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British Electronica Producer Chicane Performs at Enchanted Valley Carnival

The producer and DJ talks new and old remastered material and more on the eve of his show in India

Rolling Stone India
Rolling Stone India Dec 07, 2013
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Nicholas Bracegirdle aka Chicane

Much like his music, British electronica producer Chicane has never  shown signs of slowing down, with his upcoming album and newer pursuits like his radio show and gig series, Chicane Sunsets. Chicane aka Nicholas Bracegirdle goes for a hat-trick following performances in 2012 with pop singer Anushka Manchanda and a four-city tour in 2011. This time, Chicane is one of the headliners at the three day Enchanted Valley Carnival in Aamby Valley on December 7th 

He recently remastered and released his album Behind the Sun (2000) and tracks like “Poppihola”, “Come Back” and “Hiding All The Stars”. Says Chicane about the decision to rework his old album, “What we discovered was the mastering technology which we used ten years ago has moved on massively. And I’m very friendly with the people who work on professional mastering and we looked at a couple of tracks and we were all quite shocked at how much better it sounded. It’s quite surprising if you listen to the old and the new version of “Saltwater,” how much better the new version sounds sonically.”  

What are you listening to right now?

I don’t really like anyone (laughs). I tend to listen to stuff which is not really within the dance scene. More artists like [film score composer] Hans Zimmer. I get my inspiration from not the dance scene, really.

You have had an extensive career in music. How different would you say is your sound from 1994 to now?

Not so much different in some way. Typically in dance music it’s difficult to maintain because you need to have enough of a character in what you do. You keep your qualities and change according to what’s happening around you at that time. It’s more powerful and dancey I guess than what it was and that’s what music production is now. It’s much bigger sounding because the tools of the trade have gotten easier to use for producers now. I wouldn’t say it’s changed a lot but it just sounds better.

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After 19 years with scores of chart-topping albums and singles, performances all over the world, what still keeps you going?

Umm I’m waiting for the doom really. It’s my thing. It’s a peculiar thing, music, the one language in the world that we all understand and its ability to really change someone’s emotions. It’s a magical medium and wouldn’t change my job.

What is your song writing procedure? Do you start with the melodies and grooves or the beats?

Depends. Sometimes I have the melody idea or sometimes I’ll just have some backing tracks in and fool around with something. But the most important thing is good melody and good hooks and stuff which people understand and bounce off – that’s the core of the whole thing. I think the huge problem with dance music is when people don’t understand what melody is and are sort of putting together these terrible dance records. They’d have huge sounding records with big drops and fills but don’t have any substance and don’t have any melody and that’s the most important thing.  

The remastered version of Behind the Sun was released last month. Why did you choose this album to re-release? And which other album of yours would you remaster and bring back to your fans?

We will probably remaster and bring back Far From the Maddening Crowds.

Who would you want to bring on as a guest artist on your radio show, Chicane Sunsets?

A little difficult, this one is, because there are so many. I’ll probably bring in someone like BT (Brian Wayne Transeau).

You recently collaborated with Duane Harden on your single “One More Time.” What was it like working with him?

Oh we just did it over Skype and I actually got to know him after the record and we hit it off pretty well (laughs)

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What happened to your other projects, Disco Citizens and Sitvac? Would you bring them back?

Umm they just pop in now and then. They’re just monikers of the different styles of a particular mix and are a slightly more harder kind of a style. But musically the Chicane moniker has kind of engulfed and encapsulated all those things right now anyway.

What have your previous India experiences been like? Did you manage to catch any Indian artists?

 Yeah I’ve had some great times and we’ve done some great shows, one being with the Blue Frog guys. Some fantastic stuff in Goa too [in 2009]. Overall pretty good.

And yeah I did. I recorded some stuff with [sitarist] Anoushka Shankar over a while.

What do you have planned for 2014?

I have a new album with a lot of collaborations coming up in maybe March or April. There are always collaborations. We’re also doing Sunset shows, which is exactly what it sounds like. We’re going to Café Del Mar [in Ibiza] and places like that where we’re playing like an hour of chill stuff and then when the sun goes down, we ramp up and start getting the night going. It’s going to be different than a regular Chicane show. We’re taking that show around the world next year. And the Sunset radio show is going fantastic and there’s also going to be the Sunset compilation. We’re excited about that.

What can we expect from your set at the Enchanted Valley Carnival?

I’m going to be playing a couple of new things which I’ve been trying out and some of the classics and some of the classics reworked. I’m looking forward to it.

Chicane plays on the 7th of December at the Enchanted Valley Carnival in Aamby Valley. Buy passes here.

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