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After ten years since it first saw the light of day comes a very welcome re-release of a classic album from Chicane. Far From The Maddening Crowds is an album you should not miss this time around.

Chicane has made some of my all time favourite dance records over the past ten years and is still pumping out the tracks today. The man behind the name is a guy called Nick Bracegirdle and a very talented guy he is. Although the sound of Chicane may not be once what it was as with most things in dance music it’s good to see the old sound has not been forgotten. The new sound of Chicane can be found with the latest album 'Somersault' which is out right now.

01: Early
02: Already There
03: Offshore
04. Lost You Somewhere
05. From Blue To Green
06. Sunstroke
07. Leaving Town
08. Red Skies
09. Sunstroke
10. Offshore
11. Drive Home
12. Offshore

I would say I never heard half of these tracks until a few years ago. The original album back in 1997 was Chicanes debut artist album and really hit the ground running establishing him very firmly as one of the most talented producers around.

For those of you who have not heard any of his early stuff you might have a different opinion of what Chicane's music used to be all about. Driving basslines, euphoric melodies, gorgeous piano breakdowns and atmospheric elements all made the records a pleasure to listen to. The mighty Offshore is a real classic with that legendary opening sweeping wave riff and piano sequence. It's a real uplifting relaxed record that just does not get boring no matter how many times you listen to it.

The whole album is full of music like that. Each record has its own individual vibe about it with its well worked basslines, pumping beats and strings to send you into a state of pure Euphoria. Leaving Town is a record on there that is simply break beat in nature but with relaxing sweeps in the background and simple melodies floating over the top. You could say the chill out before all those rubbish chill out compilations became popular with some of the tracks in here. This is how ambient sounds should be used without being boring and plain.

There are three versions of Offshore on this album. The original mix which is pure break beat uplifting piano inspired goodness. The 1997 version which implement a few vocals over the top with the club beat for plays in the big venues and DJ sets. The vocals are not cheesy but I'd prefer the dub version. As a special surprised there is a 2007 remix which keeps true to the original but just puts today’s trance beat sound on it with a few different modern riffs in there for good measure.

If I were recommended any albums to someone looking for some really good true original trance music I would mention this album every time. In today’s light its a welcome reminded of a sound unknown by many who are getting into dance music. Chicane may not produce records like this today but that’s the evolution of most things, they always change into something different. I'll be listening to this for some time for sure and I recommend you to do the same.

This is a truly classic album that deserves to be in everybody’s dance music collection. The new remix of Offshore is a nice addition to what already is a collection of real gems. It’s one to remind you off how epic Chicane used to be.

© Modena


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