Who is Chicane?

Did you ever find an artist before anyone else did?  Isn't it cool when you can say, I knew about him before he was big.  Well, I'm only halfway there with Chicane.

Chicane is actually a guy named Nick Bracegirdle.  Under the name Chicane produces music that lies somewhere between ambient and trance, but it's more intelligent than the stuff that typifies either genre.  I spent years looking for electronic music that I would like.  I knew how it had to sound, and almost no one was doing it the way I wanted to hear it.  Then I heard Chicane, and it was like someone pulled this music out of my head.  I still get chills when I listen to certain tracks.

Offshore: The single
1st album: 
Far From the Maddening Crowds
Nick rose to fame in his native Europe (he's from Finland) with a little track called Offshore, of which there are dozens of mixes (official and not) floating around the web.  This happened to be the first piece I heard by him and I was blown away.  Since that first hit he has gone on to produce and remix a number of other artists (Enigma and Bryan Adams being the standout examples that would be most recognizable on this side of the Atlantic).  I should note that Nick also records and remixes under the name Disco Citizens.  On these tracks, he has a more dance-oriented edge, sometimes remixing his Chicane tracks to this sensibility. 

His third and latest album, Easy to Assemble,  is even better than the early stuff, and I can seem him getting even better.  I hear something all together larger waiting to emerge.  Pieces like Empires and Arizona Pt 1 (the latter being a B-side) hint that Chicane is an artist preparing to take flight.  Listening to his remixes, there is no doubt that Chicane's versions are, without exception, better than the original tracks by the various artists.  Now that he has found his sound, I hear increasing complexities in the music, and I'm looking forward to what comes next. 
2nd album: Behind the Sun
3rd album: Easy to Assemble
I realize that Chicane is pulled in a number of directions by competing forces.  On the one hand, he seeks to make original music.  On the other, fans and record execs want a familiar sound and something "danceable," no doubt.  At the same time, he is also trying to incorporate other artists in order to broaden his exposure.  He is seeking to please a lot of people (too many!) at the same time, and that is leading to conflict, but the music remains a higher caliber than anything else in electronica.

Update: Nick has put out more albums since I've had time to update this page.  He also has done many remixes for other artists.  Look around the web (for example, try YouTube) to hear some of his work.


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