Following up a first record which was both a critical and commercial success is a difficult job for any artist; normally the material which makes it up is stuff you’ve been carrying round in your head for years.
This was less of a problem for Matt McBriar and Andy Ferguson, who having formed Bicep whilst still in Belfast a decade ago moved to London in the early noughties and then spent the subsequent years releasing a stream of EP’s on various labels. The slow burn paid off, as their 2018 banger-heavy debut album melded several dance music factions expertly and two years later is still drifting upwards towards 100 million streams.
Promotion into the top flight of the producer/performer/DJ league alongside the likes of Disclosure was a deserved reward, but then the strobe lights went out, and Isles is dropping into a very different world. The pair have been wise enough to react, saving they’ve clandestinely built a tougher, warehouse-ready version of these tracks for the nights when pilgrims can get lost in them with each other again. On Atlas, Sundial and Saku it’s easy to imagine an ecstatic crowd into these places, whilst closer Hawk will please aesthetes who rarely leave their bedroom anyway.
You can read the full review here.