Weaving between the lines of electronic music are Brighton’s Fujiya & Miyagi, who have released a series of genre-hopping records spanning almost 20 years. Now their back with a new self-titled LP, out on April 7th via Impossible Objects of Desire, and it sees the band embracing the positive, despite everything thats going on in the world right now. They’ve also done something rather special in that they’ve released three EP’s which make up the album, and each had a ‘sound’ or personality of their own, traversing disco, electro, pop, and the now synonymous 1970s Germany-inspired groove they so seamlessly ooze.
Check out the most recent single Solitaire
Ahead of the release, we caught up with frontman David Best to find out more.
Hi, tell us about your new self-titled record? It’s the culmination of a year long project I understand?
Each of the three eps were put together separately over a year or so. So we did them as we went along. Some songs on the last two eps were already written in the early stages but not recorded till latter on. Historically it has always taken us a long time to finish albums. We thought if we released it in chunks in a drip fed way it would make the music fresher and we wouldn’t get bogged down in having to think of it as an album. I think and hope that by concentrating on the songs in shorter bursts the music is stronger. It definitely feels more spontaneous which is something I’ve wanted us to be for a long time.
Putting the EP together on the album, was choosing the tracklisting very important to you to make the album work as a whole?
Initially I was a little bit concerned that due to the fragmented nature of how we approached the recording that the songs might not fit with one another. If anything they fit better than past songs have on previous albums. The tracklisting was uncharacteristically painless too. Myself and Steve agreed on it pretty quickly. I think that was important because I do see it as an album rather than a compilation. We definitely wanted to make a positive record.
You’ve made a very positive record I understand) – was that accidental or planned? And lyrically, what does the album focus on – any specifics or just this general positive vibe?
Lyrically I’ve tried to be more honest than I have on previous records and also to avoid camouflaging what I was trying to express. It’s easy to be negative but it doesn’t do anyone any favours to look at the world from that viewpoint all the time. Having said that Brexit happened in between recording ep2 and ep3 which tested our powers of positivity, then Trump happened after we had finished writing the last ep. I think it’s a good thing for us that we approached it with a positive viewpoint but if we had started the whole thing from today it would sound very different. I suppose music either reflects or refracts what’s going on in society and both have their roles to play.
What’s you’re favourite tracks on the album, or is that like singling out your favourite child?
My favourite tracks change but at the moment they are probably ‘Impossible Objects of Desire’, ‘Extended Dance Mix’ and ‘Outstripping (the speed of light)’.
You’ve been making records for quite a while now, how do you keep things fresh, or is it just a shared journey of discovery? Has the way you write and record altered over time?
We approached each ep differently. The first one was predominantly electronic and mostly written with just myself and Steve. The second ep was recorded live as a band and as a result of that all of the group had a greater input. The last ep was a bit of a mixture between the first two.
We write more separately now which I prefer. I try to write more when I’m walking around outside rather than in notebooks. As a result my contributions feel more fluid to me and less stilted perhaps. The songs you make determine whether it feels fresh or not and they feel fresh to me.
And you’re going out on tour in April – Do you enjoy the live aspect of things? Are you great rehearsers, or do you do things on the fly a bit? And no dates (yet) in the UK, any chance we might see you a bit later in the year? Any more plans for the year?
I enjoy playing live but I can’t stand practicing. We do practice though or otherwise we wouldn’t be the tightly drilled machine that we are.
We hope to have some more uk shows and maybe some festivals. Now that we have our own label I’d like to expand that somehow and see where that takes us. I’d like to do an album of covers one day too, but not obvious ones. It would be fun to absorb other people’s songs into our aesthetic and see how they turned out.
They’ve released a handful of European dates to coincide with the release. Details here
Fujiya & Miyagi – 2017 Tour Dates
Sat 08-Apr DE Berlin Urban Spree
Wed 19-Apr FR Lyon Le Razzle
Thu 20-Apr FR Montpellier Le Rockstore
Fri 21-Apr FR Bordeaux iBoat
Sat 22-Apr FR Saint Ouen MOFO Festival, Mains d’Oeuvres