Chicane - Thousand Mile Stare
Thinking I knew what to expect from dance institution Chicane, I hit this CD blind, and almost whipped it straight back out to check that there hadn't been some mix-up in the postal department. First track ‘Hljóp’ was impressive enough in its haunting emotional pull, but what threw me was the fact that it was in Icelandic and bluntly wasn't electro-dance at all. Intrigued by this apparent 1989 mile jump from Ibiza to Reykjavik, I persevered. On two of the 12 tracks Chicane has collaborated with Icelandic ensemble Vigri. The result of this union lives somewhere in the neighbourhood of (whisper it quietly) Sigur Ros.Comparisons aside, 'Hljóp' is a standout track, filmic and sweeping, recommended for road-tripping some dusty desert landscape.
Although only two songs are the sons and daughters of this act of crossbreeding, the influence persists. 'The Nothing Song', all Chicane, is more conventionally suited for a morning by the pool; even here though, because of the mood set by that first track, it still feels as you should be nipping off later looking for geysers. Two tracks feature Brixton-based singer Josef Aquilina, but the more effective guest vocalist is Kate Walsh who does dream laden duty on 'Playing Fields'. Recent single 'Going Deep' features rapper Aggi Dukes and in amongst the chill factor, this is the one to poundingly fill the floor. There's room to breathe on the whole thing, despite feeling a bit like a variety pack. A chill out dance record with a twist.