Chessie – Meet (Drop Beat, 1999)


CD Drop Beat Records spl 12 (USA, 11-1999)

01. Between Asleep and Awake on SP 7591
02. Pkp
03. Ivy City Interlocking
04. Brake Test
05. Closer Together or Farther Apart (Closer)
06. If You Only Had Said
07. Nowa Huta
08. Katy (for Satie)
09. Follow Me Home
10. 3rd Trick
11. Eot

With 1996’s Signal Series, Chessie’s Stephen Gardner staked out a distinctive spot for himself on the electronic landscape. Chessie blends live bass playing with heavily syncopated beats gathered and looped without samplers or sequencers, tempered by a rigorous aesthetic more in line with the chance composition techniques of modern classical artists than with your typical jungle or IDM producer. The final result is music far removed from the strictures of the dancefloor, a soundspace that conjures images both oceanic and gritty, a rhythmic train ride through that long, dark tunnel. The new Chessie album, Meet goes so much farther into the unknown that reasonable points of reference become harder to find. Tracks like ‘Brake Test’ and ‘Nowa Huta’ move into a slightly beatier realm, bringing to mind artists on the Karaoke Kalk label, while cuts like ‘Between Asleep and Awake on SP7591’ and ‘Follow Me Home’ defy analysis, plunging the listener into fractured electronic sound wells that recall the avant rock Laika if it was produced by 4 Hero at their darkest. Yes, all the ‘right’ influences are there in the grooves, from Cage to Satie to Autechre, but Chessie is clearly onto something quite different and special here. Where Signal Series stunned with its iconoclastic brilliance, Meet handily surpasses it in every measure. It is an amazing, enveloping album: a journey by railroad into the clanking, reverberating night. (Forced Exposure)

FR Excellent album plein de surprises, plus aride et lo-fi dans sa première moitié, de plus en plus mélodique et lumineux au fur et à mesure qu’on avance.
ENG According to All Music Guide, ‘originally treated as a side project for Lorelei bassist Stephen Gardner, Chessie was his way of experimenting with the guitar while involving his fascination with trains‘. Excellent album full of surprises, even if you’re not fascinated with trains.

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