Melbourne soul mastermind Lance Ferguson has announced the first album to be released under his own name. Raw Material is a total re-think of the remix album concept, and is driven by a deep dedication to sampling, vinyl culture and collaboration. It’s out on August 4 and will be preceded by Back To You, featuring One Above, vocalist EMRSN and Melbourne MC Mosé, and is available for pre-order from July 7.
Ferguson is best known as guitarist, founder and leader of Melbourne soul giants The Bamboos, alongside aliases such as Lanu, Menagerie & Black Feeling, as well as playing guitar and co-writing on the first three albums with Cookin’ On 3 Burners. Their 2009 track “This Girl” went on to become a massive worldwide hit after being remixed by French producer Kungs in 2016.
The album is a project that embraces his 25-year long love affair with vinyl, beat-digging culture and the alchemy of sample based music – but with a unique twist. Ferguson wrote and recorded twelve new funk, jazz and disco tracks using some of the best players in the country (drawn from members of Hiatus Kaiyote, The Putbacks and The Bamboos). These tracks were then pressed onto individual vinyl singles – but only two copies of each. One copy he kept, the other was sent to producers that he admired, with the idea that they would sample from it to create a new track. Proving his own wide ranging musical versatility, Ferguson himself contributed six of the reworks with some esteemed guest vocalists and MCs.
Collaboration is crucial to the project, and over 35 producers, vocalists, MCs and musicians took part. They include the likes of eccentric US producers Javelin, the UK’s Lack Of Afro, LA singer Brit Manor, fast rising Toronto MC Clairmont The Second, Adelaide disco don Late Nite Tuff Guy, local hip hop heavyweights Katalyst and One Above, Planet Self (Adelaide producer / vocalist duo Inkswel & Misumami), Jace XL, Cazeuax O.S.L.O. plus many, many more.
“I basically said to everyone: I am making a solo album, I really want you to guest-produce on it but you have to use this one song (or elements from it) as the basis”, Ferguson said. ”It is free to sample. Make a new piece of music from what you have here, but add as many other elements on top as you want.”
The first taste is Back To You, a hip hop cut produced by ARIA Award winning One Above, (responsible for massive tracks with Hilltop Hoods, Illy and Allday). To create the track One Above sampled from the “original” song 2+1 which features Kylie Auldist on vocals, which is also out on July 7.
The album sees Ferguson’s twelve bespoke funk, disco and jazz jams (included as a second album) twisted into permutations of thirteen contemporary hip hop, electronica and dance music by a cast of some of today’s most innovative producers, vocalists and MC’s. Ferguson has created a concept record that, much like his own esteemed career, draws a timeline from classic soulful music and reconceptualises that with eyes and ears looking very much forward to the future. For more information on the project, the album’s EPK can be viewed here.
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