Fujiya & Miyagi have been toiling away at a very English
interpretation of taut, pared-down funk for over a decade now.
‘Ventriloquizzing’ is their fourth and most sinister album,
and would also be their best were it not marred by intrusively clichéd
lyrics, in which people are up and down like yo-yos and others throw
their hands in the air like they just don’t care. When the lyrics take a
back seat, however, ‘Ventriloquizzing’ is wonderfully creeping,
with a narrow-eyed slink that’s as aggressive as it is classy.
The title track’s heads-on-sticks imagery and skulking synths
invokes Stereolab at their coolest, and ‘Cat Got Your Tongue’ has a
strut of pleasing oddness that only Radiohead have bettered in recent
times. Elsewhere though, overblown vocals and crushing
self-awareness leave an abiding impression of frustrated brilliance.
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