Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Matt Endahl / Christopher Riggs - Tangible But Not Communicated (Holy Cheever Church Records CS)

More from the Holy Cheever camp, this time in the form of a duet between Riggs and pianist Matt Endahl. Once again though, instrumentation seems nearly irrelevant in these proceedings as instead another alien landscape of fizz is extrapolated on--obviously this ain't no Pat Metheny and Brad Mehldau number. What'd you expect?

Things start off in a sort of whimpering, tea kettle improv style, each instrument nearly indecipherable against the hum and lithe grinding, like the soundtrack to some dude sitting at a bus stop grinding his teeth in eager anticipation of the inevitable. The innards of the piano resonate out while single string bows turn into loose chortle the makeup of which consists of molten metal being hammered at like some forgotten blacksmith crafting the weapon by which he'll end it all. Take the electric drill to it, I say, so you have to give it a real push. Every angle here is degraded and rusty, but it sounds so right and in tune with itself. The whole aesthetic is as organic as it comes, nothing forced or coaxed here; just the sounds of things acting the way they act when you use them in this ruthless a manner. Sounds like crayons with brass tips being drawn out over windowpanes, covering their translucence in dappled streaks of brown while chipping off the smooth surface in the process. Totally nuts.

The flip side kicks it off in a higher, less monotonously grating strain with a total shred of disintegrated circuitry and whistle. Grind it on down to the bone. I'd be surprised if there was a piano left after all is said and done here. Almost sounds like Riggs is just playing some vinyl record by laying down a block of wood and grinding it underneath while the reverberations cause the highest string on his guitar to shriek with horror. When the debris is left on the floor the duo run over and pick it up, throwing it around with primordial glee. A whopper with flies, please. Thanks. But then you have to deal with the food poisoning, which settles in just as the flies are spawning in your digestive tract. Little flutters of piano just dancing around in there, having a swell time of it while the increasing clatter starts to awaken the horror.

Just had the TV turned on in front of me and the live Michael Jackson memorial is on which creates a nice contrast in terms of total over-the-top spectacle worship of something chaotic and unknown. Wild. Another winner from the realm of Riggs.

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