Review : Chicane - Thousand Mile Stare
All MusicHaving transferred the cinematic post-rock of Sigur Rós to the dancefloor with his Balearic reworking of "Hoppipolla," British trance veteran Nick Bracegirdle, aka Chicane, appears to have become quite the Iceland-o-phile, judging by his sixth studio album, Thousand Mile Stare. The follow-up to 2010's Giants not only borrows yet again from Jónsi and company's back catalog, turning "Njosnavelin (The Nothing Song)" into a dreamy slice of progressive trance, but also features two collaborations with another similar Reykjavik outfit, Vigri. While the slow-building opener "Hijóp," which sounds tailor-made to soundtrack the next David Attenborough series, and the fusion of warm layered synth pads and acidic techno on "Sólarupprás" prove that his connection with the Nordic island is no bad thing, they are indicative of the album's rather unimaginative tried-and-tested approach. The lush trip-hop beats and Kate Walsh's ethereal vocals on "Playing Fields" echo the atmospheric chillout of 2000's underrated "No Ordinary Morning," "Flotsum and Jetsum" and "Super Mouflon" are the kind of floaty instrumentals that made him such an Ibiza sunset favorite in the late '90s, while the title track is yet another homage to the analog electro of hero Jean-Michel Jarre. ...full text
Beats mediaOpening the album “Hljóp (Chicane & Vigri) “, slowly glides in with the most winsome vocal one could ever wish for, at first, I actually thought the vocalist was Jónsi, he has the same flare and tone, but after research, I discovered it was actually Hans Pjetursson from Vigri an Icelandic band who formed in Reykjavik in 2009. Back to the track, the vocals and glittering melody fits like a glove, they work hand in hand to produce an enchanted daydream that spirals around an airy uplifted production. A strikingly attractive start indeed. Coming in strong, “The Nothing Song “, strides in, this tune encourages your frame to sway along, with a rich bassline and lots of sweeping lines to delight you along the way. The delicate piano pads instantly grip, while the vocals embrace you. Track 3 introduces “Windbreaks “, featuring the arresting voice of Tracey Ackerman. From the start, the deep bass works its way in to your mind while the soft vocals and glittering harmonies take your thoughts somewhere else, you can imagine yourself walking slowly through a white room, surrounded by angels with floating whispers that uncover a sense of true safety, and karma. This for me is what heaven should sound like. Taking the album’s title is “Thousand Mile Stare “, this time voiceless, you are given a real treat as “Thousand Mile Stare” showcases the highly inspiring production skills and uniqueness of Chicane. I especially enjoyed the flow in this track, and the extra details infused along the way....full text
Beat dreamsMention electronic music to unseasoned listeners and their first reaction will be “Oh, like Chicane?”. Mention non-generic, electronic purity to avid listeners and their reaction will be “Oh, like Chicane!”.
No matter how long it’s been since your relationship with electronic dance music started, Chicane has always been the centerpiece of the game. With four studio albums that appeal as much to music lovers in general as they do to core electronic music fans, the formula to a sustainable career in music–sans a sale of the soul–can be found in Nicholas Bracegirdle.
Chicane’s fifth album Thousand Mile Stare comes out next week. While producing the album, Nick said his main goal was to “create an album that felt like a collection of life’s soundtracks” and to entirely veer away from sounding like it can be classified under any one genre or sub-genre – with tracks like “Playing Fields”, “Sólarupprás”, “Flotsum & Jetsum”, and “Fin de Jours”, he’s done exactly that....full text
Groove guideIt’s been over a decade since Chicane helped define the world of trance music. Now, a long-awaited third release finally hits the shelves, but can Thousand Mile Stare step out from the shadow of its predecessors?
While distinctly lacking the breezy acoustic guitars that helped make Behind The Sun so distinct from other trance albums of the era, Thousand Mile Stare is still full of elegantly-tailored ethereal tones and pulsating dance rhythms. Yet the endless loops and syncopated piano chords sound slightly cliché these days, and certainly far less vital than they did in the heyday of Ibiza culture. Still, there is plenty here to get excited about, including notable guest appearances from Sigur Ros, Vigri and Kate Walsh who help craft little slices of sonic heaven fit to make trance junkies salivate with excitement. This might not be Chicane’s best work, but even a mediocre effort by his standards is pretty damn good....full text
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