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
-produced scratchy guitar mixed by MF Doom
. It's Darwinism gone mad.
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 third album proper, Lightbulbs
– imagine 11 classic ideas clicking on above your head, now with real drums in places, courtesy of Lee Adams, and the picture is complete.
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.
-Win a Fujiya & Miyagi Prize Pack, featuring a T-shirt, CD, and $50 Gift Card!
US Fall Tour
Oct 22 2008 Mercury Lounge New York
Oct 23 2008 Webster Hall New York
Oct 24 2008 Paradise Boston
Oct 25 2008 Bottom Lounge Chicago
Oct 27 2008 Chop Suey Seattle
Oct 28 2008 The Independent San Francisco
Oct 30 2008 The Troubadour Los Angeles