3rd Force: Force Field

The fact that the band’s three primary band members are credited with “keyboards and grooves” should be an instant indication of where 3rd Force is coming from on the musical map. The trio’s Force Field (47:48) is indeed the stuff that deep-groove dreams are made of, packed with layers of rattling rhythm and exotic effects. Sparkling additions to the electronica stew charge tunes like “Something Special,” with its parallel lines of flute and brass, and “Step Into My Life,” lent a mystic Latin feel by a scurrying groove, combined with Richard Hardy’s clarinet and flute motifs. Even the less ambitious, more typical “lite R&B” pieces here (“Once in a Lifetime,” “Straight Up”) are more detailed and moody than most radio genre staples, giving 3rd Force a comfortable niche in a crowded field.