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Fujiya + Miyagi
Artificial Sweeteners
Yep Roc Records
www.fujiya-miyagi.co.uk


A blend of Krautrock with elements of ambient-angled electronica and club-twinged soundscapes, Artificial Sweeteners from Fujiya + Miyagi is a fusion of Hot Chip’s processed beats molded to anchor a gossamer of psychedelic tones with Daft Punk’s symphonic synths. Though the name of the group has Japanese origins, the members are natives of Great Britain; being comprised of singer/guitarist David Best, synthesizer player Steve Lewis, and bassist Matt Hainsley. Their music has a Britpop foundation reflective of England’s Erasure with factions of Euro-pop influences.

Best’s droning vocals have subtle inflections in “Flaws” that offset the psychedelic action of the synths. The monotone resonance of the vocals continues into “Acid To My Alkaline” and take a pause in “Rayleigh Scattering” as the atmospheric synths project a Daft Punk-style rambling. The title track is a complex maze of infinite loops spiraling and crisscrossing creating large cinematic effects.

“Little Stabs At Happiness” has a dancehall vibe emblematic of Scissor Sisters while the rapid flickers of the synths in “Tetrahydrofolic Acid” resemble a laser-light show. The Krautrock tunage of Best’s guitar riffs drive “Daggers” while symphonic sounding synths add volume to “Vagaries of Fashion.” Processed beats and ambient synths produce twizzling movements through “A Sea Ringed With Visions” that has a Euro-pop flare.

Artificial Sweeteners is made for the club crowd. The looping of psychedelic swirls has a Euro-pop flavor with Brit-pop markings modeling the music to be a part of the electronica diaspora.

-Susan France

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