Image Romeo Shagba
When minds connect on a level deeper than the superficial, extraordinary things can happen. And sometimes, two is all that is needed. We’ve had the early Black Keys proving that notion, and Jack White had done the same with Meg White. In a genre that typically requires a vast ensemble of musicians to create its soundscapes though – we must admit that we were a little shocked to find that fu is only composed of a band of two. However, they have disproved our reservations with much aplomb. Yes, a two-piece can play progressive music.
Their four-track demo EP, released in early 2014 under upcoming label Touchanddie, showcases tons of potential. It’s melodic, mellifluous, and most of all, doesn’t reek of the bombastic wanking that the majority of new experimental and progressive bands tend to throw in with their early releases, just to present everything that they can do. Less is more, and fu has also proved that with [demo] – a flowing, lowtemp collection of their wistful compositions, or to quote our friends at The Wknd; “A journey of nostalgic experiences, deepening with the space of melodies as a soundtrack to your roaming thoughts.” We couldn’t agree more even if we add more multisyllabic adjectives to that description.
But the EP’s namesake is apt, it’s not the most polished of sounds. You can hear guitars that aren’t tuned to perfection, strings slightly overbent, and the kick drum going awry and straying from the beat for the most part. The sound quality on [demo] isn’t anywhere close to radio quality and it certainly seems that it was recorded without a click track – the fundamental basis for the majority of bands to get a tight sound. Yet, something about the EP strikes an emotional chord in our collective hearts. There’s something about the little blemishes that draw us a little closer to what Adrie (guitar/effects) and Fakhri (drums/samplers) are feeling, and trying to present to the rest of us.
Their recently released single, ‘We Are Heading North’, presents more of the same. We won’t deny that sometimes we just want them to let loose and do something that will absolutely bust our brains open. But for what it is, it’s good. The restraint and repetitive motifs create an intense pattern that just builds, and grows, before dissipating into thin air and teasing us with a climax that never comes.
Are they going to be our local representatives of this unorthodox ambient bracket – to take on the world alongside Explosions in the Sky and Sigur Rós? It’s too soon to tell, especially considering fu isn’t fully committed to music-making just yet. But we’re happy that at least someone is taking the initiative to strike out and do something unconventional on their own. “We don’t want to be another clone band – we want to do music because we enjoy it, and not just for the sake of it,” states Adrie of their mission statement. With that sort of mentality, and the potential that they have, we’ll definitely be keeping tabs on this duo. A split EP release for their next collection of songs is in the works, and we’re hoping that this time around they’ll reach for the stars.
It’s within their grasp.