Bicep - Bicep (2017) FLAC

This post was published 6 years ago. Download links are most likely obsolete. If that's the case, try asking the uploader to re-upload.

Bicep - Bicep (2017) FLAC

EAC Rip | FLAC (tracks+log+.cue) | 00:57:57 | 375 Mb
Electronic, Techno, House | Label: Ninja Tune

On their debut album, the Irish duo Bicep—founders of the blog-turned-party and label Feel My Bicep—offer a lean and consciously paced survey of UK dance sounds with hints of psychedelia.

The Irish DJ duo of Andrew Ferguson and Matthew McBriar, aka Bicep, have always had their hands directly on the pulse of the party. Since rising nearly a decade ago with their infamous Feel My Bicep blog-turned-party and record label, they’ve trotted the globe with their own ecstatic sound. Spanning styles like house, techno, disco, and jungle, Bicep are unbeholden to specific rhythms, scenes, or eras. Instead, their M.O. boils down to big moments in clubs. On their own tracks, they favor a boomy low-end balanced with a keen sense of melody, resulting in a range of dancefloor bombs—from notorious edits of forgotten 1990s classics to futuristic, crystalline anthems.

Bicep are most easily bracketed under the house umbrella, but many of their tracks don’t adhere to the style’s typical 4/4 pulse. Instead, Bicep favor uptempo jungle breaks, bumping 808 electro and hip-hop beats, and grinding disco rhythms. Their eponymous debut album is a varied document drawing on the rich history and variety of UK dance music, updated with sleek, modern sounds, vibrant psychedelic textures, and impeccable production.

At every turn, the melodies on Bicep display a grandiose shimmer. Opener “Orca” floats on a sun-dappled pool; its fluttering chords feel weightless as the even kick drum meets a crunchy breakbeat, providing a propulsive churn. A barely-there voice fractures and spreads across the sonic field, giving “Orca” a sense of psychedelia that sets the tone for the rest of an album that bounces and flutters like a summery wind. The dewey synths on “Ayaya” hang in the air and cascade over one another, while the syncopated rhythms on “Ayr” glide like ice. Even with such an immediate sound, Bicep strive for awe-inspiring cinematics in their design, with subtle flourishes that wow as they draw a smile across your face.

The punchy highlight “Rain” recalls recent Four Tet singles, sneaking in a gorgeous Indian vocal beneath a sharp garage house beat, but Bicep enhance the formula with reverberant effects and a meticulously detailed mix. “Glue” offers a satisfying bit of smoked-out jungle, slowed to a more modest house tempo, but across its short four-and-a-half minutes, the track doesn’t transport listeners as convincingly as some of the jungle epics that inspire it. On “Vale,” Bicep veer into a more commercial lane, with washed out vocals and fuzzy bass connecting for a moody anthem in the vein of Disclosure. (It sounds like a deeper and more restrained update to their “You & Me” remix from 2013.)

Bicep’s expansive production and compact song-lengths often lack the transportive and hypnotic potential that the best dance music offers. But it succeeds as a lean and consciously paced album. The strength of Bicep, as DJs, is their intuitive ability to structure songs into digestible morsels—with steady builds, bridges, and breakdowns—and it reflects in their arrangements here. This debut offers a crystal-clear view into the grooves that have captivated Ferguson and McBriar as their DJ careers have launched them into the upper echelon of dance music: shimmering, dramatic melodies, barreling breaks, and booming kicks that ensure their tunes are as hard-hitting as they are fun.

1. Orca (04:33)
2. Glue (04:29)
3. Kites (06:26)
4. Vespa (01:26)
5. Ayaya (03:36)
6. Spring (06:54)
7. Drift (04:54)
8. Opal (04:31)
9. Rain (05:51)
10. Ayr (05:00)
11. Vale (04:57)
12. Aura (05:16)

No comments have been posted yet. Please feel free to comment first!

    Load more replies

    Join the conversation!

    Log in or Sign up
    to post a comment.