Ever-irreverent, off-kilter monthly Love Bang turns 15 this month which brings two changes: a move from DADA to The Shelter and, secondly, the re-enlisting of London mutant-disco up-and-comers Bicep who add some ‘80s-indebted anologue house and retro-futurist Italo jams to the night’s reliably barmy sonic roster.
Love Bang loyalists will remember Bicep’s first visit three years ago. ‘I started reading their [classic house and disco-edit-mining blog feelmybicep.com], so I invited them to play the first ever party,’ says organiser Heatwolves. ‘I think a lot of people still remember them dropping Gary Glitter’s “Rock and Rock: Part Two" at peak time back in 2010,’ he says. ‘The crowd went mad.’
Three years on and Bicep are still a hot prospect and, despite this being a return visit, still bring something fresh to Shanghai’s nightlife scene, not least because DJs here rarely tout their sound and, if they do, it’s not really in a party setting.
While adherents of comatose techno and boys-club misery-step are well served, the longstanding trend for disco revisionism has generally overlooked Shanghai (Santo Chino aside) and, for the most part, its followers here have gone undernourished. Save for tonight, where acid-squelched classic house and the campest, Tiger & Woods-style gay-disco locks horns with ‘proper ‘80s funk bombs’ and sleazy underground house jackers.
No doubt, their sound has evolved since their last visit, especially in light of buzzed-about remixes of Cosmic Kid’s ‘Reginald’s Groove’, Blondes’ ‘Water’ and, most recently, self-produced track ‘$tripper’, which points to a heavier, bass-led sound.
'It seems like people have dug everything up, edited every hook worth touching and sampled every vocal that’s cool,’ says Matt, one half of the duo. ‘For us, we’re going pretty deep, and there’s a definite UK garage influence in what we’re releasing this year.’ So, can Glitter expect a reprieve? ‘It’s give and take,’ says Bicep number two Andy. ‘Part of our job is to educate the people that know the scene and the other half is to entertain the kids who just want to party.
Bicep play at The Shelter on Friday 9 March. See details and watch video with our event listing.