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Creep Mission is an album of instrumental compositions with Grubbs’s effortlessly recombinant electric guitar at its core, and its m.o. is to go both deep and wide. The album goes deep in the sense that the guitar becomes the relentless, meditative focus of these songs without words, and it goes wide in that these pieces utilize a discontinuous set of arrangements that make the most out of an extraordinary group of musicians convened for the mission at hand. Drummer and most simpatico sparring partner Eli Keszler picks up where his brilliant contributions to Grubbs’s 2016 Prismrose left off; trumpeter Nate Wooley defies you to identify his range of sounds as coming from a single player; and Jan St. Werner (Mouse on Mars, Lithops) can hardly contain his joy in transforming the proceedings into electro-prismatic splinters. For his part, Grubbs’s guitar playing has never before so confidently mangled commonsensical distinctions between composed and improvised music.

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