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As we all know there are no live gigs taking place in the immediate future. However, any links to jazz streaming that are deemed suitable - i.e. with a professional approach - will be considered for posting.

Friday, January 16, 2015

CD Review: Troyka – Ornithophobia

Kit Downes (Hammond, synthesizers), Chris Montague (guitar, loops) & Josh Blackmore (drums)
(Review by Russell).
Ornithophobia is Troyka’s third studio album and their first for Naim. Petter Eldh, producer and musician (bassist with Marius Neset), is on board, reaffirming recent investigation of the dance/ trip-hop scene. Eldh’s Berlin base – influential in dance, electronica, visual arts – contributes to the trio’s ambitious reach; part mixed in the capital city, re-sampling two of the nine tracks.
Guitarist Chris Montague has a Hitchcockian phobia…birds! In an avian-free studio Gateahead-born Montague creates an avian mutant virus threatening to wipe-out the human population across London. A ghostly post-Apocalyptic landscape (the radio announcer details the inescapable transmutation, human form will cede to the avian) stretches across the album. Kit Downes’ scurrying synthesis of sound frightens poor Montague – the guitarist plays as if it his last session on Planet Earth! The terrifying guitar work is as good as it gets from any twenty first century music school graduate. Ornithophobia (composed by the ornithophobic one) is best heard in black and white (Bernard Herrman telegraph wires, an unsuspecting, sleepy fishing village). R Taylor (aka C Montague) picks up on the strange behaviour overhead. Downes won’t give a break to his terrified bandmate as drummer Josh Blackmore drills holes into his skull.
Magpies, Bamburgh and Seahouses (all composed by the ornithophobic one) must be therapy of sorts. The northeasterner knows all too well the proliferation of feathered friends on the Northumberland (Hitchcockian) coastline. Face your demons Chris! A traditional al fresco meal (fish and chips) will bring you closer than ever before to the subject of your irrational fear! Kit Downes’ The General references the blues…hear it Chris/Jimi (…And the Wind Cries). The closing number – Seahouses – takes it down, perhaps Montague has conquered his Ornithophobia.
Troyka head out on a twelve date tour in February calling at three music colleges and a students’ union along the way, perhaps indicating their target audience. Their music has wider appeal. Hearing Troyka live is key. Ornithophobia is released on January 26 on Naim Jazz Records (NaimCD210). It is available on CD, LP (180gm vinyl) and as a digital download. Visit www.naimlabel.com.          
Russell.

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