Beginner’s guide to Chicane

Posh Buckinghamshire’s solo musician Nick Bracegirdle, better known as Chicane (or occaisonally either some or all of Disco Citizens) has been releasing chillout, dance, and later electronic hits for two decades now, although you might not have noticed. His first two albums are unmissable; the third one never got released due to some kind of download-related hissy fit; and the latter years yield some great surprises.

Key moments

Primarily Offshore (1997) and Saltwater (2000), as well as a blistering 2009 comeback in which he rehashed Sigur Rós‘s Hoppiholla as Poppiholla. Also his attempts to aid the careers of Bryan AdamsPeter Cunnah from D:ReamEspiritu, and Jewel were valiant in the extreme.

Where to start

His Best Of 1996-2009 is very comprehensive, but make sure you get the version with the brilliant Poppiholla on it, rather than the 2008 version which gets another album track in its place.

What to buy

Debut Far from the Maddening Crowds (1997) and follow-up Behind the Sun (2000) are chillout classics. His later albums are less consistent, but Thousand Mile Stare (2012) is probably the best of the bunch.

Don’t bother with

The 2003 illegal-download-only album Easy to Assemble is largely forgettable, so definitely isn’t worth the considerable effort that’s required to track it down.

Hidden treasure

Giants (2010) includes an excellent track called So Far Out to Sea, and the 1999 mini-album Chilled is worth a listen.

For stowaways