Fujiya & Miyagi will be in Miami tomorrow night and it’s been 9 years and 4 studio albums since they’ve made it down to the magic city, like ever. The band is made up of Steve Lewis (Fujiya), David Best (Miyagi), Matt Hainsby (Ampersand) and Lee Adams (Drums) from Brighton, England. I myself am excited to see them especially since they do remind me of two of my favorite bands Broadcast and Stereolab. Their music videos are also very visually appealing so I can only imagine how great their set up is live. Catch them tomorrow night at The Electric Pickle in their first ever Miami performance. Here’s a little chat I had with David (Fujiya) just the other day, enjoy!
Michael Lee: How did you guys discover the styles of music and bands which had an effect on the formative stages of your musical careers and what inspires you now as you all continue to make records?
Fujiya And Miyagi – Rook To Queen’s Pawn six
Fujiya And Miyagi- Pills
Project Jenny, Project Jan – Pins and Needles (w/ Fujiya & Miyagi)
Stephen Fasano is “The Magician” (out of Brussels) and I’m under the impression he wants to keep his bio somewhat of a mystery. His myspace page has a really long fictional story about how “One night not so long ago, he appeared from a place between space and time. The Magician stepped into this world, materializing in a cloud of crystal stars and soft pink smoke. Some say he is the guardian angel of all resident DJ’s, others claim he’s a former airline pilot who crashed an afterparty…” Whatever the story may be, he produces some pretty funky disco remixes and has a whole arsenal of “Magic Tapes” (aka DJ mixes). His latest project is with Yusek (Peter & The Magician) and the most recent single can be found on the brand new Kitsuné Maison 11.
The 90s are officially back and Shine 2009 is the “nu” electronic indie act that proves it. They’re from Helsinki, Finland and their brand spankin’ new album Realism is an exquisite amalgam of early 90s beats and Nordic electro pop vocals. Realism is such an homage to the era that Paula Abdul even guest stars on one of the tracks (no joke). They’re part of the Cascine family, which is a Brooklyn based label known for breaking up-and-comers like Selebrities, Evan Voytas, and Chad Valley.
I heard about Outer Limits Recordings while I was in New York a little while back. Ariel Pink was having an NYE show and OLR was also on the bill. At first listen I thought it was an Ariel Pink side project or maybe his new record label but the project actually belongs to ex-Test Icicles member Sam Mehran, born here in Miami but moving away to Australia a few years later (of course…) OLR is both a label and an artist. It’s an umbrella for his numerous projects over the years, Matrix Metals, Yoga, Explorers, 90210 & The Sweethearts to name a few.
I like OLR because of how he creates these pop gems with such limited recording equipment. He’s waiting for someone to buy into OLR to pursue a full length in a proper studio. We’ll just have to wait and see. For now buy these fun releases; Foxy Baby is out on Not Not Fun. Julie 7″ is available from Olde English Spelling Bee, and I need My T.V. 7″ is available from Olde English Spelling Bee and Transparent. Don’t forget to check out his youtube channel, where he’s constantly uploading videos of OLR and his other various alias’s.
Posted By Michael Lee
I first caught wind of Planningtorock when The Knife announced the release of their opera score Tomorrow, In A Year. Along with Mt. Sims, Planningtorock collaborated with the Swedish Avant-garde electro-pop group on this monster that left Knife fans confused and grasping for accessibility.
On Monday DFA Records announced that it will be releasing Planningtorock’s much anticipated second album, W, giving us the first single, The Breaks, and a free stream of the entire album. Upon first listen, it’s obvious that Janine Rostron, the voice behind the name, is delicately straddling the line between artsy/conceptual and accessible/pop appeal. Orchestral strings dominate the album with an epic “film score” feel but are quickly balanced with pop melodies and electronic dance beats with a haunting mood. The track Living it Out even hits you with a disco beat that takes you a little off guard, but still seems to fit within the progression of the album. This track along with The Breaks and The One are the stand-outs for me but W offers plenty for consumption. Have a listen to the entire album HERE and download a few of the tracks for free below.
Posted by Patrick
Thank you Chelsie for the tip!
