ARTIST: Chicane.
SONG: Hiding All The Stars.
GENRE: Electronic/Dance.
RATING: 7.5/10

CHICANE exudes in being the best 'Ibiza' style musician and it is not hard to understand why when listening to Hiding All The Stars.

Albeit most pop tunes today encompass a retro late 1970s/'80s style - Calvin Harris, La Roux, Lady Gaga, Little Boots etc - with sampling classic hits from yesteryear a penchant for musicians, but only some work to perfection.

Like Armand Van Helden's Koochy in 2000, which reached #4 in the UK charts, Chicane - real name Nick Bracegirdle - has gone all Sinclair C5, shoulder pads and Speak & Spell machine and sampled Gary Numan's Cars in a danceable re-working of a 1979 UK #1 classic.

Maintaining the spooky alien-like roaring synth melody and adding punchy bouncing bass and heavy electronic drum and clap with a filtered airy female vocal carrying the song to greater Ibiza highs, Hiding All The Stars is a pleasant dance-cum-chillout offering which Chicane is renowned for.

But Chicane's genius is to host a pop ideal with minimal lyrical imagery evoking a wonderous, dreamy appeal which is only seen in the odd sublime trance type record; for instance Robert Miles' One & One or Paul Van Dyk's Tell Me Why (The Riddle) featuring Saint Etienne.

Hiding All The Stars then is a short-but-sweet example of Chicane's catalogue of hits and like recent #7 charting UK single, Poppiholla, is melodious, resonant, repetitive and hosts a simplistic chord structure similar to previous staple tracks Offshore and Saltwater - with the latter maintaining Chicane's sampling attitude by containing vocals from Clannad.

The single's criticisms though are it sounding too near to the dance music Basshunter and Deadmau5 et al - pronounced dead mouse - are currently releasing as mainstream and include the fuzzy basslines and blaring bleeps which have become an average, nothing special norm seemingly churned out for commerce.

Meanwhile, Chicane's use of '80s sampling stylings is repeating a recent retro pattern becoming commonplace in the pop market at the moment with synthetic tinklings and pitch bends of Casio and Fairlight-style keyboards all too familiar and worn-out.

However, Chicane records beautiful music and you only have to listen to The Best of Chicane - released this year - to conclude that with his ambient synth and guitar pads adding to Bracegirdle's classically trained mindset and his ode to Erasure's Vince Clarke and the "Synthpop" golden-age of the 1980s, Chicane is the best at producing the thought-provokingly delicate yet hedonistic dance music which is seen in Hiding All The Stars.


Is to show the sort of stuff the second years have included in the student magazine so far and that features on entertainment/sport etc aren't redundant. So anything you want to write as long as it's well written and interesting (hopefully in my case :S), goes.

Poppiholla is basically a shit version of Sigur Ros' Hoppipolla. Chicane's successfully managed to ruin the raw emotion of the song with his feeble attempt at covering it. I'm not a fan.

In regards to reviews etc., they seem to be everyone's favourite thing to write, meaning that the sections fill up fast, and I'm not likely to ever give reviews more than 2 pages. I'd rather everyone wrote something more journalistic/student related.

Nice piece, Stuart.

Haha, I think both versions are great in their own way, judged on their own merit. It's just a different interpretation in my opinion and yes I could have mentioned that it was Sigur Ros, even though I did know this...which I'm surprised I failed to mention. Chicane says he likes Sigur Ros' version and I think people slate dance/electronic music for the fact it makes things more simplistic and beat-driven and copies, when actually I think it's personally quite clever to take something which is sometimes different stylistically and make it in to a new version with new arrangements. I call this (Chicane's) "Intelligent" dance music (which is apparently a genre, started by Leftfield, apparently) because it is more subtle and ambient, rather than H20/Platinum, Chase & Status' naff, repetitive and tedious in comparison commercial stuff.

Okay, with regards to reviews, fair enough, I'll get busy writing some journalistic stuff though as well as reviews.

Cheers Becci, glad you liked the piece.

Hi Stuart, You might want to take another look at your use of 'exudes'.

Maybe you were after 'revels'? Or you could say he exudes the confidence of a man who has been called the best etc etc

Ian Reeves is deputy head of the Centre for Journalism

Only just read this, but I will bare this in mind :D. Thanks again.

Or you could even bear it in mind... ;)

Ian Reeves is deputy head of the Centre for Journalism

Chicane - Hiding All The Stars