This is Bicep's debut album, following up a bunch of 12" records, selling thousands of vinyl, generating millions of streams and being played by just about everyone. One of their 12' releases: "Just" earned this electrifying duo the title of Track of the Year and has been dropped by the likes of Jamie XX.
- Double LP £21.49
- Shipping cost: £4.25 ?
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- ZEN244 / Heavyweight vinyl, gatefold 2LP on Ninja Tune. Includes exclusive 12"x12" poster and features 1 of 4 different front cover designs (selected at random)
- Includes download code
- Only 3 copies left
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Bicep have been in the dance scene for some time, so their debut album has been a while in the making. Known for their Feelmybicep blog and the subsequent club nights and level of the same name the duo have been rinsing clubs across the globe with their own productions as well as dipping into their extensive collections.
This album takes something of a magpie approach to the music that they play. Applying Deep House, Italo, Break Beats, Disco, techno and more to their productions this is likely to find a place in many clubbers collections. The lead single - Aura is massive synth led anthem of a tune, it's the audio equivalent of lasers, strobes and whistles going off in your head - but far more pleasant than that may sound. Its likely that many will be familiar with it as I imagine it has soundtracked a fair few evenings this summer. It certainly follows their 2015 'Just EP' as one of those ubiquitous tunes that pops up everywhere without outstaying it's welcome.
However, the tracks that have really grabbed me on this album are the ones that step away from the 4/4 house sound. Highlight is 'Glue' which follows the likes of Alphonse's 'Smokey' and work of Francis Inferno Orchestra in updating the type of shuffling breakbeats that Future Sound Of London used work years ago. Glue comes over like a 2017 take on 'Papa New Guinea' (with a little less tribal noodling) and is a delight. 'Vale' again refers back to the sound of 90's dance floors and updates it - quite a neat trick considering the history of their new label to take a 90's sound and rinse it to make a very current tune. Opener 'Orca' even has suggestions of a slight summery psychedelia. A slight criticism is that their productions can be a little clipped and so lose the energy of their live sets, However they are far from the first 'dance' act to suffer from this.
On this basis it seems that Bicep have found a very suitable home for their productions. Ninja have long delivered a platform for music producers willing to spread their creative wings and a Good pigeonholes. I did expect a more straight forward 'dance' album, so to find a wider variety of sounds was welcome. This isn't an album that will define an era, however it is full of cracking times that will work on dance floors as well as headphones. At the end of the day of this is dance music that will make people dance it pretty much hits the brief, so if that sounds good to you feel their bicep...
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