Fujiya & Miyagi
Schedule Winter Tour
Still steaming forward on success of Lightbulbs
By Blurt Staff
Imagine that Fujiya &
Miyagi are mask-wearing technicians dissecting music, keen to magnify
particles of sound to create a pulsing antidote to the ordinary. They speak
in tongues, using language as a rhythm, picking words that sound good,
rhyming ‘jigsaws’ with ‘carnivores’.
Their songs are incisive snapshots of real lives that make household
appliances sound threatening. They are steeped in vintage music from
evocative krautrock to deep soul, with wafts of early Human League synth,
Floydian Englishness and the throbbing groove of Tom Tom Club, all filtered
for modern times.
In total, Fujiya & Miyagi don’t really sound like anything. Instead, they
sound like everything condensed into perfectly arranged three minute chunks
of infectious pop music, a strange hybrid of James Brown on Valium and Wire
gone pop. Or maybe Serge Gainsbourg with a PhD in electronics backed by David
Byrne’s Eno-produced scratchy guitar mixed by MF Doom. It’s Darwinism gone
Formed in 2000 as an electronic duo of David Best (guitars and vocals) and
Steve Lewis (synths, beats, programming), they released Electro Karaoke In The Negative Style two years later, a minimal
electronic set it hangs eerily on Best’s distinctive whispered vocal. Adding
bass player Matt Hainsby in 2004, they released a series of ten inch EPs that
took them to the hearts of fanzineland. Gathered together these parables of
personal injury, both physical and mental, made up three quarters of the
well-received (Pitchfork, NME, MOJO, etc) album Transparent Things in 2006.
Named after a Nabokov brain dump on the relationship between the past and the
present. It sums them up.
A Regal seven-inch, “Uh”, further concentrated their sound. A set of
vocal ticks, a funky bass and a storyline about a relationship as prickly as
two porcupines, it made small talk sound sinister over an infectious groove.
It was the perfect set up for their second US Album, Light Bulbs – imagine 11 classic ideas clicking on above your
head, now with real drums in places, courtesy of Lee Adams, and the picture
Fujiya & Miyagi stay away from lyrical themes that have been done to
death. Using old synths to punctuate their beautifully-observed anecdotes on
romantic triumphs and disasters, heroes and villains and the world at large,
their rhythms palpitate to produce modern symphonies like no-one else. Light Bulbs is a journey littered with
fragmented images, anecdotes from the sublime to the ridiculous, blurry stories
that you feel you shouldn’t have overheard. Each track an aural contamination
set to itch your inner ear every waking moment.