The next installment to this series focusing on DEAD FUNNY RECORDS features the duo FANCY BOOKS, a man and woman duo (Mitsuomi and Fumiko) from Saitama prefecture.
Their sonic palette is a renewal of retro synth pop sounds that take us back to the likes of Yellow Magic Orchestra, and glimpses of Kraftwerk or the Pet Shop Boys. ‘Sister Carry Stars’, from their EP Wisteria glorifies in vintage analogue-flavoured synth oscillations and drunken melodies, and a drum machine beat reminiscent of 70s/80s disco grooves. FANCY BOOKS subverts the overly mechanised nature of electronic dance music with ripples of heavy and eerie reverberating vocals that transports us to a futuristic chillwave/nu-disco landscape.
The comparison DEAD FUNNY RECORDS makes between FANCY BOOKS and artists like Au Revoir Simone and Memory Tapes is understandable when you hear tunes like ‘Sponge Boy’, brushed with dazzling synth colours and a head-bopping drum line. To permanently mark their artistic signature (throughout their EP), the duo goes about in adding pockets of tipsy, wobbly electronics that traverse through the stereo sphere, as a way to disorientate the listener’s navigation through this cosmic musical alleyway that is experimental in nature, but equally crammed with boldly kitsch details.
The duo takes a divergent path towards a new age flowing vibe with ‘Nephogram’, which features on the record label’s first compilation album. Celestial synths and samples that glisten through the stereo field accompany the lugubrious but spine-chilling vocal expressions that drift off into the audible universe, and spellbind the listener into reverie.
It’s dreamy and seductive music that could accompany an imagination of roaming around Tokyo at its nightlife glory full of glittering neon lights. The magical atmosphere that exudes from the musical universe of FANCY BOOKS that has the capacity to cocoon any listener’s sensual vision is a testament to their ability to craft out an array of absorbing sonic colours and environments.
© Isaku Takahashi