80s NY underground culture has majorly influenced contemporary indie music. We’re all fans of DFA and most of us would drool over tickets to LCD show, but the sad truth is that most 20-30 year old “cool kids” are a bit disconnected from other important elements of the NY 80s scene. It’s probably due to the fact that we were all in diapers when all this was going down. Some of those important elements are the visual artists of the era. I was a little surprised at the blank stares when I started asking scenesters if they knew who Keith Harring, Kenny Scharf, or even Tom Rubnitz (video artist) were. Come on friends, Sharf painted a permanent mural at Wynwood Walls for us! These guys are standards in the 80s art world and pioneers of Pop Surrealism and/or street art. So if you’ve ever celebrated Banksy and Shepard Fairey please give a little credit to the street artists of the 80s that made it all possible and put them on your cultural radar. Even better, lets find out how their art has influenced what we listen to and see what music they like. We had the privilege of discussing some of these topics with Kenny Sharf in the interview below.
But first, a little background info on Kenny Scharf (according to Wikipedia):
Kenny Scharf (born in 1958, in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California) is an American painter who lives in Brooklyn, New York. The artist received his B.F.A in 1980 at the School of Visual Arts located in New York City. Scharf’s works consist of popular culture based shows with made up science-related backgrounds. Scharf came to prominence in the 80s interdisciplinary art scene making sparkly, pop-ed and monstrous paintings and installations. Scharf uses images from the animated cartoons popular during his childhood, such as The Flintstones and The Jetsons. In 2002, he released a cartoon of his own, “The Groovenians” of which there was only one episode.
Scharf was a key figure in the East Village art scene of the 1980s, with shows at Fun gallery (1981) and Tony Shafrazi (1984), before seeing his work embraced by museums, such as the Whitney, which selected him for the 1985 Whitney Biennial. He did the album covers of The B-52′s in the mid-80s. In 1995, Scharf designed a room at the Tunnel nightclub in New York. Scharf was friends with the graffiti artist Keith Haring and appears in the documentary “The Universe of Keith Haring”….
And now our little chat:
ND: The 80s and 90s are making a heavy comeback in the pop music realm. We’ve seen lots of day glo colors coming back in music videos and pop references in lyrics. Do you think your art has influenced indie culture/ music today?
KS: Hmm I see things all the time that I wonder if they have been looking at my art or been to the cosmic cavern but what I care mostly is if it’s done well, as when it is it makes me happy and when it’s not I feel like o jeez what did I spawn!
ND: Was there a particular type of music in NY in the 80s that captured the street art scene at the time?
KS: Well street art and graffiti were somewhat separate in the musical tastes before they meshed and I guess the music did too. Graffiti was linked of course to rap and early on with the sounds like the sugar hill gang. Street art was linked to more new wave/ punk like konk. When they meshed it made sounds like e.s.g.
ND: Do you think the message you sent out when you started making art has reached today’s youth (those born in the 80s-90s)? What was that message?
KS: I think some of my messages have reached the youth but I would rather hear it from them! Art was so stuffy when I arrived in n.y. In the late 70s that it was a natural reaction for us to take it to the streets and the nightclubs and let loose and not take yourself too seriously because that is stifling!
ND: If your art had a voice, what would it sound like?
KS: It depends on the art I’m making sometimes it would be gogo others glitter, mowtown or bossa nova.
ND: Name some of your favorite musical acts you listen to while creating art. How do you think their music influences your process?
KS: I use the rhythm and energy of music almost always when I’m creating. I sing and dance too while I’m working! As I said I like all kinds of music like the B52s, T-Rex , Stevie Wonder, Tom jobim.
ND: Have you heard any new (non-mainstream) bands or acts that have blown you away lately? How were you introduced?
KS: I saw LCD soundsystem in Miami beach they were amazing!
There you have it
Konk- Your Life
ESG- Moody (CT Remix 12″)
B52s- Mesopotamia (Marcello Giordani edit)
LCD Soundsystem- Beat Connection (Disco Dub Version)
I’ll be honest, James Curd hasn’t always caught my attention with his hip-house style, though I recognize him as a seasoned and respected producer most closely associated with the DFA crew. His new track “Open Up Your Mind” is a step in a slightly different direction with a harder, more dance-floor friendly house beat. It still maintains his signature vocal element with the help of Devin Byrnes. I see myself playing this one out on the regular.
Posted by Patrick
It’s been a few years since Peaches, Fannypack, and Avenue D’s glory days so it’s nice to hear a little booty-clash-boogie coming back. “Parallel Dance Ensemble is the brainchild of Denmark hip hop producer Robin Hannibal of Owusu & Hannibal fame and New Zealand rapper Coco Solid. They started making music after meeting at the 2008 Red Bull Music Academy.” Their latest EP Possessions And Obsessions was released in March off of Permanent Vacation. It hasn’t gotten much buzz as far I can see, but the music is fun and cheeky plus their music videos are pretty damn rad.