DEEBBBB - Episode II
Not actually a regular band, DEEBBBB from Moscow started as a collaborative project between avantgarde post rock band IWKC and avant prog punk band Detieti. Their first album Episode I was released in late 2015. Since then they adopted punk jazz band Speedball Trio, turning DEEBBBB into a collective of ten musicians: three drummers, three bassists, two keyboard players, a guitarist and a saxophonist.
While the debut album contained two songs that made it to half an hour of music, the successor Episode II comes with four tracks that make it over eighty minutes. Donít expect some kind of Tales From Topographic Oceans, as the pieces on Episode II are not composed entities, but rather improvisations that are structured well enough, and although all musicians get their space, they rarely seem to clutter one another. Also it should be said that the first two tracks are regular pieces, whereas the following two are variations on the second track, but more about that soon.
The opener Episode 2.1 starts out rather experimentally, with avantgarde and free jazz dominating the picture, before halfway into the jam a disco drumbeat takes over and makes the whole thing a very danceable extravaganza. The following Episode 2.2 is a more rocking affair from the start, proving that even ten guys jamming together can still result in great fun. The overall direction is psychedelic rock with occasional elements of dub and jazz.
This is followed by the tracks Episode 2.2a and Episode 2.2b. On the former we get DEEBBBB in their earlier constellation, meaning minus Speedball Trio, and apart from some minor variations, this version is actually quite close to the ten men performance. Maybe less jazzy and more rock. The surprise comes on the latter which is performed by Speedball Trio alone, making this a fierce free jazz storm that has not much in common with the original jam but lets us enjoy a trio that truly performs great together.
The jams are all about twenty minutes long each, and while I usually prefer my improvisations to come out of the jazz universe, I have to admit that what these ten crazy Russians do on Episode II is actually incredibly listenable. If you like your psychedelic rock to come with brainy and as well as gutsy elements, consider yourself in for a treat. This is a movie length album where especially the hour of Episode 2.2 with its two variations will leave your mouth wide open certainly more than once.