The Sound Islands of the Biceps | Deaf ear

The Sound Islands of the Biceps |  Deaf ear

Within ten years, the North Irish duo of Bicep had found a place at the forefront of the world electronics scene. After listening to their second album, IslandsThe two childhood friends behind the group, Andrew Ferguson and Matthew McBrier, will no doubt mark the next decade of English music.

From blogger-commentators to artist-composers

Before the biceps started, Andrew Ferguson and Matthew McBrier met at the age of eight on a rugby pitch. Leaving the sports grounds for the dance floors, they found themselves clubbing together at Shine in Belfast when they were 16 years old. In 2008, they started a music blog,, where they shared the results of their excavations. Curious and greedy, they explore many angles of electronic music. Within a few years, they are learning to blend, start production and launch their own label Feel my limbs, And then develop live on synths and machines for a world tour after the release of their first studio album in 2017.

The duo released their second studio album eleven years after their first releases Islands, Already has an air of submission. Like the first one, it must be said that the highly respected Ninja Tune label has been published. He has long and skillfully played on social networks and through the release of singles and hosting an audiovisual livestream event last September. In a promotional interview with Ninja Tune, Andrew and Matthew explain that their inability to perform publicly over the past year has prompted them to become more proactive in dealing with an album release, communication, or the visual size of the cover. Their live.

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Sample the world

An important part of this communication was to reveal samples used in the songs that were released as singles and to comment on a page of their website. Israeli song in “Atlas”, Bulgarian songs, traditional Malawian music in “Apricot”, Indian music in “Sundial”, for these two careless diggers, they vibrate a new way of sharing sounds. Founded in London for ten years, they immersed themselves in the rich English electronic scene and noted the musical diversity of this city-world. They are their “ The joy of discovering Hindi mantras echoes from the distant roof, grabbing the snoopers of Bulgarian choirs from a passing car and throwing Shasham into a kebab in hopes of recognizing a Turkish pop song. .

In the ears of the whole world, the two musicians copied in their production. ” Culture du excavation They are associated with old school hip-hop and its sample art. ” In our last album, there were a lot of songs that started from a sample we found or an old record, in which we wanted to recreate the atmosphere or use a part of it Says Andrew.

No sound is an island

The music of the biceps is transmitted, because thanks to her sample training, she makes the voices of the world heard. From the first notesIslands In the song “Atlas”, the Israeli singer Ofra Hasa Inviting to travel. Their island youth describe this exposure to the world in the opinion of two interested parties. ” In Ireland, to go, you have to book a plane ticket six months in advance, you are stuck. So you start dreaming about other parts of the world. That’s why we showed so much passion in searching for music at a young age. It felt weird, we felt like we were traveling Matthew testifies.

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The title of this new album Islands Moreover, it refers to continuous insulators, first in Ireland and then in Great Britain. Both of these experiences built their voice identity in their opinion. ” The two islands and their influence. Ireland is more techno, trans, melodic and more suitable. Irish love intense music. In London, it’s deeper, with woods, garages, deep ha, s and jazz. Influenced from all over the world. Our style, our approach to music, has directly influenced these two different places, having lived on the islands all our lives. Matthew explains.

Universal electronic music

This mix of multiple influences helps Bisep’s music to resist strict classification. The first two parts of 2010 are similar to Progressive Home. But as their sound paw became more sophisticated, it became more complex. In this second album, as before, their universe is inevitably created, especially thanks to the sound, progressive trance of the 90s, this amazing legacy (shared by YouTube channels today Trans classics Or 2 Transcentral) Symphonic intensity persists compared to BPM competition.

However, beyond the tone and the jumping layers, we find ourselves paying close attention Islands Hunted by the English sound design, the hard work of the textures of the superposition of the elements. This rhythm, inherited from the UK garage and jungle scenes, never beats the bar regularly, it syncs, is transient, goes into the background of the synths, and completely disappears even in a song like “Lido”, which is reminiscent of the ninja tune label of beauties Bonabo Hour.

If the songs on this album can be danced to, they really aren’t Club. Their intensity is elsewhere. Matthew says they were inspired by the rock band Tool And his polyrhythm art It creates an unpredictable look in music, from calm to insane “In fact, the music of Bicep, the celestial and legendary symphony of synths and vocals, is hung by its drama, which evokes in us pure emotions. Matthew attributed it to Irish music and their Celtic culture.” Cathartic style of songs, extravagant, dreamy, depressing or spiritual “.These sounds of the world bring an attractive, spiritual, humane and universal dimension to the synthesizers and other analog drum machines of the biceps.

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The two are planning a world tour as soon as the health crisis is over. There is no doubt that they carry a lot of weapons at festivals.

Photo above: Bicep © Sam Mulvi

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