Back in the early 2000’s I had a job where I was driving a lot. I had an iPod but sometimes it wasn’t charged or I wanted to hear something else, so I would tune in to 88.5 KURE, the college radio station for Iowa State. One of the few things I’ve carried with me from that time in Iowa was that city’s love for outsider art and different kinds of music. It introduced me to stuff from Of Montreal, John Vanderslice, and of course Fujiya & Miyagi.
I don’t remember what song it was that they played, but I’d usually hear it on my drive into work in the morning and it would be stuck in my head all day. Eventually I downloaded Electro Karaoke In The Negative Style so I could hear the rest, and surprisingly I enjoyed it. I wasn’t a big fan of electronic music (still not really a fan), but there was something to this that I liked. It was a gateway that led to some other albums I never would’ve expected to like-Mirrored by Battles was a big one. I had seen Liars open for Yeah Yeah Yeahs a Little before I heard Fujiya & Miyagi, so I went back and tried them again as well.
One of the things I like about Fujiya & Miyagi is that they seem to work at whatever pace they want. Every few years a new record will come out and it’s like a nice surprise. They’re not one of those groups constantly trying to stay relevant by releasing a bunch of garbage singles and EP’s to keep their name in people’s heads. The listener has to go to them, and that makes their music much more alluring.
Last year they combined three EP’s worth of material into a self-titled album that never shies away from the dark places. The songs are not unlike 80’s synthwave rock, with a groove a bit more interested in keeping your feet moving.