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BICEP

Back in stock Cover of Dahlia EP by Bicep & Hammer.
Bicep make a return to their own Feel My Bicep imprint in the wake of their lauded AUS Music anthem ‘Just’ and their remix of Dyone on First Choice Records. Having released a series of sought after 12”s on FMB the London based duo continue to prosper and make a solo return home with their ‘Dahlia’ EP teaming up with school friend, gym buddy and blog partner Hammer aka Rory Hamilton.

Having began as erudite record collectors and now an inimitable production force, the Belfast born Andrew Ferguson and Matthew McBriar have built a signature sound through an arsenal of hardware and a penchant for skippy rhythms and heartfelt synths. For FMB005, the pair deliver three new house jams that fans, both old and new will relish: a package of potent analogue drums and sequences that are coloured with a signature degree of swooning melodicism.

The title track kicks things off with a mournful panned pad that lays the foundations for whetted percussion and a buoyant thud. Hats continue to scurry ahead of rapturous piano stabs that build towards a heart­rending chord and vocal combo. ‘Rays’, inspired by early morning sets at Panorama Bar, sets a bass pattern tumbling under a crunching percussive loop and dramatic, reverberated synth stabs. Dreamy vocal chops build momentum behind a minor­key shift that signals another rousing breakdown before ‘Seagulls’ then sets shuffling snare rhythms over whistling synths and a rich, filtered bass pattern.


Back in stock Cover of Lovelee Day - Bicep Remixes by Blaze.
Feel My Bicep makes a strong return, a year since "Dahilia", released back in 2015. The ambitious new release sees a reimagining of Blaze’s seminal recording "Lovelee Dae" - originally released on Classic back in 1997, before a string of subsequent re-issues and remix packages on Playhouse, True and Urban Tracks that included Carl Craig and 20:20 Vision. The remix was originally designed to be included in their Essential Mix in 2014, but a lack of space has meant that its pressing on FMB is the first time it sees the light of day. Using Ralph Lawson and Carl Finlow’s classic aforementioned acapella version as the basis of their work, the Bicep lads ensnare an air of swooning euphoria while techno-energy drums and fat speaker testing sounds converge on the kinetic mix. Shortened vocals suffuse galloping 909s and a gleaming synth riff that certify it as a festival fail safe or perfectly for those sweaty sessions at the Warehouse Project. Comes with a handy dub for the heads down crew! Recommended.

STAFF COMMENTS

Matt says: Big phat mainroom business here from the Bicep boys, reimagining Blaze's classic 'Lovelee Day' as a euphoric, rushing techno masterpiece. Hands in the air peaktime paradise.

808 State

In Yer Face - Bicep Remixes

    Bicep continue to bolster their Feel My Bicep imprint and follow up their recent remix of Blaze’s ‘Lovelee Dae’ with another reimagined classic. With this - the seventh addition to the catalogue, the Irish duo pay homage to another equally seminal recording as they rework ‘In Yer Face’ by 808 State. Originally released via ZTT on the group’s third studio album ‘Ex:el’ in 1991 - ‘In Yer Face’ reached number 9 in the UK singles chart. Engineered by Graham Massey, the original mix is model 808 State - bold, Northern House Music that captures perfectly the zeitgeist of 90’s Rave culture. Now - 25 years have past and on request from 808 State themselves, Bicep reimagine ‘In Yer Face’ breathing fresh air through the original, re-contextualising it and adding in their own signature sense of warming euphoria. 

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Barry says:

    Bicep

    Opal - Four Tet Remix

    Big release on Ninja Tune with two of dance music's biggest stars on one twelve inch! Kieran Hebden is the more seasoned veteran while Bicep, though certainly not new to this game, could be regarded as the new kid on the block in the premier league of touring electronic acts. Credentials aside, both are known to rock the big stages down to their core so it's lovely to see Four Tet getting to grips with one of their more recent smashers. The Belfast duo's original consists of this hi-tek synth line, programmed to within an inch of its live then let loose across this skitty UKG-informed beat. It's already got nods to the Hebden's Text label and is a perfect slice of specialist, stadium-unifying greatness.

