read Unleashed CD/LP/Track Review Unleashed
by John Sharpe
Published: January 20, 2018
Read "Bright Moments" CD/LP/Track Review Bright Moments
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: April 19, 2017
Read "Salt Task" CD/LP/Track Review Salt Task
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 15, 2017
Read "Six Easy Pieces" CD/LP/Track Review Six Easy Pieces
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 5, 2017
Read "Ella Lives" CD/LP/Track Review Ella Lives
by Chris Mosey
Published: April 21, 2017
Read "I Am" CD/LP/Track Review I Am
by Geno Thackara
Published: November 13, 2017
Read "Reality" CD/LP/Track Review Reality
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 14, 2017