Review: The Mesmerising Rhythmic Dream of ‘Saku’ by BICEP ft. Clara La San

Bicep ft. Clara La San| Saku (single) |Ninja Tune

Release Date: 17 November, 2020

‘Isles’ LP Release Date: 22 January 2020

As they’ve traversed the ins and outs of all facets of the electronic music world; finding inspiration in a plethora of genres and influences, Belfast-born now London-based electronic duo Bicep – made up of Matt McBriar and Andy Ferguson – never cease to disappoint with their eclectic, experimental approach. 

Over the past decade of their career, the duo have sculpted a rich, beautifully embossed name for themselves as some of the most beloved music curators and DJs, and more recently one of the most excitable acts to grace the electronic realm. Instantly recognisable in name and by the crystalline willingness that shimmers with the joy of experimentation, Bicep refuse to limit themselves to crafting their work in a set manner, allowing for a new experience for listeners as the duo venture into new territories.

In light of their upcoming album ‘Isles’, set for release on January 22nd, 2021 via Ninja Tune; the previous single released off the LP entitled ‘Apricots’ gave us a juicy taste of what’s to come. Following ‘Apricots’ comes their latest single ‘Saku’, which features vocalist Clara La San – her honeyed vocals taking the track to a whole new level with her highly unique sound.

We aim to pull influences from a broad range of inspiration when we write music, our tracks often go through many iterations and directions before we settle on the final ingredients.” explain Bicep. “‘Saku’ feels like a good example of a hybrid for us. We drew from IDM and Footwork via 90s R’n’B,  and it was amazing to work with Clara who totally gets that vibe. One of the early demos was 155 BPM and another actually used the vocal from ‘Apricots’ (before it became ‘Apricots’) pitched up. We also had a hang drum melody version but in the end we decided to keep Clara’s voice uncluttered.

A confident, rapid heartbeat glimmering with a rich hypnotic rhythmic opens ‘Saku’; segueing effortlessly into a swift, powerful dance as an airy stretch of Clara La San’s velveteen vocals glide gently over the compelling, clear-cut percussive animation.

As La San’s voice blossoms from harmonious vocal samples into lyrics drenched in a dreamlike, honeyed tone as the silken words of the songstress compliment the swift dynamism that Bicep have strongly incorporated into ‘Saku’; danceable, with a relatable and nostalgic feel within their signature experimentation. Moments of focus on the vocals add a mesmerising resonance that weaves delicately into the vigorous percussive repetition.

Layers of timbres and lavish atmospheric soundscapes add an aura of abundance to the track, engulfing listeners in an ethereal state – as the track reaches its crescendo with bright, vibrant synths flourishing in closing.

Pre Order Isles: Stream & Purchase Saku by Bicep
For more information follow Bicep on Facebook
Rating: 7.5 / 10

Feature Image: Dan Medhurst