Some experts in quality music among you should be familiar with the work of adventurous Icelandic post-punk outfit Fufanu. Now, band leader and songwriter Kaktus Einarsson is heading for a solo adventure and judging from the latest single of his debut album Kick The Ladder we’re all in for a mighty treat here. 45rpm is a bittersweet piece of alternative folk that isn’t afraid of a an almost pop-focussed melodic surrounding. It feels a bit like Radiohead around the OK Computer era or the late Blur. For the songwriter it works as a bridge beetween classical music and a certain pop approach which might explain the high level of musicality you’ll sense in each note hear.

Einarsson wrote his debut album in Iceland, then developed its sound in Copenhagen in collaboration with French prepared piano experimentalist Thibault Gomez. The record was co-croduced with fellow Dave Gahan buddy Kurt Uenala aka Null+Void. He explains the character of the writing and recording sessions in the following way:
“I was using my knowledge of extended playing techniques and the contemporary repertoire, and getting them into my pop music. We replaced synths with acoustic sounds that are familiar, but unfamiliar in many ways. It’s all organic, there are no artificial effects: we created all the effects with this one instrument, the grand piano. We tried it for every situation. To build up tension and suspension in songs and sounds we would scratch, e-bow and regular bowing the strings inside of the piano for example, and even play with brooms on the belly of the grand piano. Used it even as a drum machine!”

The piano obviously plays a crucial part in 45rpm as well since it’s the only song on the album the Icelandic musician wrote especially with the idea of him and pianist Thibault Gomez performing it as a duo which might explain the sparse character of it. There’s still a lot happening in there but you can also simply follow the song and let the emotions break free. It’s quite an impressive teaser for a record you should have on your radar this spring. Kick The Ladder is out on May 21 via One Little Independent.

We’re also very thrilled that Kaktus recorded this exclusive acoustic version of 45rpm for us.


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