After the somewhat sudden termination of the mid-'90s six-man incarnation of King Crimson
-- in the spring of 1997 -- the various members were subdivided into sonic research and development fracKtals or ProjeKcts. ProjeKct Two contains the collective efforts of Adrian Belew (V-drums), Robert Fripp (guitar), and Trey Gunn (touch guitar/talker). Their tour supporting Space Groove
(1998) would take them across North America and Japan. The performance captured on this two-disc installment of the King Crimson Collectors' Club finds the instrumental trifecta on June 4, 1998 at the Park West in Chicago for the first of two shows in the Windy City. One of the most fascinating facets of ProjeKct Two is the multi-talented Belew showing off his considerable time-keeping skills behind a digital or virtual kit, dubbed the V-Drums. After the opening Soundscape-esque "Vector Shift,"Belew drops the downbeat for the first of two slightly funky "House" jams. It evolves pretty quickly as Fripp and Gunn chase the melodies as they emerge and disappear around them. Belew never relents as he adopts several interesting aural personas, the tastiest being the full-tone vibraphone. The angular and edgy "X-Chayn-Jiz" follows with a musical hide-and-seek that veers into an oddly catchy and danceable rhythm. Sparse and occasionally spacy, "Vector Shift to Planet Belewbeloid" is a brief Belew outlet that seems to have simply manifested itself organically, on the spot before yielding to the playful "Light Construction" and the denser and manic double-time "Heavy Construction." Disc two commences with a fierce -- but far from forbidding -- "Sus-Tayn-Z" which is not only the highlight of Live in Chicago, Il 1998
(2006), but unquestionably one of the best interactions by any of the ProjeKcts. A fact certainly not lost on the responsive attendees either. "House 2" seems to retain much of the mojo and goodwill of its predecessor. In fact -- as Gunn points out in the excerpts from his "road diary" -- the band play a particularly longer second set (disc two) than normal. Belew takes note of the presence of the King Crimson vibe by uncorking a rare solo acoustic rendering of "Dinosaur" from THRAK
(1994) . Undoubtedly inspired by this, they conclude with a mod and stylish interpretation of another tune from that platter, which is appropriately christened "Lounge Vrooom."