Exclusive interview: Chicane discusses new Sun:Sets 2018 compilation album
The year 2018 has been off to a busy start for Nick Bracegirdle, better known as Chicane. After recording episode #180 of his Sun:Sets radio show and podcast, he travelled all the way to Australia for a Sun:Sets live show at Sydney’s Cafe del Mar. The legendary UK producer has been around in the music business for over two decades now, delivering numerous iconic hits like “Offshore”, “Satlwater”, “Don’t Give Up” (ft. Bryan Adams), “Poppiholla” and, more recently, “Ibiza Strings & Bleeps” and his latest single “Gorecki”. In fact, pick up any ‘Classic Ibiza Anthems’ album and you will be sure to find Chicane‘s work on it.
To celebrate his 20-year presence in the scene, he released an amazing greatest hits anniversary album in the summer of 2016, titled “Twenty”. The double album contained both typical downtempo Chicane tracks that make you long for the beach, as well as a series of brand new remixes of his hits by the likes of Kryder, Grum, Thomas Datt and Jody Wisternoff, to name a few.
Besides the release of “Twenty” and a total of six studio albums, Chicane has also been running his very popular Sun:Sets radio show since 2013. Reaching this five-year milestone is enough reason to celebrate this with a very special compilation album. We Rave You caught up with Chicane for an exclusive interview at the Armada Music Headquarters in Amsterdam , where we talked about his brand new “Sun:Sets 2018” compilation album, which will drop this Friday January 19.
Hi Nick! Such a pleasure to meet you. First of all, take us back to your live performance of Sun:Sets at Cafe del Mar in Sydney last week…
“Oh, it was great! What an amazing crowd and atmosphere. I’m still exhausted though. I love playing in Australia, but that d*mn flight is just so long! (laughs). We had a couple of fantastic shows though. A New Year’s boat party and the main Sun:Sets show at Cafe del Mar in Sydney. It was sold out, it was crazy. Had to go straight home after it, but it couldn’t have been better, really. There’s a lot of love for the Sun:Sets project there, so it’s all good.”
You’ve been successfully producing dance music for over 20 years. Do you still take the same approach to producing music as you did in the past?
“I take a slightly different approach nowadays. I do a lot of writing in my head rather than going into the studio and experiment there. I have a lot of ideas and I ‘think music’ more than in the past, as Beethoven would have done. It sounds insane, doesn’t it, because after all he went deaf! You think a piece and don’t hum it. I do a lot of that now, instead of creating happy accidents or stumbling around. I’m a bit more specific and focused about that now, it just happened that way over time, I don’t know why!”
Let’s talk about your Sun:Sets radio show. How did you get to that idea of starting such a concept?
“That idea was driven out of doing a selection of fairly drab shows via various different promoters, that made us decide we wanted to do our own thing, to try and define what was unique about Chicane. It turned out to be that I have one foot in dance anthems and the other in beautiful chillout music and that’s what defines what we are. We applied it to my Ibiza background and history there and drew up a concept of Sun:Sets as a kind of Cafe del Mar sunset album, with beautiful midtempo music. You play the sun down and off you go into the club and onto the dancefloor. It’s a virtual journey from the beach to the dancefloor I would say.”
It seems like Sun:Sets really gained a lot of momentum, as it’s grown into a very popular concept. What are your thoughts on that?
“Oh yes, definitely. Putting together an episode takes up a lot of time too, actually. But with 10,000 downloads a day and the show being played at over 70 radio stations all around the world, it’s become the biggest part of my ‘business’ as Chicane. We’re still trying to expand it, like we did with the live show in Sydney, so that people could stream it and feel like they are a part of it. That’s great about technology these days.”
How did you go about the selection process of tracks you wanted to feature on the new Sun:Sets 2018 compilation album?
“It was really hard to come to the final selection. The initial selection process was massive, we chose about 80 tracks to feature on it. It initially wasn’t meant to be on CD, but more like something you could stream or download, so when we noticed there was a huge demand for an actual double album, we had to loose a bunch of tracks. It was a bit strange, because I thought we were done with CD’s!” (laughs).
Something that came a bit as a surprise when pre-listening to the compilation, is that on both discs towards the end the speed picks up dramatically as you’ve thrown in a couple of drum and bass tracks from Keeno and Metrik?
“Yes, that sure is a surprise I guess! (smiles). I just think drum and bass is coming of age. There are various people putting out very beautiful, delicate music. Just because it’s drum and bass doesn’t mean it’s not applicable. Always the moniker of what I do, is music has to be emotive and has to make you feel a certain special way. That means it’s not bound by any genre. No one is doing what I’m doing I suppose! I’m going from 80 bpm to 160 bpm. I’m blending all the genres out there, but the constant thing that sows them all together is that they are all wonderful pieces of music to listen to. Keeno and Metrik are fantastic, really phenomenal.”
With the compilation album you are obviously off to a great start of 2018. What else does the year have in store for Chicane fans? Are you still working on a new studio album for example?
“Yes, the new studio album is about to be finished in maybe a month’s time. It’s really almost finished. Its working title is “The Place You Can’t Remember, The Place You Can’t Forget”. I think it will be scheduled for release in March, early Spring. It’s hard to work on it in the studio with all the positive things happening around Sun:Sets at the moment. I’m not even back into the studio until the end of January. It’s going to be a more typical Chicane album, with a follow-up to “No Ordinary Morning”. It will probably be my most emotive album yet. Either way, it will be my most mature album to date, that’s for sure!”
Stay tuned for an album review of Chicane’s Sun:Sets 2018 compilation album, which will be released later this week on Friday January 19th. In the meantime, check out the tracklisting below.
Two CDs on the SunSets 2018 Selection, yet there were so many tracks that couldn't make the cut. Pre-order a copy for the 19th January – https://chicane.lnk.to/SunSets2018MA
Posted by Chicane on Thursday, January 11, 2018