If, as Tom Waits would have it, you're innocent when you dream, this project by much-in-demand East Bay drummer Scott Amendola (TJ Kirk, Charlie Hunter Quartet) and SF electronic wizard jhno will purge you of guilt. The duo's extended improvisations are not atmospheric so much as immersive: listening to Proceed, you fall deep in a groove and stay there until someone sends out a search party.

This is a two-course meal ultimately better suited for vinyl, with its twin tracks at about forty minutes apiece, though it might be a little too "L" for your average LP. Abetted by bassists Todd Sickafoose and Devin Hoff and guitarists Nels Cline and Dave MacNab, Crater crafts fluid improv jazz at its most cohesive, haunted by creatures rustling in the underbrush, scrambling guitars on spin cycle, occasional video-game noises, and the kind of shimmering echo effects that, for better or worse, my generation will probably always associate with "Bela Lugosi's Dead." Long but never dull, improvised but hardly abstruse, these trippy jaunts and jaunty trips keep moving and never devolve into jam-band wankery or static cacophony. Slow and steady wins again.


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