The Sputter

Instrumental music can be cold and clinical. Fortunately, the Sputter -- which thankfully doesn't live up to its foreboding tag -- fans its sound to more combustible ends. On its latest disc, Great Unseen, the outfit ignites a mother lode of grooves with the pleasing sparks of the organ-driven opener, "Modus"; from there, it meanders through a wonderland of ambient numbers (with whimsical monikers such as "Aqueous Wanderings," "Foctip" and "Shady Creatures") that flicker, crackle and smolder with effected keys, pulsing percussion and loose, jazzy playing. Some of the material on Unseen pushes the edge of self-indulgence, yet the bulk of the compositions are fresh and provide some fine background music for the soul. Prepare to warm your senses around the flames of what the Sputter -- which takes its cues from Radiohead, Pink Floyd, Miles Davis and John Coltrane, among others -- has dubbed "electrocosmicjazz."

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