Fujiya & Miyagi – Feeling The Effects (Of Saturday Night)

‘Feeling The Effects (Of Saturday Night)’ is a new track from Fujiya & Miyagi and finds David Best, Steve Lewis and Ed Chivers in a reflective state of mind. 

It’s also an old track – well, sort of. The track was a half-written idea lurking on a hard drive dating from 1999, before the group had released their debut album Electro Karaoke In The Negative Style. Alighting on the idea after almost twenty years, David, Steve and Ed began a process of building the track remotely during the early days lockdown. 

“A vehicle for examining past triumphs and defeats, and the conflicting feelings such thoughts provoke,” according to David, the track carries subtle disco reference points and svelte electronics, bubbling away beneath gentle pads and searching half-melodies. The effect is like looking back on the person you were twenty years ago and being both remorseful at the passing of time but also thankful that you grew up and got all those crazy impulses out of your system; like contrasting doing shots and dancing in a club on a Saturday night in your twenties with watching Strictly Come Dancing with your kids while a drinking low-calorie beer in your forties. A brief swerve by David into what could be an unused line from ‘Oops Upside Your Head’ doesn’t sound remotely out of place here, even if any sense of joyous euphoria is held in check by the uncertainty and tentativeness that the track’s structure suggests. 

A departure from recent Fujiya & Miyagi concerns – awkward funk, Italodisco, electro – ‘Feeling The Effects’ nods to David’s parallel work with Julian Tardo in Slippery People but points to a new (old?) direction for this group. Metaphorical hangovers rarely sound so serene. 

Feeling The Effects (Of Saturday Night) by Fujiya & Miyagi was released November 20 2020 by Impossible Objects Of Desire 

Words: Mat Smith 

Fujiya & Miyagi – Flashback

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When I interviewed Brighton quartet Fujiya & Miyagi two years ago around the time of the reissue of their second album, 2006’s Transparent Things, singer and guitarist David Best expressed his admiration for Talking Heads and what he called their “awkward funk” sound. Perhaps more so than on any other Fujiya & Miyagi album, that reverence for that slightly off-kilter groove can be heard right across Flashback, containing seven of the band’s most precisely-executed cuts to date.

In the last couple of years, both Best and fellow F&M founder Steve Lewis have busied themselves with side projects – Lewis’s crystalline torch songs with Johanna Bramli as Fröst and Best with Fujiya & Miyagi bandmate Ed Chivers as the Terry Riley-inspired art-rock of Ex-Display Model. Surprisingly, none of that time out from their main group seems to have had any sort of influence on these new songs. You won’t find any fuzzy introspection here – just solid drumming from Chivers, elastic basslines from Ben Adamo and an effortless interplay between Best’s signature guitar styles and Lewis’s sinewy and infectious electronic patterns.

That tightness provides the backdrop to some of Best’s most oblique and deceptively humorous lyrics – a semi-political character assassination rant on the closing track ‘Gammon’, a bitter tirade against self-importance on ‘Personal Space’ and a brilliantly ironic (and astute) rumination on our modern obsessions on ‘Fear Of Missing Out’. The highlight among highlights is ‘For Promotional Use Only’, a low-slung, many-layered slow-builder that plays on one of the most mundane of piracy risk warnings and turns it into a hypnotic, restless epic, Best’s vocal taking on a distinctly paranoid hue as it progresses.

Flashback by Fujiya & Miyagi is released by Impossible Objects Of Desire on May 31 2019.

Words: Mat Smith

(c) 2019 Further.