Iceland has often been fruitful for quirky and introspective musicians. There’s Björk, Sigur Rós and Dream Wife all brandished with their own distinctive peculiarities that seem to thrive when dipped into the UK music scene. Fufanu is no exception. The Icelandic quartet has just released their second album, Sports, two years after their initial debut, A Few More Days To Go. Having supported the likes of Blur, Damon Albarn and The Vaccines, Fufanu is slowly gaining traction in the UK with their own headline tour.
Kicking off with what appears to be a new track, Fufanu open to an energetic crowd at Bristol venue, the Louisiana. Lead singer, Hrafnkell Flóki Kaktus Einarsson, holds the focus with his cool and captivating stage presence imitating the icy exterior of the guitar-led track. He adds an earthy energy, rigid though ready to let loose.
Originally a techno band named “Captain Fufanu”, formed only of Kaktus and guitarist, Guðlaugur Halldór Einarsson, the band expanded their musical depth with the addition of new musicians in what felt like a natural bend in the road. The techno roots seep into their songwriting still and are stressed in a live setting with jangling techno keys. It’s clear that Fufanu is influenced by a whole host of genres ranging from techno to post-punk to Britpop just to name a few.
Moving through their latest Sports tracks, the energy intensifies with cool synths and electrified rhythms, held together by Kaktus’ frosty vocal. Title track “Sports” gets the most raucous reaction from the crowd, drinks akimbo at the front of the Louisiana. The slow riff intro echoes the punk sentiments of Queens of the Stone Age’s “Feel Good Hit of the Summer” yet erupts into an ambitious chorus.
Ending with “Now” from their debut album, you’re left with a sense of ambient broodiness as the dark undertones of the track steadily rumble towards an eclectic end to their performance. Probably the only face of Icelandic post-punk techno (po-punkno?), Fufanu’s distinctive quirks work both sides of the street for punk fans and techno psychedelia fans alike. Swathed in enviable Icelandic cool, they bring a whole new meaning to post-punk, born from a techno and electronic base. There's definitely more to see from Fufanu.