BICEP is the electro Belfast-born, London-based duo of Matt McBriar and Andy Ferguson. Tow years after Rain EP, they have announced the release of a new album. Isles is out on January 22nd, 2021 via Ninja Tune and it features Julia Kent, machina and Clara La San. According to the press release, Two years in the making, “Isles” expands on the artful energy of their 2018 debut “Bicep”, while digging deeper into the sounds, experiences and emotions that have influenced their lives and work, from early days in Belfast to their move to London a decade ago.
“We have strong mixed emotions, connected to growing up on an island” they say, “wanting to leave, wanting to return”. “Isles” is, in part, a meditation on these contradictions, the struggle between the expansive and the introspective, isolation and euphoria. We already shared “Apricots“ and “Saku”; “Sundial” is a new excerpt.
Speaking of the track, the duo say: “This is probably one of the simplest tracks on the album, it grew from a faulty Jupiter 6 arp recording. Our trigger isn’t working properly and the arp skips notes randomly. This was a small segment taken from a recording of Andy just playing the arp live whilst we were just trying to figure out what was going wrong. We actually loved what it had produced and wrote some chords around it, guided by the feeling of this recording.”
According to the press release, The track contains a sample from ‘Jab Andhera Hota Hai’, taken from the 1973 Bollywood film Raja Rani, recorded by Asha Bhosle & Bhupinder Singh, and written by Anand Bakshi and R. D. Burman. “In regards to the sampling, Indian music has always fascinated us since the blog days, discovering it was the possible birthplace of Acid house via Charanjit Singh’s Ten Ragas to a disco beat. Living in East London, Indian influence and music is everywhere and over the past few years we’ve both become huge fans of Bollywood film scores, particularly the female soprano performances. The haunting melancholic epicness really strikes a chord with both of us. We feel we can relate to how similar it is to the Irish folk we grew up around from the likes of the Clannad.”