I remember the day I heard Chandeen for the first time in my life. A rainy afternoon listening to the magical collection of Hyperium Records‘ ‘Heavenly Voices III‘, the no 4 track, makes me annoyed, almost melted, giving me a vacant gaze like falling in love in this moment.. The song was an acoustic version of ‘Ginger‘ from ‘Jutland‘ album. From this moment on, Chandeen was a divine gift for me; something newfound, absolutely magical. Oliver Henkel and Harald Löwy from Germany formed the band in 1990. In 1994 their ‘breakthrough’ album comes out, ‘Shaded By The Leaves‘ with Catrin Mallon & Antje Schulz on magnificent vocals.
‘Shaded By The Leaves‘ was an atmospheric rough diamond with influences from the German underground scene, filled with excellent songs like ‘Darkness‘, the sweetest ‘Red Letter Days‘, dark and powerful ‘Recall Me‘, and the nine adventurous minutes of ‘Journey To The Land Of Wisdom‘. But, sincerely, we were not prepared for what would follow one year later.
In 1995, their follow-up album ‘Jutland‘ falls from Heavens. No words to describe the dream-world that floats into ‘Jutland‘. File under, dream-pop? Ambient? Ethereal? All of them yet nothing like them, too.
‘Ginger‘ their mythical masterpiece song as opening track introduces you into heavenly fields. So ethereal, so poetic, so sentimental… Antje Schulz’s voice is a dreamy, absolutely female soft soul touch.
“A taste like ginger in the air
Where gold was mined drenched by tainted
Games we used to play to kill the sadness
To kill the sadness…”
The acoustic version of ‘Ginger‘ at the end of the album is like a dream within a dream. ‘Ginger‘ is not a song; it is a piece of the heart. ‘Young Days‘ is like a lullaby and Enya-like single ‘Strawberry Passion‘ is the most (pop)-easy listening moment of the album. ‘Drift‘: What an impressive, highlight! A vocal duet between Catrin & Antje, epic atmosphere and a dramatic finale. Atmospheric ‘Lighting‘ and especially ‘Snow‘ float(s) into an ocean of bliss and serenity. The acoustic guitars on ‘Snow‘ and the operatic voice of Catrin create an impressive fairy world. ‘At World’s Edge‘ is an ambient vast ocean with eerie sounds at the beginning, and the voice of Catrin that fills the air. The self-titled song is the gate to heaven. Its first part, ‘One Last View‘, is a tearful poem, so warm, so emotive:
“Behind the secret view this is all there ever was. The cool airs move without a cause when I’m dreaming. Words have no meaning”.
An acoustic masterpiece of love and loss with the broken voice of Αntje that fills your eyes with tears. The second part of the song ‘The Solitary Sea‘ is an epic-ambient phantasmagoria of earthly paradise. Like Angels standing at the edge of the horizon.
Chandeen love 4AD, but stand across, at the land of light.
Autumn leaves on the ground.
Heavenly shores…Unfulfilled dreams lost in the waves.
Like the music universe of This Mortal Coil, ‘Jutland‘ is not an ordinary music album. It is a deeply ethereal dream-world, an inner secret for music lovers.