Thursday, February 5, 2009

Christopher Riggs - Pictures of Women with Dogs (Holy Cheever Church Records CS)

Here's another one from Chris Riggs, one half of Trauma and one third of Traum. He's flying solo here though, splitting the cassette between a live set at Oberlin and a self described Don Dietrich-inspired jam.

The first side opens with some super weird guitar moves that keep tons of space between quick interludes of frenetic play. Sometimes his guitar sounds like a guitar, but more often than not it resembles a cartoon spring, a cello or some insect chatter. Think there might even be a drill in there somewhere, shredding the strings to bits while low end resonances echo and hum. Allowing plenty of space for each individual sound to fully make its mark, Riggs emits a playful and democratic approach that allows the joy of each rub, strum or clang to come through fully, all while demanding your full attention with its quiet and thoughtful motions. Never playing weird for weird's sake, Chris has a truly unique take on his instrument as an object for the creation of sound, incorporating every facet of his axe's build into some unique and hitherto unheard stutter or groan that continues to move throughout its length, though to where exactly is anybody's guess.

The second side opens with some low end mutter, and already Dietrich's presence can be felt. Thick billows of organic sound spew out of the guitar with little trajectory, instead bubbling out of it like tar out of a washing machine. Little rattles and shakes only deepen the mystery of this one sided affair of steady destruction. This is the sound of dentures rattling against glass during an earth quake. Small sproings flit about like firecrackers, taking turns with the low end murmur that will not cease. Really a beautiful pacing here, as the low end stuff slowly makes room for the high end turmoil--the two make a beautiful pairing. Before you know it the rumbling is gone, allowing the entrance of laser beams and bent metal before quickly returning to continue building the work with those pieces now present.

Another totally gorgeous release, and how bout that title and cover concept! If you're as sick of being beaten across the head with those little dog pictures as I am, then this cassette will make you feel like you've won. Another highly limited one from Holy Cheever, so fetch quickly. A killer one from a true original.

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