Deriving their name from the Fujiya brand of record players and the famous character Mr. Miyagi from The Karate Kid, the Brighton, UK-based indie act Fujiya & Miyagi, currently comprised of founding members David Best (vocals, guitar) and Stephen Lewis (synths, vocals), along with Ed Chivers (drums), Ben Adamo (bass, vocals) and Ben Farestuedt (bass, vocals) formed in 2000, and since their formation they’ve released a handful of EPs, including a 2016 triptych of EP releases that were designed to all slot into one record sleeve and seven full-length albums — 2002’s Electro Karaoke in the Negative Style, 2006’s Transparent Things, 2008’s Lightbulbs, 2011’s Ventriloquizing, 2014’s Artificial Sweeteners, 2017’s self-titled and Different Blades from the Same Pair of Scissors.
The first few years after their formation were spent in relative obscurity; however, their profile began to expand between 2003 and 2006 as they received praise from NME and Pitchfork. Adding to a growing profile during that period, the British act were featured in an episode of MTV2′s documentary series This is Our Music, while “Uh” was featured in an episode of Breaking Bad and an episode of the British sci-fi series Misfits. “Collarbone” was featured on an episode of the American adaptation of British teen drama Skins while “Vagaries of Fashion” was featured on an episode of How To Get Away With Murder.
Interestingly, the members of the Fuyija & Miyagi decided that it was time to revisit their breakthrough 2006 effort Transparent Things and re-issue it on vinyl. As the band’s David Best explains in press notes, “We’ve always regretted not putting it out on vinyl, so over ten years later, it seemed like a good opportunity to correct that. We have explored different ways of making music since its initial release but it remains the album that defines our aesthetic in many ways.” Taking its name from Vladimir Nabokov’s Transparent Things, the album is actually a compilation of their previous standalone singles into one thorough collection — and in a critical sense, the album was part of its zeitgeist while simultaneously looking a bit deeper and further, as the album’s material nodded at krautrock but was also incredibly dance floor friendly. The band will be on a Stateside tour to celebrate the vinyl reissue of Transparent Things that will include a March 31, 2018 stop at Elsewhere.
In the meantime, the British act has released a strutting and funky new single “Subliminal Cuts” that was reportedly inspired by Columbo — and sonically, the track nods at classic disco and LCD Soundsystem-era dance punk as shimmering and arpeggiated synths are paired with a sinuous bass line and some of the most infectious hooks I’ve heard this year; but underneath the self-assured swagger expected of old pros, who know what they’re doing is a sly, self-aware sense of humor paired with an intriguing sense of mystery.
Fri 30th Mar Philadelphia PA Johnny Brenda’s
Sat 31st Mar New York NY Elsewhere
Sun 1st April Washington DC U Street Music Hall
Tue 3rd April Chicago IL Lincoln Music Hall
Wed 4th Apr Seattle WA Chop Suey
Thu 5th Apr Oakland CA New Parish
Fri 6th Apr Los Angeles CA Union (Jewels)