Reviews:: Fujiya & Miyagi Transparent Things

Let's get this out of the way early. It's very noble to create something beautiful for something incredibly ugly. And in all honesty, that's what Fuyija & Miyagi did. Transparent Things is a record that is destined to be played in every hipster bar across the world. Addictive beats, sing-along sung spoke lyrics and a consistent high energy pulse. The record is, quite simply, stunning.

The results, unfortunately, will be ugly. Pulsing beats with light, airy elements will be caught up amongst a wash of skinny, pizza faced, pencil armed dudes freaking the awkward funk trying to saddle up to girls who outweigh them by 30 pounds and enjoy cowboy boots, tights, three belts ... oh and lots and lots of neon. That, is the complete opposite of beautiful.

Transparent Things starts with a simple beat. The beat on Ankle Injuries slowly morphs into a complex being, while lyrically, David Best simply repeats the band name over and over again. As each element is added, the song becomes more and more appealing. That is the strength of this trio. They don't try to do too much with any sound, and as a result the songs are tight, danceable and incredibly fun to listen to. Even the cover of the album commands attention with its minimalist simplicity.

Keeping it simple is what this band does perfectly. As the album flows into Collarbone, the trio uses a funked groove with a heavy clap to get your head nodding, but in a shot of brilliance, Best starts going through the simply anatomy of the body. "Toe bone connected to the ankle. Ankle bone connected to the shin bone." Not only is this a funky track, the sing-along style will be a huge hit with any late nate party person. The same can be said about the frantic beat of instrumental Conductor 71.

It's hard to try to really break down the songs, because I think that takes away from what the Brighton trio is trying to do. For ever music lover who will cite the obvious influences (Kraftwerk, old time funk like Curtis Mayfield or maybe more currently Air), it adds a layer of complexity to the end result. I really think the trio is happy just making songs that people can dance to, and don't have to think about when it's over.

Which is probably why I keep coming back to this album. After I got it from SPM, I've found myself thumbing to the F section of my ipod constantly. The smoothed out melody of the title track contrast perfectly with the sexed out beat of Sucker Punch. The foot stomping, hand clap heavy bounce of In One Ear and Out the Other is destined to be an "indie-night" staple.

I can't recommend this record enough - it's exactly what I was looking for and will be my soundtrack to people watch as I walk through the streets of Paris.

MP3::Ankle Injuries
Stream some tracks on the website.


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