Bicep have shared the trippy visuals to accompany their most recent single, ‘Saku’, which features vocalist Clara La San.
The Belfast-born, London-based dance duo are gearing up to release their second studio album, Isles, shared on January 22nd through Ninja Tune. The record is the follow-up to their acclaimed 2017 eponymous debut which elevated their status to the UK dance scene’s upper echelons. The title of the record deals with growing up in Northern Ireland and the strangeness of growing up in such a divided place. Members Andy Ferguson and Matt McBriar come from different cultural backgrounds but bonded through a love of rave culture.
“We’re not religious, but we’re both from different religious backgrounds,” McBriar previously said about the influence Ireland had on the record. “There was always a lot of interest in us talking about those issues, but we always felt that one of the things we loved about dance music was that freedom it gave you to be released from talking about those things.”
Speaking on the song, Bicep commented: “‘Saku’ began as a 150 BPM footwork inspired track which actually had a hang drum melody. We were looking at lots of polyrhythms and more interesting drum programming. We ended up slowing the tempo down to around 130 BPM which totally flipped the vibe for us and then experimented with many different vocals samples including ‘Gebede-gebede Ulendo Wasabwera’ which ended up becoming ‘Apricots’.”
They then added: “We’d been working with Clara La San on a number of demos and sent her a super stripped back version of the ‘Saku’ drums and bass elements which she built upon, bringing a strong 90s UKG / R’n’b vibe, which we’d been working at on some of the other demos. In addition to this we flipped it again with some haunting synths at the end, trying to really bring contrast and opposing dark and light elements to the track. We always try to pull together a real hybrid of our influences, it was great for us to get so many directions into this track.”