British music producer Nicholas Bracegirdle who records under the name of Chicane has released his sixth studio album to date, The Sum of Its Parts. Chicane has crafted an influx of club tracks over the years which have crossed over to the mainstream including the infamous ‘Saltwater’ and ‘Offshore’. His last album Thousand Mile Stare, alongside his current is evident that Chicane has mastered the balance of ambient trance and groovy dance tracks.

The Sum of Its Parts begins conventionally with a soft, easy listening track titled ‘Eglise’. From then on expect progressive house and trance crossover tracks. Songs like ‘28 Weeks’ start off with a blissful section complete with smooth trance sound along with a woman’s soulful voice before jumping straight into a pounding snare drum that creates awesome rhythm. ‘Oxygen’ has very strong ballad elements what with the central topic being love as well as the strong piano presence. The same tune plays throughout the majority of the song but it stays interesting because it’s played in a variety of different electronic beats.

Chicane’s alias is Disco Citizens which he uses to record remixes of his tracks. Several of them feature on The Sum of Its Parts including ‘Still With Me,’  which features Bo Bruce (who appeared on the Voice a couple of years ago) and has more of a club atmosphere to it, though Bruce’s angelic voice really enhances the mellow echo of the catchy bloc synth sound. Strangely, Chicane decided to put a Disco Citizens remix of the album’s first single ‘No More I Sleep’ featuring Senadee on the final track list rather than the original track. Not much has changed other than the tone. It feels more upbeat than the original possibly because it’s focused more on the jumping beat than the melancholy tune.

One of the things that’s improved the most in his line of work is Chicane’s song structure. His tracks always have strong beginning, middle and ends but Chicane has become an absolute genius when it comes to carving epic choruses. ‘Photograph,’ the last track, has an awesome, jumpy beat that develops into a large chorus that is made of a mix of explosive synthesizers and hard hitting piano chords. While the ambient ‘A Thousand Suns’ builds up to a beautiful, vocal driven chorus that is incredibly relaxing.

Chicane is one of those DJs who knows how to mix up the sound while still staying relevant and not stuck in the 90s. The Sum of Its Parts shows that he is a mastermind music producer. It’s one of the most exciting dance/trance tracks to come out in a long while. Additionally, his music is the perfect to listen to on holiday, on a sun bed next the pool or beach. It’s music that speaks to the soul.

Megan McMillan


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