Brighton group stumble on fifth album of stilted synthpop
Fujiya & Miyagi were making music that sounded like Hot Chip – upbeat, effusive synthpop with slightly geeky indie vocals – before Hot Chip were. Thus, it feels reductive and backwards to be so frequently thinking of Alexis Taylor and co as ‘Artificial Sweeteners’, F&M’s fifth album, plays, but they are disarmingly similar. The Brighton outfit’s stated influences, from ’70s krautrock to ’90s techno, are canonical and respectable, and occasionally strike gold: ‘Tetrahydrofolic Acid’, an instrumental raver which resembles Warp Records stalwarts Plaid, and the addictive disco-punk bassline of ‘Daggers’. Yet their attempts to assimilate their record collections often fall between two stools – unlikely to do the business on a dancefloor or spirit you away at home through the power of its sequencing.