Chessie

Overnight

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Billed as "a ghostly meditation on the aesthetics of train travel," the third album from Chessie (aka Stephen Gardner) is, like the first two, a bewildering but mesmerizing kaleidoscope of found sound, non-sequenced electronics, acoustic and electric guitar, and other less readily identifiable elements, all of which combine to create something that sounds like a cross between Brian Eno, My Bloody Valentine, and a messier version of Kraftwerk. Sometimes the pieces are tone poems -- "Daylight" manages to simulate, using chugging guitar rhythms, railroad squeals, and a gradually brightening chord progression, the experience of watching the sun come up from inside a train. Sometimes they're much more abstract, like the unsettlingly atonal "Northern Maine Junction," which is built on overtones from a fractured piano line. Overall, Overnight creates a sleepy, dreamy ambience that is nevertheless not very laid-back; it's a sort of musical equivalent to the way you feel after sleeping very badly in a seat for a couple of nights in a row, only more enjoyable.

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