Fujiya & Miyagi’s David Best doesn’t really sing, he hisses in rhythm. In LCD Soundsystem, James Murphy would alternate talking with singing. Even talk-singers such as the Hold Steady’s Craig Finn and Art Brut’s Eddie Argos follow the bare outlines of melody. Rappers bounce their syllables over and around the beat. But Best’s voice barely gets above a whisper — he sounds as if he’s trying to not wake hotel guests as he rifles through their belongings.
In “Sixteen Shades of Black & Blue,” the band’s minimal, precise grooves have a sinister edge, but the whispering makes the song sound cartoonishly evil. “I’ll beat you black and blue,” Best repeats, as if ritual abuse is the kind of thing he does all the time. This sense of menace pops up even in something as seemingly light as the new single “Ecstatic Dancer,” in which Best pronounces “Let’s hit the dance floor” as if he’s running a forked tongue over venomous fangs. But just as you start to think Fujiya & Miyagi is some kind of a Goth band, Best will repeat a phrase one too many times or a particularly goofy sounding synth will play a lick, and you’ll wonder if these guys are just messing with you.
Inspired by krautrock and Aphex Twin, Fujiya & Miyagi began in Brighton, England, around the beginning of the millennium. Combining the two of these ends up sounding like Stereolab covering the new wave classic “Warm Leatherette.” This is the stuff dreams are made of, for a certain kind of obscure record collector. But the new single from 2011’s Ventriloquizzing sounds as if it could be a hit in nightclubs. Really sinister nightclubs.
FUJIYA & MIYAGI: The Casbah, Tuesday, January 31, 8:30 p.m. 619-232-4355. $14.