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Subtle Energy





  1. Butterfly Effect

  2. Subtle Energy

  3. Yearning

  4. Nonchalant

  5. Patience

    Rik Wright - Guitar

    James Dejoie - Clarinet, bass clarinet

    Geoff Harper - Bass

    Greg Campbell - Drums, percussion

    This is the latest album in a sequence of releases by Rik Wright's Fundamental Forces, a Seattle-based group, founded in 2011. From 2013 onwards, there have been two EPs and a further couple of CDs from them, prior to this one, all of which have featured extensively in the CMJ (College Music Journal) radio charts, so they clearly have an audience in the Northwest Pacific area. The emphasis is on Wright's music, approached from an eclectic musical perspective. The songs on this disc have all had a previous outing in one or other of their Blue, Red and Green recordings but for this occasion, the tunes have been rearranged and re-orchestrated. It seems the instrumentation may have differed, too. Blues, bebop and rock have all influenced the finished product.

    For me, Butterfly Effect, Subtle Energy and Patience were the most striking offerings on the recording. Butterfly Effect has the group leader on guitar in relaxed and accessible mood. Dejoie on clarinet contributes a mazy solo while Greg Campbell lays down a consistent steady beat on drums. Subtle Energy features a peal of bells effect at the beginning and the end by Wright. The whole piece is marked by a certain lightness (and repetition, it must be said). The bass clarinet sounds lucid and fluent. Patience provides bassist Geoff Harper with the opportunity to open on this engaging number but in addition, the group as a whole present a cohesive sound. Wright's guitar is strong on melody and I liked the way he and Dejoie played off one another. Yearning is a wistful tune which lives up to its title and the musicians show an appetite for creative improvisation. Nonchalant grows on the listener with, once more, effective teamwork demonstrating the instinctive grasp of one another the musicians have developed as they've played together.

    We're told that at the recording session, which followed a live performance at the same studio for broadcast on radio on the previous day, the band played the tunes straight through, at one sitting. All the more credit to them then, that the result is so appealing, especially, I guess, for lovers of innovative music.

    James Poore

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