Thursday, February 25, 2010
Christopher Riggs - Long Self-Trained in Taking Despair Sitting Down (Holy Cheever Church CS)
Another day, another Riggs. This guy's got his hand in everything it seems, and the more he partakes the more we benefit far as I'm concerned. Just started a new label in cooperation with Ben Hall called You Are Your Only Machine, first release of which consists of Hall and Riggs going at it with guitar beat down legend Joe Morris. More to come on that upon arrival...
Group aside, Riggs' solo work shines plenty. I swear the more this guy cranks out, the more honed his systems of delirium become. This one in particular finds Riggs playing two homemade stereo guitars (a guitar 4-track, really) as if they were mechanical orchestras, whirling about under some wah-wah'd coils that sproing like Carl Stalling on a sugar binge. Practically a timpanic poof beat at the beginning while the squiggles squiggle and the slithers slither. Wormy and winding, but also sensitive as can be, with real shapes being drawn across the factory belt as it slinks by.
As far as I'm concerned it's about as perfect as they come really; playful, genuinely experimental and a joy to sink into. So many people marvel at the fact that these are guitars but I'm not sure that's the point. Either way, they're sounds being masterfully treated, no matter the instrument, and the fact that he's not shredding some Santana groove isn't so much a shock as it is a relief. Come up with a body motion and place it on an object over and over and it turns into something, you know? Riggs moves from gesture to gesture so fluidly and consciously, intertwined in some convivial dance on six strings, that it's tough to disconnect the sounds from his body from his instrument etc. Some gasamptkunstwerk stuff you know? No conceptual holes, and still a total blast. Not dry, just fly. God bless Holy Cheever.