The post-punk/techno wizards in Fufanu, who Pitchfork described as “Iceland’s most exciting young band,” have premiered their “White Pebbles” video via Billboard. The video comes towards the end of what’s been a monumental year for Fufanu, with their sophomore album Sports released in February on One Little Indian (Björk, Asgeir, Olga Bell). The album, which was acclaimed by Pitchfork, Stereogum, Consequence of Sound, Rolling Stone, Line of Best Fit, KEXP, and BBC 6 Music.
Watch the video below:
Huge, great, bleak towers of sound. Nimble, rhythmic undercurrents. The unlikely ghosts of both post-punk and techno. Nobody sounds like Fufanu, but following their hugely acclaimed 2015 debut, Few More Days To Go, the Icelandic trio’s eagerly-anticipated second album, Sports, saw the band return with a palpable sense of urgency and a fresh spin on its dark, new-wave-esque, electronic-driven post-punk. Produced in Iceland by Nick Zinner of Yeah Yeah Yeahs, agitated, brooding singles “Bad Rockets” and title track “Sports” dropped in 2016 to a fantastic critical reception, as did this year’s “Liability.”
For 2017, Fufanu are changing—“growing up”—as multi-instrumentalist and lead guitarist Guðlaugur (“Gulli”) Einarsson calls it. Sports employs driving grooves, stand-out pop melodies—occasionally reminiscent of Krautrock legends Neu!—and sophisticated arrangements. The follow-up album reflects their experiences during a hurricane two years, in which they rocketed from making a big splash at the 2014 Iceland Airwaves festival in Reykjavik, to touring the UK with The Vaccines, to playing with Fufanu fan Damon Albarn at London’s prestigious Royal Albert Hall, and even supporting the Blur singer’s legendary group at a huge event at London’s Hyde Park.
Kaktus and Gulli’s big early influence was techno, and in the same week that they met at school, they entered a studio and started to make electronic music. Although their first band, Captain Fufanu, was an instrumental techno outfit, Kaktus had started writing lyrics during a stint in London, where he worked on Damon Albarn’s Everyday Robots album. While he was away, Gulli had been creating a new soundscape, which Kaktus says “really conveyed what I was thinking.” In came organic instruments to add to the electronics, and Kaktus discovered that he had a stark, imposing voice that suited the songs perfectly. Fufanu’s inimitable sound was born.
“When we added live instruments, that took us to Few More Days To Go,” considers Kaktus. “In a way, Sports is taking us back to techno and out again, squaring the circle, with more sophistication. It sounds stupid, but it’s music for people who really like music.”