If you want finger-licking synth riffs, shimmering guitar strums, warm thumping basslines and strings so floaty they’ll send you to the clouds, add the single “84” by Nick Reach Up and Bad Bikini to your wish-list. A fitting dancefloor-fueled soundtrack for our current seasonal Nu-Disco segue (and all scenarios thereafter), its unapologetic positive sheen, flighty-yet-weighty groove-craft and timeless sense of honest disco-house fun are the perfect sonic complement as we hurtle through 2019 in earnest. These two are a damn fine tonic for the groove maniac.
And so they should be: Nick Reach Up is the man behind the XL Recordings, Positiva and Incentive Music – Nick signed artists as diverse and successful as The Prodigy, Reel 2 Real, Barbara Tucker, The Bucketheads and Joey Negro. He remains a successful artist manager to this day, and when not doing that, he co-runs the Reach Up brand which works prestigious residences and festivals from London to Ibiza.
Dominic Owen is the man behind Bad Bikini. The producer and record label owner has worked across multiple genres and styles of music throughout his career, from Hip Hop heavyweights The Notorious B.I.G, Lil Kim, Rakim and Jay Z to collaborations with Julian Marley, Black Grape and Inspiral Carpets, with his band The Love Theme.
On “84”, Nick Reach Up and Bad Bikini cook up a phat jam loaded with soul, funk and disco motifs. Delivering brick-thick kicks and resonating basslines they set the foundations for a new musical chapter in the process. There’s a sense of urgent wonder that drives this unique, eclectic and undeniably accessible song.
It’s something also apparent in the collab duo’s back catalogs, which are known for captivating audiences with instrumental sagas, high-energy percussion and soulful grooves that make it nearly impossible to stand still. Nick Reach Up and Bad Bikini both show off a retro-futurist fetish, able to twist synths to their own wills and desires.
“84” is a finely balanced collaboration. Its fizzy, effervescent beat will sweep you off your feet and onto the dance floor with sweeping strings that blow through your hair like a cool breeze. Whilst many of the other producers from the nascent days of the scene have fallen by the wayside Nick Reach Up and Bad Bikini (aka Dominic Owen), continue to flourish and inspire with a stream of brilliant music flowing regularly from their studios.
Nick Reach Up and Bad Bikini take everything we loved from the 70’s and 80’s and polishes it to an ultra-high sheen on “84”. And in an age when rough and raw production is seen as an easy shorthand for authenticity, these two produce music that reflects the glamour, glitz and groove of a bygone era, artfully updated for the 21st century.
The obsession with sonic fidelity shines through “84”. The mastering done here is simply outstanding. Absolutely pristine dynamics and very clear sound overall. Deep bass and crisp highs, which are perfect for the nuances of this genre of music. Nick Reach Up and Bad Bikini produce reference quality stuff here.