Taking their inspiration and distinct imagery from the iconic 1977 docudrama Pumping Iron (featuring a very young and pumped Arnold Schwarzenegger), Bicep is the musical brainchild of Belfast-raised duo Andy Ferguson and Matt McBriar. DJ'ing and collecting vinyl since their late teens, the pair's love of disco, Chicago house, Detroit techno, Italo-disco, and everything analog in between inspired them to create a music-based blog titled Feel My Bicep. Acting as an outlet for the duo's eclectic and esoteric dance music tastes, as well as showcasing personal mixes and re-edits, they moved to London and began DJ'ing around the capital. As the website grew in stature and reputation (it featured guest mixes from Simian Mobile Disco, Ben Sun, and Ooft, among many others), they began to hone their own production skills, resulting in their first 12" release on Citizen Kane's Ghost Town label (a re-edit called "Strawberry," issued in 2009).
It was their 2010 12", "Darwin," on the Rapture's co-owned label Throne of Blood that got them wider recognition. With the early support of Beats in Space host and DFA cohort Tim Sweeney, it topped the Boomkat chart and became XLR8R's most downloaded track of 2010. Bicep also released 313 on Traveller Records. This led to worldwide DJ gigs, another release on Throne of Blood -- the Silk EP -- and more remix opportunities in 2011, with the likes of Blood Orange, Tal M. Klein, Medlar, and Cosmic Kids all getting the Bicep treatment. During this same year, they started a monthly residency at Plastic People in East London. In 2012, the pair focused their affection for '90s-produced New Jersey house music on their vinyl-only 12" "$tripper" on Love Fever Records and provided well-received remixes for Blondes and Chamboche.
During the latter part of 2012, Bicep collaborated with Ejeca and Omar Odyssey for the You/Don't EP on Will Saul and Fink's Aus Records, and formed their own label, which shared the name of their blog, Feel My Bicep. The label's first release, the duo's "Vision of Love," became a club hit, and was remixed by Detroit legend Carl Craig and released as a 12" by Kevin Saunderson's KMS label. The duo also collaborated with Simian Mobile Disco for 2013's "Sacrifice," released by SMD's Delicacies imprint.
Bicep continued releasing club smashes, including "Satisfy," "D-Mil" (with Midland), and especially "Just," which was named 2015's track of the year by Mixmag and DJ Mag. They took their Feel My Bicep parties to clubs and festivals across the globe, and began performing live concerts in addition to DJ gigs, attracting huge crowds for both. In 2017, Bicep signed to Ninja Tune and geared up for the release of their long-awaited debut full-length. Simply titled Bicep, it was preceded by the singles "Glue" and "Aura," and arrived in September. ~ Aneet Nijjar
- Belfast, Northern Ireland