Gdeva- Bubbles, Bubbles…
(R.A.I.G R025)

From Aural Innovations #38 (Jan 2008)

Formed in 2005 in St. Petersburg, Russia, the instrumental trio GDeVA, Andrei Petrov on guitar, Valery Berestov on bass and Alexander Kravtsov on drums, specialise in a totally improvised sound that draws from both the psychedelic and progressive rock genres. Bubbles, Bubbles... is their first album

Creative to the extreme, the three musicians function very well together, fashioning a sound at once muscular and arresting, but also brooding and atmospheric. Rather than relying on supporting each other soloing, they create the music in a synergy of all three of them, their instruments weaving in and around each other. Petrov gets some really intriguing tones for his guitar, providing much of the more atmospheric elements of the music, while Berestov’s and Kravtsov’s rhythm section lean more towards the throbbing, brawny side of their sound. But each musician meets the other in the middle for a nice balance. The standout track for me was the nearly 19-minute long Winter Song, which, as the title would suggest, begins with icy atmospherics: freaky echoing guitar flickering and flowing around random bass notes and softly clattering cymbals. A slow and ominous rhythm emerges, with Petrov pulling off guitar reminiscent of early Gilmour Floyd experiments. But it builds ever so slowly, meandering through snowy fields, working into an impressive jam, often melodic, at occasional points dipping into more avant-garde and experimentally icy waters. Great stuff! Other tracks on the album range in length from 4 ½ to 13 ½-minutes, giving the band time to stretch out and explore their sound without compromise.

Dark, challenging, but always listenable, GDeVA brings a welcome new sound to the improvisation scene. The band claims to never play the same piece twice, so I’m glad the five pieces on this album were captured for posterity in all their raw, unadorned and original intensity.

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Reviewed by Jeff Fitzgerald

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