Fujiya & Miyagi

Late Show

Fujiya & Miyagi

Jangula, Dinowalrus, AIMES

Sat, January 21, 2012

Doors: 8:00 pm

Mercury Lounge

New York, NY

$12 advance / $15 day of show

Sold Out

This event is 21 and over

Fujiya & Miyagi - (Set time: 11:30 PM)
Fujiya & Miyagi
“A perfect union of man and machine” MOJO

Few have offered such a bittersweet taste of pop through their career as Fujiya & Miyagi; underneath the sticky wrappers that have packaged their sugary synth lines and rich hooks since the turn of the Millennium, there’s always been a grittier aftertaste - be it manifest through their love of pounding 70’s krautrock, or in the seen-it-all weariness of their lyrics.

On Artificial Sweeteners, the Brighton-based trio’s fifth album, that conflict of light and dark has well and truly been conquered. Steve Lewis, Matt Hainsby and David Best pour forth with a new slew of irresistible saccharine; get ready to rot your teeth on Artificial Sweeteners.

“Artificial Sweeteners is about what’s being expressed more in hope rather than in fact,” explains Best. “Believing things will get better allows us to get through what life throws at us. The music aims to be life affirming and positive, offering an escape route from reality. I think taking enjoyment from the pleasurable aspects of life that counteract all the stress and anxieties is the best way to live.”

That’s thematically; musically it’s a hot and heady dance-floor record, each spin giving off the musk and the potential of a congregational euphoria. Reaching back to the influences that got them into dance music in the first place; beach parties and warehouse raves in their native Brighton, early Warp Records and Carl Craig – the group wrote at an inspired clip, revelling in digging out their old samplers and synths and sizing them up against the digital technology they continue to explore the limits of.

Whereas in the past Fujiya & Miyagi haven’t been afraid of risking division with their work, here they aim to unite. Coming off the more live band-orientated fourth LP, Ventriloquizzing, Best had realised “One of the things we are good at is making people dance, and, really, there’s no greater reason to make music than the ability to have a physical reaction on someone.” So it was that they returned to their roots, with an album that’s their most overtly electronic since way back to their mighty second album, 2006’s Transparent Things, or even debut Electro Karaoke In The Negative Style.

Yet make no mistake, this is no regression; the bubbling, skittering instrumentals ‘Rayleigh Scattering’ and ‘Tetrahydrofolic Acid’ have a crispness and clarity like no Fujiya & Miyagi’s funk-filled electronic jam before; ‘Little Stabs At Happiness’ sounds like a treasured early DFA 10”, only dusted off and injected with a candy-coated serum.. Other tracks like ‘Daggers’ and opening disco jam ‘Flaws’ swagger with a sense of measured cool, befitting in their confident feel an entity who’ve now been at the top of their game for more than a decade. “We feel like we’ve got a record that goes straight for the jugular,” enthuses Best.

Best’s use of words for sound-quality over meaning and repetition of phrase to deepen meaning elsewhere is inspired by Serge Gainsbourg and Iggy Pop. “Both knew how to give the seemingly trivial or shallow depth,” he explains, “by cutting away the flab you can make what you produce less self-indulgent.” That’s something you couldn’t have ever accused Fujiya & Miyagi of across a 14-year career; but even for them, where Artificial Sweeteners may be deliriously high, coming up on a sugar rush, it also works as perhaps their leanest, most fat-free record of all-killer no-filler yet. Put another sweet in your mouth, you can worry about your teeth in the morning.
Jangula - (Set time: 10:30 PM)
After several incarnations at Purchase College, playing basement shows and campus festivals, Jangula emerged as one of the most celebrated bands in the New York rock circuit. The Brooklyn-based band consists of Johnny Campagna (vocals and Q-Chord, a handheld synthesizer), Daniel Bachrach (vocals and guitar), Cody Gordon (bass), and Barak Kemeny (drums). Performing at diverse venues – Webster Hall, Shea Stadium and the McKibbin Lofts – their versatile sound has led them to open for artists such as Didi of Brazilian Girls, YACHT, and The Postelles.

