Kaktus Einarsson - Kick The Ladder (Mandarin Orange Vinyl)
"Kick The Ladder" the anticipated debut album from Icelandic composer and songwriter Kaktus Einarsson, frontman of post-punk outfit Fufanu. It was produced by Kaktus, alongside Swiss electronic composer Kurt Uenala, and finished in New York City. It draws heavily on the concept of how we as a society relate to our surroundings, whether it's environmental or personal. Einarsson (b. 1992) has led a remarkable musical life. Born and raised in Reykjavík, he was playing as part of experimental electronic act Ghostigital at the tender age of ten. In Fufanu, he opened hometown shows for Radiohead and Red Hot Chilli Peppers. The band also supported Blur in Hyde Park, and stormed the festival circuit, appearing at the likes of Primavera Sound, Rock Werchter, Musilac and Down The Rabbit Hole. Now aged 28, Kaktus is beginning a new chapter with "Kick The Ladder". Having honed his understanding of songwriting, recording, and production, the LP is the culmination of his experience in contemporary classical and pop music, and bridges the two sides of his work. Kaktus wrote the album in Iceland, then developed its sound in Copenhagen in collaboration with French prepared piano experimentalist Thibault Gomez. "I was using my knowledge of extended playing techniques and the contemporary repertoire, and getting them into my pop music", he says. "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 result is a profound, melodic record with an expansive and innovative sound. The album also sees Kaktus evolve as a vocalist and lyricist. "Every song on this album is a love letter to my environment, and my surroundings," he says. "Some of the songs are a dialogue between two people, others might be written to nature, and what is happening to our planet."
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