Formerly operating as techno duo, Captain Fufanu, with the addition of live instrumentation – and the band name shortened to a more economical Fufanu (“the Captain was left behind at a rave in Cologne”) – the Icelandic group began working up a dark, metronomic take on 70s and 80s European music.
In the space of one week last November Fufanu became the most talked about new band ofIceland Airwaves, made their UK live debut at JaJaJa Festival and supported Damon Albarn at the Albert Hall - winning the approval of Brian Eno into the bargain. They repeated the trick this January with crushing sets at Eurosonic and return to the UK supporting The Vaccines and *Bo Ningen in late March & early April as below.
In June the band support Blur at the British Summer Time festival at Hyde Park.
Friday 27 March Nottingham, Rock City
Saturday 28 March Hartlepool, Borough Hall
Sunday 29 March Glasgow, Old Fruitmarket
Tuesday 31st March London, Hoxton Bar & Kitchen*
Wednesday 1st April London, Hoxton Bar & Kitchen*
Thursday 2nd April London, Sebright Arms (with Herofisher)
Friday 3 April Portsmouth, Pyramid
Saturday 4 April Bath, Pavilion
Sunday 5 April Folkestone, The Leas Cliff Hall
Wednesday 8 April London, Brixton Electric
Saturday 20th June London, Hyde Park British Summertime Festival (with Blur)
The rolling, hypnotic, seven minute ‘Circus Life’ - having primed early adopters at Rolling Stone (‘Disclosure attending Bela Lugosi's funeral’), Line of Best Fit (‘…like a mythical Ouroboros’) and JaJaJa (‘mesmerising’) - is formally released as Fufanu’s debut single on the 6th April, backed with drolly-titled live opener, ‘Goodbye’.
“Their performance left no room for nit-picking. Or doubt. Or anything really - it was a sheer sonic avalanche that swept up everyone in the room.” Drowned in Sound
“Their boldness and vast reserves of potential are what make them by far and away our favourite Icelandic act of the weekend.” Dazed & Confused
“An utterly captivating rock band.” Huw Stephens, NME
“There's a cerebral edge to their lengthy tracks… but this is definitely music concert goers can get aggressive with.” Cool Hunting
“Their bass-heavy, Bauhaus-in-the-Batcave sound is as muscular as it is incongruous.” Clash Magazine
“Kaktus weaves (his voice) between the pounding beats and an orchestrated wash of guitars and synths. Their sound is meticulously arranged. They're so damn tight. It's all a bit sexy.” Line of Best Fit
“An intriguing swirl of glaze and propulsion – metallic-paisley guitars, Neu!-like drumming and sharp, chanting vocals, all soaked in painterly electronics.” Rolling Stone
“Easily our favourite Icelandic artist.” Stereogum
The band’s unusual origins go a long way to explaining how Fufanu have arrived at their exacting sound. Live, the mordant wit suggested by song titles like ‘Plastic People’ and ‘Circus Life’ can shift into thrillingly cold malevolence.
"It is an entirely new band, even though it feels the same," considers ‘slyph-like’ singer, Kaktus. "There was no certain moment when we realized that this was our sound. We just liked what we were doing and kept experimenting. From [Roskilde Festival 2013] onward, the idea of a new sound for us was born — although leaving techno was not the outcome we imagined. We started to write new music with more live instruments, but still kept on using all of our synths and drum machines. It all happened really naturally."
Fufanu is: Kaktus Einarsson (vocals)/ Gulli Halldór (guitar/programming).
Read the band’s ‘Spotlight’ feature at Iceland Music Export.
Watch the band perform ‘Wire Skulls’ for KEXP at Toppstöðin power station in Reykjavik.