‘BIG SCREENS AND GOOD SPEAKERS ARE RECOMMENDED’ was the all-caps recommendation that Bicep posted to social media forward of their second international stream on Friday evening. The present was filmed at London’s world-famous Saatchi Gallery after a three-month stint of rewrites on their Quantity Two album ‘Isles’, and it doesn’t take lengthy to see why the Irish dance duo – aka Andrew Ferguson and Matthew McBriar – need this audio-visual efficiency to be skilled in probably the most becoming manner potential.
Lockdown has proved that it may be troublesome for dance music to translate effectively throughout a display – as acts try and recreate the vitality of a rave for folks watching on a laptop computer, there’s all the time hazard of the consequence feeling flat and joyless. That’s definitely not the case for this 90-minute gig (plus a gap DJ set of home, acid and disco pumpers from their Really feel My Bicep label signee Hammer). As an alternative, Bicep’s intricate and emotive membership soundscapes transcend the realms of physicality.
Created with shut collaborators Black Field Echo, it’s clear a whole lot of thought has gone into the stream’s visible aesthetic. Earlier than we’re even transported to the gallery area, there’s fast VHS-style nostalgia because of neon strains that spell out BICEP LIVE as their synonymous brand rotates centre display. With the anticipation constructed, two shadows seem, each our bodies lit in infrared as they stand in entrance of a mountain of digital gear.
Whereas the gallery’s white partitions current a clean canvas, flashes of glitchy technicolour blocks and illusionist imagery quickly get the blood racing. It’s been filmed to make sure each potential digicam angle and display dimension is utilised; close-ups of palms twiddling synth pads has by no means seemed so compelling.
Using color provides to the character of their regularly constructing digital monuments, too. Throughout ‘Atlas’, the display flashes to black in time with the heartbeat-like drum, earlier than the kaleidoscopic creature that adorns the ‘Isles’ paintings wraps itself twists throughout its human inhabitants.
Simply whenever you assume it couldn’t get any extra technically spectacular, fan favorite ‘Opal’ comes with a shape-shifting double-take visible that’s made up of the Bicep boys manipulating their gear in actual time whereas the pumping depth of closing observe ‘Aura’ is matched by strobes that flash eerily throughout the gallery’s hallway and up its staircase.
The entire efficiency isn’t just extraordinarily revolutionary and boundary-pushing: it’s additionally the closest factor we’ve skilled to a correct rave all through a yr of lockdown. If Bicep carry this detailed degree of artistry via to their reside exhibits this September, the occasions can be nothing in need of game-changing for the digital music world.