wed 26/02/2020

CD: Fujiya & Miyagi – Flashback | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Fujiya & Miyagi – Flashback

CD: Fujiya & Miyagi – Flashback

Brighton's motorik genre hoppers make great strides forward by looking back

No misty eyes here: Flashback

Over the past two decades, Brighton’s Fujiya & Miyagi have managed, without fanfare or fuss, to amass an enviable back catalogue of linear, krautrock driven grooves dresses in slinky, drop-shouldered pop melodies. 

It’s a formula that has served them well and has proved elastic enough for them to grow without it ever seeming to give at the seams. This is, in part, due to an admirable sense of simplicity that reached a peak on 2017’s self-titled near-masterpiece (in fact a compilation of three EPs). 

On Flashback, however, there is a distinctly different cut to their cloth. Certain signature signifiers remain, including David Best’s lead vocal, which is as full of plaintive humanity as ever. Here, however, it sits on a bedrock of electro-infused machine funk – and it might prove to be their best offering yet. 

While Fujiya & Miyagi’s tracks have always been an option for a grown-up dancefloor, Flashback sees them reporting for disco duty with a childlike sense of glee. As the title suggests, the album contains a certain degree of nostalgia – the eponymous opener sees Nike windcheaters zipped up against a torrent of electro beats that give movement to freeze-framed memories and long-lost feels. 

“For Promotional Use Only” and “Fear of Missing Out” are both beautifully balanced post-punk disco classics that seem to channel something akin to Shriekback covering Giorgio Moroder’s greatest hits. They, like the rest of this collection, manage to be reminiscent without being quite like anything else. Just as recollections over time, they have shifted and become other – experience multiplied by perspective. 

Nostalgic Flashback may be, but there are no misty eyes here. In fact, closing song “Gammon” is a fast, furious rant at the people whose longing for an imagined past with white picket fences for white picket people has put us on our perilous political precipice. “You clap when your flight lands/You clap at the end of films” Best intones, his flat voice perfectly poised to deliver these matter-of-fact home truths. “You google Google/you’re shouting in English at Spaniards in Spain.”  

Fujiya & Miyagi may be looking to the past for inspiration, but Flashback is a tonic for our times.


Beautifully balanced post-punk disco classics that seem to channel Shriekback covering Giorgio Moroder’s greatest hits


Editor Rating: 
Average: 4 (1 vote)

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