Troyka Moxxy

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

COMPOSERS: Troyka
LABELS: Edition Records
ALBUM TITLE: Troyka Moxxy
WORKS: Moxxy
PERFORMER: Chris Montague (guitars), Kit Downes (organ), Joshua Blackmore (drums)
CATALOGUE NO: EDN1033

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The publicity for Moxxy uses words like ‘shocking’ and ‘shockwave’ but there’s nothing to surprise, let alone shock, anyone familiar with, say, Soft Machine, Decoding Society, Icebreaker, Lifetime or electric-era Miles. What you do get is a hugely enjoyable, consistently engaging, frequently exciting set skilfully and effectively melding elements from fusion, free jazz, experimental rock, post-Minimalism and the occasional trace element of bop. The absorbing compositions range from the jagged funk of ‘Dropsy’ (Montague and Blackmore) to Montague’s eerie and lugubrious ‘Chaplin’ via the quirky complexity of ‘Islands’ and the louche, dark menace of ‘Crawler’ by Downes.

Mainstream jazz fans may complain about the absence of swing, but Blackmore’s drumming, full of fractured beats as it is, powers things along nicely (often reinforced by the pedals on Downes’s Hammond) and is packed with imaginative detail, while Downes and Montague know how to balance virtuosity and sparse but effectively-placed phrases to
best effect.

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Barry Witherden