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Tuesday, October 21, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 47.0° F  Overcast
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Fujiya & Miyagi
Transparent Things (Deaf, Dumb & Blind)

This laid-back, groovy and ultra-modern set of electronica is brought to you by three British guys who admit they're "just pretending to be Japanese." Juvenile ploy? Not quite. Their work brims with the kind of heady commentary that's every English major's dream. The band's Japanese posturing reads as a metaphor for the tectonic shifts in 21st-century global culture.

This album's soft-spoken wit is enveloped by a swirling, urban sound that melds electronic effects with traditional bass, keys and drums. "Ankle Injuries" opens with automated, repetitive percussion before morphing back into a conventional instrumentation. It's a progression thick with musical meaning, F&M's suggestion that the future might have a human touch after all.

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