Over the past couple of months, I’ve written about the Reykjavik, Iceland-based indie rock/post-punk trio Fufanu. And you may recall that the trio, which is currently comprised of founding members Kaktus Einarsson (vocals, guitar), whose father Einar, was a member of The Sugarcaubes and Guðlaugur “Gulli” Einarsson (guitar, programming) (no relation, by the way) along with Erling Bang (drums) can trace their origins to when the band’s founding members met while at school. According to the band’s founding duo, Katkus had glanced at Gulli’s iTunes and noticed that they had listened to a lot of the same techno and electronic music. Quickly bonding over mutual interests, the duo went into a studio and began writing and recording electronic music under the name Captain Fufanu. And within a month of their friendship and the project’s life, they had began to play shows in and around Reykjavik.
In a strange twist of fate, the studio where Kaktus Einarsson and Gulli Einarsson had recorded their full-length Captain Fufanu album was burgled. And as a result, the album they recorded was presumed lost. Instead of trying to call the material they initially wrote from memory, Kaktus Einarsson and Gulli Einarsson decided that the moment was a perfect time for them to completely reinvent their sound. Interestingly, at the time, Kaktus was in London working on Damon Albarn’s Everyday Robots and touring with Bobby Womack when he began writing lyrics. Simultaneously Gulli had started to create a revised sound, which managed to convey what Kaktus had been thinking at the time. The duo then added guitars and drums, along with Kaktus’ brooding and detached vocals — and with their revised sound, renamed themselves Fufanu.
Their first live set with their new sound and aesthetic was at Iceland Airwaves and they quickly became one of the most talked about bands of the entire festival. Building upon the buzz they had received, they went into the studio their full-length debut A Few More Days To Go. And with the release of their debut, the duo received a rapidly growing national and international profile as they toured with a number of internationally renowned acts including The Vaccines and have played at JaJaJa Festival. With their recently released sophomore effort Sports, Kaktus and Gulli recruited Erling “Elli” Bang (drums) to further flesh out their sound as they expanded upon it and its thematic direction.
Now you might remember that I wrote about Sports‘ first single, album title track “Sports,” a single that retained the synth-driven sound that first captured national and international attention while pairing it with a tight, motorik-like groove reminiscent of Can, Neu! and Joy Division while nodding at Security-era Peter Gabriel. “Liability,” Sports‘ second single continues in a similar vein as the trio pair angular busts of guitar with shimmering synths that twist and turn through the mix, a sinuous bass line and a mid-tempo groove that nods at the techno that the project once was. However, much like “Sports” the single possesses a dark, enigmatic air while pointing out the mundanity, drudgery and banality of daily life; but just under the surface there’s a broiling frustration and resentment of someone wanting to break free and yet not knowing how to do so.
Co-directed by the members of Fufanu and Gabriel B. Bachmann, the recently released music video for “Liability” continues the sporting leitmotif the band introduced with the “Sports” video; however, the actual sports are reduced to a seemingly surrealistic abstraction in which the members of the band are competing against themselves.