Ninja Tune's in-house party squad Bicep make good on a slew of hot 'n' heavy 12"s for Throne Of Blood, Aus & of course their self-run Feel My Bicep imprint with an album packed to the brim with the trademark FMB deep house and NY/LDN garage via Belfast house and techno styles.
While some may approach Bicep's debut long player with apprehensions that "techno DJs can't make albums", within minutes Bicep turn these ideas upside down. Using the extra playtime available to look deep into the gaps between the kick drums that have made them such an in-demand production duo, they explore these fleeting moments of reflection to craft some others that are more kosmiche than cosmic. This approach has helped them to create an album in the proper meaning, one that hangs together with a tight flow yet exceeds the traps that many other artists in their field have fallen into (aka nine bangers and one or two ambient track for variety).
Comparatively, we'd say Bicep runs in the same circles as DJ Sprinkles' seminal Midtown 120 Blues masterpiece. Like Sprinkles, Bicep, have plenty of deep 'n' heady tracks that will be sure to find the ways into the digital crates of many deejays, yet really elevating the in-between pieces that add a good wedge of variety within Bicep's extended twelve tracks.
By melting the formula of garage and house down then rebuilding it up in fresh, tantalizing ways, Bicep is an album that will entice as well as satisfy those who have followed the duo since they first appeared on the scene in 2010, while making good to the hardcore Ninja heads who may initially be confused at the appearance of Bicep on the imprint's roster. As far as we are concerned, this romance of Ninja and Bicep has brought the best of both artist and label together to form what amounts to be a really good electronic dancefloor album, its strength really lying in the powerful delivery they bring, transforming each track into strong new shapes, destined to be thrown down on any dancefloor they are set upon.