Posted in Album of the Month

February Album of the Month: Bicep – Bicep

Hype. I really struggle to buy albums that have hype around them. I don’t know why?Maybe because I have seen the mechanics of how albums get hyped, and I have grown to discount it now to being a load of rubbish. The issue is that at times there are albums that have deserved their hype growing through well-earned excitement, self-propelled by fans. Bicep’s debut album is a case and point of this; I fought it and massively then regretted it when I finally gave it a go. This album desserves the hype.

So where did the hype come from you ask? Well if you ask any of the cool kids they’ll tell you that ‘Bicep are the Irish production duo behind the most-excellent Feel My Bicep blog which has a reputation for blogging only the finest quality house, disco and techno.’ In-fact every article about them seems to start with that line. My line is this: ‘Bicep popped onto my radar a few years ago whilst playing the Space terrace in Ibiza. Ever since they seem to have kept on popping up every few months. Aside from the blog they make some really good music. They’re edit of Diminica’s ‘Gotta Let Go’ propelled them into every club in the summer of 2015 and the rest is history’. At this point I must admit this is when I stopped paying attention to them, too much hype.

I don’t want to delve too much into this album as I want you to discover it yourself. I will say that there are some massive ticks for me with their debut long player.

  1. It’s a dance album that takes you on a journey between laid back to head down in a dark corner stomping and does it well.
  2. It’s a dance album that is an actual album and not just a bunch of singles strapped together.
  3. Instead of releasing on a major label they have signed to Ninja Tune, which I think is pretty cool.

Sadly I don’t go clubbing anymore. I’m not sure if I even want to go to a club ever again. I do still like dance music and I think there is allot of great music being released. Dance music seems to have superseded four decades and with that four generations of new fans. If this is what clubbers are listening to at the moment a firmly tip my hat to them, this is good shit.

This was one of my (late) top picks for last year and I love it. I hope it ticks as many boxes for you as me. Enjoy brothers.

9 thoughts on “February Album of the Month: Bicep – Bicep

  1. So I’ve got this on as we speak. I think it will get a lot of air play with me as it’s almost totally instrumental which means I will have it on while I work a lot. I’m on my 3rd play through this AM. My initial response is that it is leaving me a little cold. It feels a little mechanical to me. Not saying I don’t like it as it is ticking boxes for me but it’s not yet emotionally connected. Perhaps this will come with familiarity?

  2. I really agree that it’s an actual album. Dance music can be a bit formulaic and when you get a band like Bicep that can clearly write really hooky tracks, things don’t necessarily translate to a long player, but this does. I think what also works – despite all the hype – is that it’s not just obvious 4-4 stuff that’s all dancefloor friendly. There’s a lot of rave influences in there. Glue nods back to stuff like Loose Caboose, and there’s real feeling to it, so it draws you in over a lot of listens. One mans’ Bicep is another man’s boring ‘tech’ house, but this is what I wanted it to be, despite coming to it from a ridiculously overhyped ‘buzz’, and therefore wanting to be sceptical. i’ve played a few of these on the radio and they sound great at a loud volume. Good work!

  3. I think about 80% of the music i listen to these days is instrumental. My two main times to listen to music are (i) while working (ii) chilling and reading in the evening – lyrics don’t work for either as my brain gets confused too easily! Perhaps when the kids are older and play more independently in their rooms I will get more listening time? Silvia’s there but Sammy is still a little space invader!

  4. Sorry brothers, been laid up with lurgy for a week, so only just getting up to speed. My early impressions are: THIS IS GREAT. Reminds me of the Coma album, which I also loved, which combines dance trickery with a proper sense of melody. But let me have a bit more time with it and I’ll do a proper write up.

  5. So… yes, it is a bit clinical, now I’ve had in on repeat. It hasn’t QUITE stuck with me. It’s great to run to, and it really reminds of late 80s/early 90s dance (808 State, LFO etc), which is so evocative to my ageing ears. But yeah, there are quite a few tracks that feel more electronic than organic, and I can’t quite hear the human input.

    Caribou is an interesting comparison – as is that Coma album I loved. Both those artists really have a warmth and humanity amongst the synths, samples and beats. Not sure this quite does that. But… I am really enjoying it, and I might well continue to run to it.

  6. I’ve really enjoyed this one, because – for just how Brother Joseph states – sometimes I struggle with non-instrumental stuff as I want something that’ll get me through the early mornings in the office or commutes home (when I’m not listening to podcasts). I’ve liked Bicep’s stuff quite a bit anyway, so this isn’t a big leap, but it’s really crisp, punchy production and I’ve played a load of the tracks on the radio too.

    This is modern music I don’t feel old listening to!

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