Release Date: Sep 1, 2017
Record label: Ninja Tune
Sometime last year, Bicep started playing a track that got fans excited. Before it had a name or a release date, the song was simply known as "Unreleased Bicep," with numerous video snippets that had thousands of views. It turned out to be "Aura," the first single and closing track from the Northern Irish duo's self-titled debut album. Even now, "Aura" sounds massive: theatrical bassline, sweeping synth strings and an over-the-top melody designed for sunrise DJ sets.
Back in June, Bicep announced their upcoming debut album, alongside the lead single 'Aura'. Any listener and fan would have been forgiven for having high expectations; not only is 'Aura' a work of art, but the Belfast-born, London-based duo of Matt McBriar and Andy Ferguson have a reputation for being high-energy, unpredictable artists, who can ignite crowds of thousands throughout the world. But if listeners hoped for an album filled with club-friendly, up-lifting tracks, in the same vein as Aura they.
Who do you trust to introduce you to new music? Maybe a friend, an older sibling or another family member. Perhaps you look to your favourite band or artist to act as your musical guide. Since 2008, many dance music fans have counted on the curatorship of Belfast-born duo Matt McBriar and Andy Ferguson, a.k.a, Bicep. Since starting their blog, FeelMyBicep.com, the duo have become renowned for their passion and profound understanding of electronic music as they have stewarded others, distilling the finest parts of dance music, both through their blog, and genre-defying, electric DJ sets.
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.
Belfast duo Bicep have touched on many aspects of dance history as bloggers, re-editors and, of course, as global DJs. For much of their debut album, though, they.
If at some point over the past decade you found yourself scrolling through the pages of Feel My Bicep, the infamous dance music blog ran by Irish DJ duo Andy Ferguson and Matt McBriar, you're probably aware of how much they love and appreciate dance music and rave culture. Featuring tracks, mixes, and edits that touch on a wide range of styles from Detroit techno and house to jungle and disco, it showcased their passion for crate digging and for connecting with equally passionate dance music fans. That passion and extensive knowledge carried over into their eventual DJing gigs as Bicep as well as the original cuts they began turning out a few years ago.
A fter months of shaky-cam YouTube uploads from fans capturing unreleased material, paired with the kind of feverish rapture that usually accompanies UFO sightings, Belfast deep house duo Bicep finally release their debut LP, and it fitfully lives up to expectations. Built with the rounded corners of analogue gear rather than the planed-off shards of digital, the aesthetic is of vintage techno, both breakbeat and ambient (their nostalgia is unlined by Vespa, an interlude with impressionistic raver vox pops). Their fiendish melodic coherence is sometimes riveting, particularly on the the Caribou-esque rushes of Opal or adrenal spikes of Aura .
Since their first release, ‘Darwin’, in 2010 and its layering of infectious melody over buzzing synths and danceable rhythm, duo Matt McBriar and Andy Ferguson have amassed a reverential following. It was their releases on Will Saul’s Aus label – 2013’s ‘Stash’, 2014’s ‘Circles’, and 2015’s ‘Just’ EPs – that catapulted them to the forefront of dancefloor consciousness. The eponymous title track of the ‘Just’ EP became Mixmag’s Track of the Year, owing to its minimal drum programming, top-line synth melodies, and emotive build without capitulating to blatant crescendo.