Troyka ‘Troyka’ CD (Edition) 4/5

Here is a trio with a difference. London-based collective Troyka have created a niche for themselves with a guitar-heavy sound that is somewhere to the left of White Stripes, takes in the jazz-rock period of Larry Young and even takes a leaf out of the exploratory grooves of Cream. This music will appeal to a wider audience beyond the usual jazz sphere, and certainly, the cover and inner sleeve are aimed at a younger generation and one that is at ease with indie-rock guitar licks. The abstract groove of ‘Noonian Song’ hints at Marc Ribot while the eery, expansive sounds on ‘Clint’ conjures up Ry Cooder soundtracking a western. However, the trio can play pretty as illustrated on ‘Golden’ with its subtle use of guitar and keyboard, and with nice brushwork courtesy of Joshua Blackmore.

Their own musical roots are hinted at on ‘Born in the 1980s’ which is highly experimental in part. Hypnotic grooves abound on ‘Bear’ with Montague impressing on guitar. Throughout electronic loops are subtly incorporated, but not overly elaborate. Troyka have surfaced on the Cardiff-based label Edition that is making a reputation of championing avant-garde jazz and the trio have succeeded in creating a distinctive sound, and one that promises to be an exciting live act. It will be interesting to see how Tryka develops in future years.

Tim Stenhouse