    Enter Four Tet who ditches the syncopated garage beat for a straight up house romp (although the dusty hat sound remains, and seems a favourite of both producers). The weaving, serpentine synth lick continues its offensive as the London producer adds ethereal wind chimes, growling sfx and twinkling arps. Sympathetic to the original but adding a different flavour and mood, it's a brilliant excursion by this dance legend.

    On the flip we get another Bicep OG, "Helix" in unadulterated form. Another sophisticated, techno-learning number with intricate modular melodies colliding with crisp drums and moody pads; a late night / early morning time affair when no one wants to open the curtains and the mind wanders into abstract realms... 


    STAFF COMMENTS

    Sil says: Big things can happen when two heavyweight champs go tete a tete. Sometimes not. However, here beautiful things occurred in the studio and I can postulate that Four Tet has transformed an already beast of a tune onto an absolute killer hipster friendly for the rave conscious heads. Expect the usual groovy, cushy house beats with keys a-la-trance or a la proggy-house. Fellas around me can give you the look for liking a progressive house tune. I am not one of those. I am different! I do not mind a good dose of it if it is of the quality that Kieran has given us this time. The guy is still cutting it. Joyous, melodic, with its well crafted climaxes... you know how this man does it. Get it now!

    Feel My Bicep’s first release of 2018 sees the return of Hammer for his first solo outing on the club-friendly imprint. Having collaborated with Bicep on ‘Dahlia’ back in 2015 - a glistening EP that soared through myriad clubs into the wantlists of many-a-fervid Discogs user - Hammer is now granted space to stretch his legs and does so across 3 galactic tracks. "C-Space", "Atlantic 252" and "Inside Soul" all play with rich, sweeping chords, 80s synth lines and sharp analogue drums - a blend that lends them perfectly to the Feel My Bicep catalogue. If you dug on Hammer's Bicep collaborations or the huge "Love Somebody" on Hammer Hits, you'll buzz off this one.

    Bicep return to their own Feel My Bicep imprint with a floor melting four tracker on one heavyweight slab, packaged in a sweet debossed sleeve. First up is the 'ardcore sampling "Lyk Lyk", a playful festival tune which pays its dues to early rave and breaks, taking you back to a simpler time of hastily assembled sound systems and countryside raves. The skipping rhythms (with the obligatory "whoop") play home to chip set synths and bubbling basslines. This is followed with the direct speaker assault of "Poly Pineapple", spawned out of the Belfast boys’ love of fuzzy Italo disco and techno. The sprawling sequences and urgent hats ramp up the intensity as the track's crescendo explodes into a sparkling climax. On the flip they collaborate with long term school friend and blog partner Rory Hamilton (aka Hammer) for the first time ever! "Ice Bowl" takes the B1 with broken drum patterns and melancholic chord progressions, reimagining Bmore freestyle through the futuristic gloom of capitalism. Last but not least "Day 3" fires the tempo back up as the crew summon the dawn with euphoric pads and driving percussion.

    Bicep - the Belfast-born, London-based duo of Matt McBriar and Andy Ferguson are mainstays in the current dance music climate. Fresh off the back of groundbreaking live performances across the globe (notably Dekmantel but also here at MCR's Parklife) they now present their debut album - as it its taken them this long! First coming onto our radar in 2010, the pair have come a long way since the initial 'NY house revival' that set their careers alight after running a tastemaking blog - Feel My Bicep. The perfect summation of the duo’s career to date - "Bicep" is a sonic tour of their history touching the cornerstones of underground club culture. Matt and Andy have pulled off the rarest of feats, to make a singularly unique electronic record founded on the blueprint of classic house, techno, electro and Italo disco, but flipped and morphed into a fresh design bearing the unique Bicep sonic signature. It’s a perfectly succinct album: loose, raw and energetic enough for the dancefloor, yet refined, artfully composed and contemplative enough for home listening.



    FORMAT INFORMATION

    2xLtd LP Info: Debut album from Bicep on double heavyweight 180g black vinyl in a gatefold wallet with printed inners. Includes download code and 1 of 4 different front cover designs (selected at random).


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