Boomkat Product Review:
The four members of Conjoint make up a diverse and illustrious pool of talent - ranging from the ubiquitous David Moufang (aka Move D) through to techno protégé and pioneer Jamie Hodge, jazz guitarist Gunter Ruit Kraus and, possibly most interestingly - Karl Berger (Vibraphone player for Ornette Coleman, Don Cherry and George Clinton to name but three..). Their debut album is widely regarded as a cornerstone for electronic music diversified - attracting not only rave reviews but also the interest of a wide arch of musicians intrigued by its inherent experimentation and reverance for tradition. Following on from a highly acclaimed second album 'Earprints' (1998), Conjoint took an extended break that incorporated a handful of live sessions that make up this remarkable third album - a release that has been in planning for a good five years. 'A Few Empty Chairs' eschews a simple collaborative venture that signposts the various protagonist's individual contributions in favour of a cohesive and highly evolved collection of music that defies easy categorisation. Forming the creative backbone of the Conjoint operation is co-founder (alongside Moufang) and Heidelberg based jazz musician Gunter Ruit Kraus - chief composer on 'A Few Empty Chairs' and a renowned guitar player who was worked alongside the likes of Chaka Khan, Peter Brötzmann, Allen Blairman, and Fritz Krisse. Opening up through the creased electronics and chiming acoustics of 'Blue And White' - where a mellifluous jazz template is given bite through nervously rendered percussion, the mood is set with a deep blue evocation of widescreen schematics accompanied by the tingling shimmer of the vibraphone. The title track is a tensely realized coalition of spiraling piano and heart-stopping rhythms, while 'Loopholes In My Lawn' is a soapy spray of cavernous atmospherics and 'Ruit Silvermoon' is complex without ever edging away from accessiblilty. Listening to this album evokes the smokey wonder of early 60's jazz augmented by endlessly open-minded and moving production values imbued by musicians who have happily graced the roster's of labels like Plus 8 and Warp - a conceit that makes for a simply breathtaking, evocative listen. Highly recommedned.