Yet another album so recent that the research gives me practically nothing to work with. So the duo Bicep formed in 2009 with a blog highlighting the forgotten tracks in a variety of different electronic styles; that is, Techno, House, Italo etc. After this, in 2012, music production began, but it was another 5 years before the release of an album. On the blog theme, at this rate, we should expect my first album in 2025.
The first thing to take from Bicep’s album of the same name is that we are listening to “deep house” (I’ve been informed this may be wrong) and a representation of the genre, however, not something that entirely forwards it. Indeed, after the first listen I found myself saying: “OK well that was a string of tracks but what did it do?” Basically, you should not expect pulsing climaxes or notable feature artists.
My review has to revolve around “sit back and enjoy” because this is one of the most difficult reviews I’ve had to write. That’s given the time I’ve had to let it exist, too… I’ve no lyrics or chord progression, foreign rhythms or themes to work with. It’s damn hard!
But this album can deliver. What do I mean by that? Well it’s a situation where a progression and evolution happens in sound. The tracks do follow each other… So I’ve spent half my review mincing my words and I could spend the other half doing so. (I will.) I will make an effort to somewhat breakdown.
Picture a night “””out””” (so many quotes necessary). Let’s forgo the drinks, the drugs (if you’re into that sort of thing), the dramas and such and pretend you’re at a club as a critic… Maybe we’ll get somewhere. Here is an album that knows how to push an pull you. Bicep is all about intra-track progression, just listen to Kites… this shows the pure and technical layout of a dance track. This is how these tracks should be… disappearing basses, playful percussion and so on and all with the meticulous eye of someone who (and it cannot be said enough) KNOWS WHAT THEY ARE DOING!
So we’ve got our writers and such … They know how to influence people’s dance floor behaviour – I’ve detailed that before! The intriguing thing about Bicep is that the tracks are self sustaining, in that they can be played as album but also can be separated. Actually, come on guys, this is fascinating. This is sort of your inverse Power Rangers idea, in that generally a group of tracks combine to make an album. But this is an album designed to be separated into a group of tracks… Not like you’d share a margherita pizza, but for how you would share a pizza with olives, anchovies, and capers. This album is not for the pizza fanatic but for the fanatic of that pizza who is interested in the olive ratio.
I’ve been selfish and laughable here. I’m scoring first… Then I’m going to muse over the tracks… It’s a backwards review but I hope that I make some sort of point… If not – well – I wasted some text.
Is this album for you?
Haha – maybe – if you’re into dance music. Not at all an entry point if not. Just – if you have an hour maybe give it a chance. No reallly… Try to see where I’m coming from. If you don’t want to, you’ll never like this!
- Writing: 7/10
- Performance: 9/10 (sorry, it really is!)
- Style: 7/10
Right – coda time – and here I get interested myself. Glasses up, fingers down.
Orca – Welcoming – we’ve done it before but it’s your entrance hall of a track. Firm display of the album style.
Glue – Shake up – Rhythm based and kind of reminds me of Minimal Techno. Actually – I really like this one
Kite – Incredibly Solid – this is a track as it should be for a club. Bravo
Vespa – Not really worth talking about. Transition track. Insight or the album but not the place to muse
Ayaya – Just fine for me – bordering on boring. Unless it were 3 am… that might be the right time
Spring – Oh hell – I know where this is going and it’s worth it. Probably a must listen.
Drift – Ah probably this feels like a part two but this represents a drift deeper into style. Maybe you should turn back ;). Oh unless you like Tangerine Dream… Then for God’s sake stay.
Opal – Technically good. Yes – technically good… actually the most competent track (maybe) so far, but a little boring again.
Rain – Oh now, HELLO!?… We’re getting big now – Let’s make tonight matter. Brilliant – just great.
Ayr – This is super different. The aim here is a broader, slower track than those before and it shows with the vocals. Another “must listen” but only if you’re into that sort of thing. I think I am…
Vale – Are Doves Crying? No. Oh. We’ve started in earnest. Oh that bass! Yes thank you. What a way to round out an album. We’ve done our functional tracks… Here’s our talent… and a great position…
Aura – Double down on the bass, that’s necessary to close us out. It’s an outro really but a fine one, and by that I mean a standard that you should listen to rather than a fluffy “standard”… I enjoyed this album… If this is your music, I’d like to talk more about it…. Casually. Hopefully soon but not definitely.