1000 Mile Stare
Release date: TBC
“This is music I made whilst consciously trying to disengage from electronic dance music’s genre/sub-genre loop. It’s a call-it-what-you-want/it-is-what-it-is, maximum latitude album. No matter what I do though, whatever style I produce in, it’s always going to have that Chicane sound, feel and vibe to it.” – Nick Bracegirdle, somewhere up the mountain, Jan 2012
Since establishing himself in 1997 with the seminal ‘Far From The Maddening Crowds’ & breakout album ‘Behind The Sun’ (2000), through to his second-gen LPs; ‘Somersault’ (2007) and 2010’s ‘Giants’, Nick Bracegirdle has fashioned a flawless and hit-filled album discography. Now, adding to that canon comes ‘Thousand Mile Stare’. Only effectively classifiable as ‘electronic dance music’, it’s a freethinking, without-borders audio collection from the Buckinghamshire lad made good.
‘Thousand Mile’ overtures with the near beat-free splendor of ‘Hljóp’ - the first of two tracks composed alongside eclectic Icelandic five-piece Vigri. Having decamped to the ensemble’s Reykjavik studio, he co-produced with their unique ‘micro-orchestra’ set-up, bridging the gap between live and synthesized music. These sessions saw the creation of ‘Hijóp’, with its poignant piano-shaded riffs, Icelandic-ally filtered, Coldplay-esque vocals and Vigri’s live orchestra elements. Whilst over there, Nick and the collective also recorded current single Sólarupprás (or ‘Sunrise’), whose 4/4 drums, judiciously distorted sub-synths and symphonic nuance give a more floor-oriented dimension on their music.
When it comes to its vocal aspects, the album opts for the path less travelled. Over his career, Nick’s pointed many a mainstream singer - Bryan Adams, Sir Tom Jones and Marie Brennan among them – in the direction of the dancefloor. For ‘Thousand Mile’ though, he’s mining newer talent. With his evocative vocals, Malta-born, Brixton-based singer Joseph Aquilina lends raincry-like tones to the downtempo ‘Goldfish’ and ‘Super Mouflon’, which charts an electro-to-house arc.
“I wanted to create an album that felt like ‘a collection life’s soundtracks’.”
At once narrating and distilling the regulation English 2-week-summer-holiday-abroad, recent single ‘Going Deep’ is primed by the crowd-activating chant of South London rapper Aggi Dukes. His lyrical chant cocks a knowing wink at the Balearic-heading holiday experience, while Nick points the production at the heart of the dancefloor. With its thermally rising trance-fired organ notes, ‘Going Deep’ will be working more than a few tent pegs loose come festival season.
Infused with seaside atmosphere, ‘Flotsam and Jetsum’ (co-produced with Bedrock’s Nick Muir) and ‘The Nothing Song’ momentarily put the album on a melodic, progressive footing. The title track meanwhile sees Nick re-connect with the Balearic trance sound and will doubtless soundtrack many a White Isle adventure come summer.
Naturally, no Chicane album would be complete without fulfilling its quota of beat-less, blissed-out epic-ness. In its search for the ultimate chill, ‘Thousand Mile Stare’ sees Nick rise to new heights in sun-touching tracks. Through numbers like ‘Playing Fields’ (hauntingly and compellingly vocalled by Kate Walsh) to the heaven-sent harmonies and cinematic ambience of album dénouement, ‘Fin de Jours’, it will goose the flesh of sunset-devotees everywhere. Nick notably is also modifying the genre he played a major part in creating. ‘Windbreaks’ builds slowly from an ambient start point, before traversing dynamically into drum & bass.
Throughout the summer, from the speakers of Café del Mar to the plains of the world’s outdoor festivals, Chicane’s ‘Thousand Mile Stare’ will sound out.
01: Hljóp (Chicane & Vigri)
02: The Nothing Song
04: Thousand Mile Stare (Original Mix)
05: Playing Fields (Featuring Kate Walsh)
06: Sólarupprás (Chicane & Vigri)
07: Going Deep (Moogmonkey Rework Mix)
09: Flotsum and Jetsum
10: Super Mouflon
11: Going Deep (Original Mix)
12: Fin de Jours
No track listing.