- 13 Nov 18
In ten years, Bicep have gone from music bloggers to techno-culture trailblazers bringing together elements of disco, acid house, Detroit techno, jungle and Italo-disco.
With their self-titled debut album, they broke into the UK Top 20, a remarkable feat for a techno/house offering. Authentic dance artists have long struggled to pierce that far into the mainstream, particularly without huge pop features many of Bicep’s contemporaries rely on.
The Belfast duo, who are childhood friends, made their name online before moving onto producing and DJing. They’ve since graduated to commanding festivals around the world as a headlining live act.
Those unfamiliar with house music tend to struggle differentiating a dance act to regular DJ’s at a local nightclub. What separates Andy Ferguson and Matt McBriar’s live performance from a DJ set is improvisation. On Friday night, songs were often far from the studio version.
Bringing trademark sledgehammering synths, The Olympia felt more like a clammy underground Berlin techno club, less like a plush 19th century music hall.
With a searing baseline and echoing vocal, show opener, ‘Orca’ hit right in the gut, leaving the millennial-infested crowd moving like a multi-headed fiend that shares a single brain. ‘Rain’ managed to amalgamate a triumphant Indian vocal with a killer garage house beat. Mere silhouettes standing amidst an impressive led backdrop, the twosome launched into the immediately distinguishable ‘Just’. ‘Opal’ managed to inflate the excitement in the room further incorporating components of dub.
The show ended with ‘Glue’ which includes a classic house beat and orbiting hook, a direct tip of the hat to 80s and 90s rave heydays. There isn’t a sound system in the world loud enough for the level this song should be played at and at this point you truly sense the sweaty youthful crowd’s wistful nostalgia, despite having never experienced this era.
Higher level Bicep remix
Unreleased collaboration with Simian mobile disco