This 1999 production represents material culled from Chapman Stick/Warr guitarist Trey Gunn's bank of previously unreleased outtakes or, as he states, "surfacings." Here, Gunn enlists the services of prominent modern jazz trumpeter/composer Dave Douglas along with drummer Pat Mastellotto (a fellow King Crimson bandmate) and drummer/percussionist Bob Muller. In addition, a female vocalist simply known as Serpentine sings on two tracks; yet, other than the leader, all the instrumentalists appear on selected pieces. With this effort, Gunn utilizes his electronic "tapping" instruments to lay down complex ostinato-type motifs while multi-tracking bass parts and churning out electrified solos. Hence, Gunn paints polytonal fabrics of sound via his cunning discourses and obliquely stated passages. Overall, the artist provides a disparate mix, consisting of ambient dreamscapes atop hard-driving backbeats and East Indian modalities. Meanwhile, Douglas and Gunn execute harmonious unison choruses amid straight-four rock measures and worldbeat-style grooves. Thus, Raw Power: Surfacings is a noteworthy outing from a musician who generally seeks to expand his already wide-ranging horizons.
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AllMusic Review by Glenn Astarita