Troyka are Chris Montague, Joshua Blackmore and Kit Downes, three young musicians based in London whose intense live shows have seen them hotly tipped to follow in the foot steps of Polar Bear and Portico Quartet and become the next young band to explode from the capital’s fertile jazz scene. A multi-textured trio with a febrile imagination where no role is pre-defined, their music twists and mutates in an ongoing dialogue inspired by a shared love of Aphex Twin, the angular world of iconclastic New York saxophonist Tim Berne and the blues-jazz-rock groove of legendary Steely Dan and Billy Cobham guitarist Wayne Krantz. With their visceral mash-up of rock, jazz and dance music, Trokya sound more like Tony William’s Lifetime remix by Burial than the classic hammond organ trio. But then that’s the point, they’re part of a new generation of young musicians who refuse to be constrained by the old boundaries.
To whom the old question of ‘what is it’ is replaced by ‘is it any good’? Troyka live in a post hip-hop world where you can take whatever source materials you like and do your own singular thing with it. Recorded by noted engineer Robert Harder (Acoustic Ladyland, Babyshambles, Brian Eno etc), Troyka’s self-titled debut distills the essence of the bands intense live shows in to a finely focused album.
From the elemental groove of Tax Return, to the slide-driven throb of Clint, sly groove of Noonian Song, shimmering, tricksy Twelve and the twisted beauty and carefully calibrated mayhem of Born in the ‘80s, it perfectly nails the bands dark-toned lyricism, shape-shifting grooves and intense improvisational power. Play Troyka loud, they won’t let you down.
released June 29, 2009
CHRIS MONTAGUE guitar / loops
KIT DOWNES organ
JOSHUA BLACKMORE drums
Tracks 1, 2, 3, 6,7,8,9 and 11 by Chris Montague and tracks 4, 5 and 10 by Kit Downes
Produced by Troyka
Executive Producer Dave Stapleton
Recorded by Robert Harder at Harder Sounds on 14th and 15th Oct 2008 and 6th April 2009
Mixed and mastered by Robert Harder at Harder Sounds, London in November 2008 and April 2009
Yet another very delicious ride on the adventure that is Phronesis. Complex without losing musicality.
Only downside on this is the production has a rather irritating level boost at the quiet end of the tracks. Peter Jones
September 2018. It's July 2020 now. I'm feeling that's too long, y'know..?
This stuff's addictive. You just have to get more of it.
The composition and performance on show are in a class of their own. But I say that every time.
This is jazz like nothing else. Peter Jones