Many many moons ago, back when Holly, Norberto, and I first started going to Reykjavik for Iceland Airwaves, there was an electro duo (Kaktus Einarsson and Guðlaugur Einarsson (who are unrelated)) that went by the name Captain Fufanu. We actually saw them live back in 2009 when they were just a couple of kids with laptops who got the opening slot at NASA on the festival’s last night, and we enjoyed them quite a bit. Fast forward to 2014 and we caught them again, this time a full five-piece band operating under the shortened name of Fufanu (below). They’d traded their laptops for a microphone (Kaktus) and a guitar (Guðlaugur) and transitioned from purely electronic music to a kind of psych darkwave. And it’s pretty excellent.
Copyright Life in the Vinyl Lane 2014
The two primary members of Fufanu have appeared on other projects as well. I’m pretty sure we’ve seen Kaktus perform live with his father’s band Ghostigital, and Guðlaugur recently released an excellent cassette of electronic and guitar music on the Lady Boy Records label under the moniker russian.girls (which you can hear in its entirety HERE). In fact we saw Guðlaugur’s russian.girls set at the Mengi artist space this year and he was excellent – the highlight of the set that evening.
Earlier this year Fufanu released the four song EP Adjust to the Light. They have a full length set to come out at the end of November 2015 called Few More Days to Go, a 10-song effort that only includes one song from their earlier EP (“Blinking”). The sound is classic darkwave, but with the benefit of not being over-produced like so much of this music is. When I listen to “We Will Last,” it sounds exactly like the band does live – there aren’t a ton of fancy mixing tricks here, these are real people playing real music, a refreshing change of pace when so much of what we hear is over modulated and fake. If I had to pick a favorite it would be “City Lights,” a richly textured groove reminiscent of a slow walk on a cold, dark, rainy night. That particular song is heavily weighted towards the music, so I’d be remiss in not also mentioning “The Hours,” which I think has Kaktus’ finest work on the microphone as well as a fantastic little guitar sound that reminded me a little of the opening of Chris Isaak’s “Wicked Game.”
I’m looking forward to Few More Days to Go – Fufanu’s style fits me like a glove. Holly also gives Fufanu a big thumbs up and remarked that Adjust to the Light is her favorite album of the stuff we brought home from Airwaves. It’ll definitely be in heavy rotation here for a while.