Neon purveyors of perfect pop get down in a good way. Click Play Audio for a podcast with Gregory Ferguson and listen to 'Ran Out of Love'
Belfast band AJ Suzuki make me want to body pop my way out of the office and into the arms of the nearest female.
Their song 'Ran Out of Love' is like a mohito with extra rum, a glistening pile of cherry lips, a fit bird on roller skates in hot pants. I shall recommend it to my GP. ''Ran Out of Love' is the new Prozac. The NHS would save a bomb!'
AJ Suzuki started life as the bedroom studio brainchild of Gregory Ferguson, the man behind dance sensation Jupiter Ace.
Off the back of his 2005 worldwide hit ‘1000 Years’, Ferguson performed around the world, remixing tracks for the likes of Danni Minogue, Positiva and Fatboy Slim to name but a few.
In the wake of this success, Ferguson returned to his home studio to create the sound of AJ Suzuki.
Expert production characterizes that sound. Ferguson's catchy hooks, pinpoint harmonies and funny-as-hell lyrics (although seemingly unintentional) are carried along on a river of synth and guitar. It's happy-go-lucky music at its best. The yanks would love it. Weezer would ask for their mojo back.
Now a four-piece, AJ Suzuki are beginning to make wonderful waves, with Kristian Nairn on lead guitar, Stu Gowdy on synthesizer and Marty Jones on drums.
A self-confessed 'musical nerd' with a talent for writing and producing poptastic radio unit shifters (surely it's only a matter of time!), the Beck-like figure of Ferguson presides over everything. It's a happy dictatorship.
'I write and record the songs at home,' explains the rather laidback frontman. 'It's not quite a collective yet. I'd like to think it would veer in that direction. The first album is just about written. If we do get to the point of making a second album, it'll be more of a collaborative thing.'
At the core of AJ Suzuki is a fantastic collection of catchy tunes. From the positive pop affirmations of 'Jump Start' and the edgy introspection of 'I'm An Illusion', through to the captivating declaration of devotion 'Ran Out Of Love', Ferguson has built up a small but perfectly formed collection of songs through which to promote his own vision of what modern pop music should be.
'It is pop music,' he admits. 'But it's got integrity. It's not manufactured pop music. It's pop in a good sense.'
So far, so good for Ferguson and AJ Suzuki. The band have already supported retro maverick Calvin Harris on the Irish leg of his recent tour, and have had the Northern Irish music press foaming at the mouth for some time hence.
The band's debut single, 'Jump Start' is out now and available on iTunes. With an album release planned for sometime in late 2008, it's sure to be an eventful year ahead for Belfast's most polished act. So load up the mohitos, slip on the dancing shoes and get ready to fall in love with pop music all over again. In a good way.