Straight from Brighton, England, five-piece electronic ensemble Fujiya & Miyagi release their eighth studio album called Flashback. Formed by David Best and Steven Lewis in 2000, F&M have proven to be an exemplary full-band electronica group. It is also clear that they are Electronic Dance Music (EDM) enthusiasts. By exploring different sides to EDM, they have tapped into a distinctive electronic channel that both the band and their audience can sense the individualism. Fast forward to now, Flashback is a revelatory album that brushes on genres like funk, house, indie, electro-pop, and minimalism. A sensual ride that take the listener down a smooth trail. Therefore, by merging these musical styles together demonstrates innovative capabilities to keep their sound fresh.
Setting the ominous tone in the beginning, the song “Flashback” cultivates a midnight party vibe. Carrying undertones of underground euro-techno influences, the slow pulse of the beat is guarded by Best’s monotone voice. The Moog-style sequencer also creates a transient effect, which gives the song a specific mood – a great combination that has essences of early Underworld. From retro backyard parties to warehouse dance clubs, F&M creates a track that can be presented in both setting and still have people moving their feet.
The track is immediately followed by the single, “Personal Space.” Continuing the dark mystique of sound makes the transition flawless as Best and the bass design an interpersonal setting for their audience. Not only is Best’s voice intimate, but the sound itself represents a close and private space for an individual to peak into his mind. The slow dance pop song seems to be more of a personal ballad than a collective party jam, so a sense vulnerability appears throughout the track. At the very end, the cathartic dream-like composition allows the listener to have a moment of reflection before the next track begins.
It is hard not to notice the undeniable energy in “Subliminal.” As soon as the mid-level bass track comes in, your shoulders will begin to pop back and forth in rhythm. The electrifying guitar is transforms into its own special instrument as its modulation pedals recreate a synth-like melody. Embodying indie-pop and house music gives birth to their authentic creation, which is an exemplification of their development as a band. The irrevocable evolution of the sound becomes a cornerstone for the band as a listener can tell that how the sound has matured.
Fujiya & Miyagi is a band that leaves an impression on a new listener. Their unique sensibility and influential background are expressed throughout their compositions. Furthermore, F&M does an amazing job of keep the flow of the album cohesive and comprehensive as the essence of the dark mystique becomes the overall foundation of the entire album. For those who are not quite into house or electronic music, F&M will definitely spark your interest. Their ability to be a fully instrumental electronic band and has EDM essence allow the band to open several doors for their fans. Giving people the ability to listen to indie/electronic music in a live way with a different form of appreciation.