Sunday, November 29, 2009

Transparent Things - Fujiya & Miyagi
(#10, 2006)

Fujiya & Miyagi are not a duo, and they are just pretending to be Japanese. In reality, three or four British guys on some kind of electronica. But also playing out as a band, like live and everything! And sampling aspects of the giants of Krautrock for good measure.

"Ankle Injuries" from Transparent Things (2006)

Apparently, this was actually considered appropriate dance-club music somewhere at some time, which is weird but fine by me. It's upbeat, catchy, propulsive. If this was typical club music, I might actually go more often (ever). But it really makes me want to drive around rather than dance. That's from the motorik, because Fujiya & Miyagi are British, minimally fronting as Japanese, playing under the influence of Neu! and Can.

The rhythm for opener "Ankle Injuries" compares favorably with the opener from Neu! (1972). Then "Collarbone" adds a bit of Isleyesque guitar funk to the stew, and "Photocopier" some even more funky organ sounds (plus a middle-eight break straight from Pong). What all three have in common, though, is a modern, restrained, British version of Damo Suzuki's mumbly, breathy vocal style. The words are all there, written in crazy-meter verses, so the syntax and timing fit together all wrong. Things get even Krautier on the instrumental tracks...

"Conductor 71" from Transparent Things (2006)

I had to make videos for that one and "Cassettesingle," because apparently people only like good music with vocals. Who knew? Okay, back to the singing songs with the words... Title track "Transparent Things" gets super-deep about that reassuring feeling one gets from looking through plastic or whatever. And "In One Ear and Out the Other" serves up quite the groove as well as such chantable lines as "You've got to know your place on the food chain."

Because I think it's funny, I went ahead and got the Japanese import of the fake-Japanese band's cd. It has two Japan-only tracks, and here's the more interesting one:

"Electro Karaoke in the Negative Style" from Japanese cd

Lots of music covered here is unlikely to interest even the three people reading this. That's practically the whole self-defeating purpose of the Headspace. But I think Fujiya & Miyagi is for everyone but the most soul-wrecked among us. Otherwise:
"your little arms swing on monkeybars in search of applause,
like pixelated scraps of jazz mags in your head..."

Transparent Things
Official -
Myspace -
Purchase - Amazon
iTunes - Fujiya & Miyagi

Genre - Motorik Neo-Retro Electronica
Review - Stylus Magazine

By the way, the photo-copee-er hums Yellow Magic Orchestra. Also, F&M released Lightbulbs last year, but I haven't heard it yet.

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