Bicep have released the official video for recent single “Saku”, Directed by David Bertram of Diplomats. The single—featuring vocals from Clara La San—was released in November The single is accompanied, with news of Bicep’s forthcoming global livestream, set to take place on 26th February, and broadcast from London’s Saatchi Gallery. The duo’s forthcoming release Isles drops on January 22, via Ninja Tune.
“‘Saku’ began as a 150 BPM footwork inspired track which actually had a hang drum melody. We were looking at lots of polyrhythms and more interesting drum programming. We ended up slowing the tempo down to around 130 BPM which totally flipped the vibe for us and then experimented with many different vocals samples including “Gebede-gebede Ulendo Wasabwera” which ended up becoming “Apricots.””
“We’d been working with Clara La San on a number of demos and sent her a super stripped back version of the ‘Saku’ drums and bass elements which she built upon, bringing a strong 90s UKG / R’n’b vibe, which we’d been working at on some of the other demos. In addition to this we flipped it again with some haunting synths at the end, trying to really bring contrast and opposing dark and light elements to the track. We always try to pull together a real hybrid of our influences, it was great for us to get so many directions into this track.” — Bicep
“When I received Bicep’s song, Saku, I was struck by two things. The first was the contrast between this sense of urgency conveyed by the beat and the tempo, and the dreamlike floating voices and synths. There’s a very interesting paradox in this song, which is an excellent starting point for a filmmaker. The second is this continuous tone that lasts throughout the whole track, held by the background voice that can be heard behind the instruments.
The latter immediately led me to a desire for continuous movement, like a train on rails, a line that never stops moving forward. That’s how I came up with the idea of a single take. The rather dark and minor chords of the track naturally took me to a psychological playground, a territory I particularly like and which I have been exploring regularly in my work since my first music video (Data – Don’t Sing).
Having a music video take on an intimate story was appealing to me. The female voice of Clara La San naturally led me to tell the story of a girl. A father-daughter relationship, a story about teenagehood and emancipation, and the guilt it engenders. My wish was to visually symbolise this guilt, as a real trap: the girl can’t manage to leave her doorstep, until her father saves her by understanding her mindset, bringing us to a resolution that we all wanted, deep and moving.” — David Bertram