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Summoning Pure Bliss, One Beat at a Time

Fujiya & Miyagi's members mix minimalist beats, new-wave guitars and swirling electronica.
Fujiya & Miyagi's members mix minimalist beats, new-wave guitars and swirling electronica.

Fujiya & Miyagi isn't a duo, and its members aren't named Fujiya or Miyagi. A U.K. trio consisting of David Best (Miyagi), Steve Lewis (Fujiya) and Matt Hainsby (the ampersand), the group mixes the minimalist beats of Krautrock bands like Can, the angular new-wave guitars of Wire and the swirling electronica of Aphex Twin.

From the opening note, "Ankle Injuries" immediately pops into a hypnotic, percolating, ultimately unforgiving beat. Floating along in waves of synthesized chords that recall Kraftwerk's "Autobahn," as well as the simplistic joy of Antonio Carlos Jobim's "One Note Samba," "Ankle Injuries" summons pure bliss.

Throughout most of the song, Fujiya & Miyagi's name is chanted repetitively amid seemingly nonsensical spoken-sung lines. Drawing on great pop experiments from Remain in Light-era Talking Heads to U2's Achtung Baby, the song lands in a place that's unmistakably, instantly and irresistibly fun.

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Bruce Warren is assistant general manager for programming of WXPN in Philadelphia. Besides serving as executive producer of World Café, Warren also contributes to Paste magazine and writes for two blogs: Some Velvet Blog and WXPN's All About The Music Blog.