In any other language apart from Chicane-speak, Nick Bracegirdle is Chicane. He is not a DJ and isn’t good at table tennis. He is from Chalfont St Giles and likes to snowboard and drive insanely fast – within the constraints of the law, of course! For a man addicted to some hair raising pursuits, it’s a more chilled side of his character that has brought him notoriety; he has written and produced some of the most enduring and haunting trance tunes of the last decade; Offshore, Halcyon, Don’t Give Up, Stoned in Love, Saltwater, Middledistancerunner. The list could go on for quite a while but resting on his laurels is not a Nick thing. Pushing the concept of Chicane can sometimes feel to his fans, a strange thing to do, (if it ain’t broke don’t fix it, right!) but for Nick this is an obsession. “Slowly, I learned that I was Chicane, and what I brought to any song, or project, was to put my coat, if you like, over its shoulders.” The idea of repetition does not sit easily with Nick. “When ‘Don’t Give Up’ first appeared, I remember seeing the band at a London show, there was a stonewall refusal to dance, six months later the track was a Chicane anthem.” People have anchored life memories to Chicane songs. And long may that tradition continue.
The expression ‘hot off the heels’ does not apply when talking about the timing of Chicane albums. The tracks are crafted, caressed and encouraged into shape, and that takes time. ‘Thousand Mile Stare’ is the latest Chicane album to have that attention applied to it. “If I had to sum this album up it would be ‘a collection of life soundtracks”, said Nick. “I’m quite fired up about this release, I feel I have grown musically and delivered something special.”
‘Thousand Mile Stare’ features musical fusions with Icelandic band Vigri, singer Kate Welsh and rapper Aggi Dukes. Indeed, collaborations are something that Chicane is known for. Sir Tom Jones, Bryan Adams, Natasha Bedingfield, Adam Young, are a few of the very diverse people that have worked with Chicane. Blending styles and erasing boundaries is one of Chicane’s favourite strategies, witnessing the many cross-over records on his latest collection of sounds.
It’s been fifteen years since ‘Offshore’ became the default setting of trance, resonating and infiltrating everyone’s lives, but with ‘Thousand Mile Stare’, Nick shows that the Chicane spark really is alive and well.