"I consider myself a guitar player, though a reluctant one," says Bill Horist. "I spend a lot of time making the guitar sound as un-guitarlike as possible." Since the early 1990s, Horist has been exploring the outer fringes and inner confines of the electric guitar. Using cymbals, rods, utensils, and toys shoved through, above, and below the strings, Horist stacks up live sampled loops of crackling, whooping, sizzling textures. The result is a sometimes funky, often compelling frenzy of prepared guitar sounds that could be easily mistaken for a cutting-edge composition from the European avant-garde--or, in his own words, as if "an entity made of kitchenware and things from the basement is licking all the sockets in the house."

That vivid image suits the physical, mad-scientist style of Horist's playing. Asked about his initial inspirations, Horist name-checks Bauhaus' feedback-friendly Daniel Ash and prepared guitar master Fred Frith. John Cage, who stuck nuts and bolts between piano strings back in 1938, comes up, too, but Horist adds, "I can think of all the wonderful and probably more expansive ways in which I could make sounds that aren't like a guitar with a computer, but in the end I cling to the guitar. It's probably an adolescent thing, a primitive physicality."

Horist performs solo as part of the semi-regular Meme concert series at CoCA, which aims to integrate various flavors of experimental and mainstream music. Horist shares the bill with the Don Giovanni Yellow Swans, a Portland-based avant improv outfit, and San Francisco's Good for Cows, whose members have gigged with the Nels Cline Singers, Fred Frith, William Winant, and other West Coast avant luminaries. CHRISTOPHER DeLAURENTI

Bill Horist plays Fri Jan 24 (CoCA, 1420 11th Ave, 728-1980) at 9 pm, $5.