Fujiya and Miyagi

Transparent Things | Deaf Dumb + Blind
By SUSANNA BOLLE  |  July 2, 2007
3.0 3.0 Stars
With Fujiya & Miyagi, things are not always as they seem. For starters, they’re neither Japanese nor a duo — they’re a trio from Brighton, England who take their name from a Japanese hi-fi manufacturer and the Pat Morita character from The Karate Kid. Their influences, however, are fully transparent: they wear their love of the chugging rhythms of krautrock, the angular funk of post-punk, and the sweet sounds of early-’90s electronica like musical badges of honor. Their second full-length finds them in fine form, combining half-whispered, slyly humorous lyrics and infectious grooves. “Ankle Injuries,” a sweetly dreamy reminiscence of an eight-year-old stumbling onto an eye-opening porn magazine, and the jittery, Talking Heads–inspired “Photocopier,” a stream-of-consciousness tale of daydreaming at work, could be too clever by half if singer David Best didn’t manage to sound at once cunning and sincere. There are only a few minor lulls (among them the snoozy US bonus track, “Reeboks in Heaven”) on this danceable disc.

Fujiya & Miyagi + Project Jenny, Project Jan | Middle East downstairs, 480 Mass Ave, Cambridge | July 9 | 617.864.EAST
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