With the unusual blend of Campagna's stunning Q-Chord and Bachrach's often melodic, "warm jets"-inspired guitar riffs, Jangula possesses a rare harmonic quality. Yet, influences ranging from songwriters Brian Wilson and R. Stevie Moore to the minimal sound of Joy Division, their harmony is struck by gritty, driving bass lines and Kemeny's always frenetic drums. Lyrically, as well, the band differs, preferring both the subtle intimation and the shamelessly honest to explicitly standard comments on life and love: from "We both like me, we both like you" to "I want to be understood, I want to be misunderstood." Jangula released their first EP in 2010, and currently, they are returning to the studio to record a full-length album, featuring the single "Light Left Hand."

With their unique sound and reputation for wild shows – and after parties – Jangula knows, ultimately, how to charm and engage the crowd. As Kristen, from The Morning After Pills, writes, "They've got an undeniably catchy sound, backed by ace bass lines that are complemented by the saccharine sound of a Q-Chord […] They seem to have an innate understanding of what makes good pop."

"Jangula use their keys as more than just atmospheric filler, but to carry a pretty melody. They know when to amp up the bass to create an energetic, danceable moment during the bridge. Plus it's easy to sing along to the lyrics about sublimating sexual urges by playing Final Fantasy games." — BushwickBK
Dinowalrus - (Set time: 9:30 PM)
DINOWALRUS is a psychedelic synth-rock band from Brooklyn, NY, comprised of vocalist/guitarist Pete Feigenbaum, veteran drummer Max Tucker, bassist/vocalist Meaghan Omega, and synth player Dan Peskin.

Pete started DINOWALRUS in 2008, and they quickly grabbed attention with a long run of local and regional shows with the likes of Javelin, Surfer Blood, Health, Real Estate, Screaming Females, A Place to Bury Strangers, Crystal Stilts, and Titus Andronicus.

In January 2010, DINOWALRUS put out their shape-shifting, eclectic, and erudite noise-psychedelic-punk debut % (PERCENT) on Kanine Records (Surfer Blood, Chairlift, Grizzly Bear). In the year that followed, the band toured the East Coast and California with the likes of Titus Andronicus, Fang Island, Aa, Signals (ex-mae shi), and Tempo no Tempo.

Later on in 2010, Pete revamped the lineup and songwriting approach. DINOWALRUS began reinventing themselves with a more pop-oriented songwriting approach that drew heavily on the 1980s Madchester sound plus other groovin' minimal synth, new wave, dark wave, and post punk angles, while retaining their psychedelic and krautrock backbone.

In March 2012, they released their sophomore album BEST BEHAVIOR on Old Flame (US) and Heist or Hit (UK), followed by their third album COMPLEXION, released in 2014 on Personal Projects, which was mixed by Jorge Elbrecht of Ariel Pink and Violens.
AIMES - (Set time: 8:30 PM)
AIMES is the production moniker and musical alter ego of Alabama born,
Brooklyn resident, Aman Ellis. Aman entered into the world of electronic music almost by mistake. After years of searching for his sound on the guitar, many of which involved him trying to make his guitar sound like a synthesizer, he opted to trade the two. Now armed with a plethora of gadgets and toys, Aman spends his time bridging the divide between the organic tones of his past and the lush oscillations in his present.

AIMES', recent release 'Your Floor Is Now A Tree' brings to mind the
lush analog synths of the 80's and calls to mind a deep nostalgia that
you never knew was so familiar.

His adventuresome style of synth-wave space pop explores vast sonic
territories, keeping a close affinity to other-worldly psychedelia and
interstellar weirdness.
Venue Information:
Mercury Lounge
217 E Houston St.
New York, NY, 10002