Fujiya & Miyagi

The atmosphere on this record is notably darker than before. From the Gainsbourg-esque ‘Sixteen Shades of Black And Blue’ and on, the mood is forceful, aggressive and confrontational, but all the while maintaining the taut, minimalistic funk that’s become their calling card. “It's quite an accusatory record, but you never know why, or what the target of the accusation has done,” says frontman and songwriter David Best. “I think there's an underlying anger, or perhaps just annoyance, at institutions and people in general, and probably ourselves too.” Topics touched on include over-medication, eco-hypocrisy and the myth of Chanctonbury Ring, where it’s said if you run round a clump of trees backwards seven times the devil will appear and offer you soup. The song’s called ‘Minestrone’.

The spirit of the new is also helped along by the involvement of producer Thom Monahan, known for his work with Vetiver, Au Revoir Simone and Devendra Banhart. Recorded over several months in Monahan’s LA studio, there was plenty of time for co-songwriter Steve Lewis to experiment with analogue synths and a new raft of influences from Northern soul (‘Cat Got Your Tongue’’s lyrics) to Bob Dylan (T’aiwanese Boots’’s eco-conscious nod to Dylan’s Boots Of Spanish Leather). Elsewhere you’ll find the title track ‘Ventriloquizzing’, the darkly rousing ‘Sixteen Shades Of Black & Blue’, and ‘OK’ and ‘Universe’, which both feature Becky Stark’s atmospheric vocals. And then there are the lyrics – full of twisted humour and dark couplets. “Sometimes I feel like throwing my hands up in the air, sometimes I don’t/We could stick our fingers in our ears; we could stick our fingers in our ears, yeah,” says ‘Tinsel & Glitter’.

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Fujiya & Miyagi | "Yoyo" | 'Ventriloquzzing'

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Paste || January 2011

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