London-based, Belfast-born blogger, production and DJ duo Matt McBriar and Andy Ferguson need little by way of introduction. Their ‘Feel My Bicep’ blog is the go-to place for tastemakers world-wide for lost and forgotten disco/Chicago house/Detroit techno/Italo edits and everything in- between. On a production tip, they have released on such labels as Throne of Blood, Traveller Records, Mystery Meat and 2012 saw their critically acclaimed track $tripper get released on Love Fever hitting the top chart spots on Juno and selling out worldwide. Their remix track record has also been excellent with them stamping their distinguished sound upon works from Blondes, Toby Tobias, Disclosure, Blood Orange, Cosmic Kids and many more for labels such as Domino, Wolf Music and Tusk. Will Saul then snapped them up for his label Aus, with a collaborative EP includ- ing tracks You and Don’t which once again hit number one on Juno and caused the Beatport charts some bother. The Feel My Bicep label launched in September 2012 with the highly sought after Vision of Love. It received great press worldwide and once again sold out whilst hitting the top spot at the stores. Room hosts at Fabric, a residency at We Love in Ibiza and bookings at Manchester’s Warehouse Project then ensued, with 2012 ending very nicely for the duo who came in at 32 on the Resident Advisor Top 100 DJs Poll.
2013 saw Bicep tour globally: dates in North & South America, Australia, Asia and Dubai, in addition to an especially busy summer packed full of festivals. Between gigs, Bicep were hard at work in the studio and had a string of successful releases beginning with Stash on Aus, followed by a collaboration with production heavy hitters Simian Mobile Disco – the result being re- leased on SMD’s own Delicacies label as Sacrifice. The track proved to be another success and was undoubtedly the work of two duos at the top of their production games. After Sacrifice came the three-track release Satisfy, the second release on Feel My Bicep records. Like the first release on the Feel My Bicep label, FMB002 provided to be a huge hit, gaining radio and DJ support world- wide as well as selling out. Bicep also showed their ability to rework a track and they turned in two remixes of Aster – Cielo, on John Talabot’s Hivern Discs. On top of the music, Bicep released a limited-edition range of Feel My Bicep T-shirts for which the demand outstripped supply leading to them selling out very quickly. As the year drew to a close they embarked on an Australian tour over new year and rose up four places to 28 on Resident Advisor’s Top 100 DJs Poll.
In 2014 Bicep continued where they left off with another three-track EP released on Aus in May which leant more towards their techno side. They also contributed to Will Saul’s DJ Kicks compila- tion with their track Nova. This was then followed up with a remix for London-based party and label Tief. During this time the Feel My Bicep events grew stronger throughout the year hosting Todd Terje’s London album launch at Oval Space, an FMB event at London’s Corsica Studios and Ber- lin’s Panorama Bar; the latter a collaborative event with Frankfurt’s Robert Johnson. Feel My Bicep records had two main releases in 2014, the first (FMB003) being a remix 12” of their previ- ous track Satisfy. Both John Talabot and Brassica turned in brilliant remixes which then led onto the release of FMB004 – a four-track club 12” including Lyk Lyk, the Italo techno hybrid Poly Pineapple and two collaborations with their old blog contributor Hammer called Icebowl and Day 3. Around this time their Essential Mix aired on BBC Radio One and was shortlisted as one of four best essential mixes of 2015. They also had standout sets with their We Love Residency at Space in Ibiza and closing the Yuma tent at Coachella. At the end of 2014 they linked up with another Aus affiliate, Midland, and released a club 12” white label called D-Mil, gaining
plenty of support across the BBC and further afield.
In 2015 the relationship with Aus developed further with the four-track Just EP in May. The title track was voted by the BBC Essential Mix group as the best track of the year so far. It also became heavily rotated in the likes Jamie XX’s sets throughout the summer. The EP was closely followed by the announcement of Bicep becoming the new residents at London club XOYO, playing every Saturday night across the summer from July to September. They programmed guests such as Derick May, Andrew Weatherall and 30+ more across the thirteen-week series. Other Feel My Bicep 2015 parties include the first stateside one in March which took place in LA, and an Off So- nar party in Barcelona with DJ Harvey in conjunction again with Frankfurt’s Live At Robert John- son in June.
Back in the studio, FMB005 (Dahlia EP) was released in September. US label First Choice were reborn with a Bicep remix of Dyone – Only Love Can Set U-Free released in August and their edit of Dominica – Gotta Let You Go quickly became one of the most talked about tracks of the sum- mer, having debuted on their hometown Belfast Boiler Room for AVA Festival in May. The guys submitted a spattering of one off tracks for various compilations, including a track for Modeselektor’s closing 50 Weapons compilation called Closing Sequence, and Gerd Janson’s Musik For Autobahns Volume II out on Rush Hour named Carmine. Furthermore, a track named Malima was released on the Craigie Knowes charity compilation, raising money for War Child. At the close of 2015, Bicep placed 17th in the annual Resident Advisor DJ Poll and their track Just won both Mixmag and DJ Mag’s track of the year – as well as taking the top spot in the Best of British DJ Mag Poll, and being included in many other end of year round-up lists.
2016 has seen them work on their debut album as well as releasing remixes and more one off tracks. They remixed Isaac Tichauer with a track titled Higher Level as well as further mixes for Ian Pooley and Brassica. FMB006 also came in the form of a Bicep remix, with the duo taking on the classic Blaze track Lovelee Dae, A further Hammer collaboration for AUS Music’s 100th release, titled Aracari, was also put out in Summer 2016.
Another highlight of 2016 were the Bicep Remixes of 808 State’s classic track In Yer Face finally seeing the light of day on their own Feel My Bicep imprint (FMB007) 26 years after the originals release after receiving the 808 States seal of approval. They also went to sign the first artists to the label with ep’s from Sandboards (FMB008) and Brassica (FMB009).
2016 was also the year that saw Bicep develop a live show. This was debuted at Moogfest in the US before touring a handful of consciously picked clubs and festivals – Field Day in London, Ava Festival in Belfast and Sub Club in Glasgow. These early live shows were predominantly seen as a teaser before more live touring in 2017.