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This Is My Home is the stunning solo debut from New Zealand-born, Melbourne-based producer Lanu (aka Lance Ferguson). Brimming with future soul and broken beat flavors, forward-thinking production and intuitive jazz sensibility, this album marks a distinct departure from the raw, deep funk sound of Ferguson?s other project, The Bamboos.
?The Lanu project embraces a wider spectrum of styles that have influenced me including Jazz, Soul, Fusion, Latin, Hip Hop, Broken Beat. It?s all soulful music, soul is the thread running through all these genres,? says Ferguson.
With his Antipodean deep funk outfit The Bamboos, Ferguson has recorded for such respected independent labels as Freestyle, Soul Force, Kay Dee and released an album on Tru Thoughts/Ubiquity. And his passion for DJing has taken him all over Europe and Asia. Ferguson drew on these global experiences for the new album, assimilating and incorporating sights, sounds, themes and friends into an hour-long Australasian future soul opus. ?Dis-Information? is built around a punchy Moog bassline, angular Rhodes chords and an insistent break. ?Mother Earth? teams up UK-based Quantic and California-based Stones Throw vocalist Aloe Blacc for a broken-meets-Afro-beat workout that calls out to people to respect the planet or face the consequences.
While the Bamboos blast raw, hard dancefloor Funk, Lanu blends Jazz, Soul, Fusion, Latin, Hip Hop, broken beat and house into something that is inspired by the past, but is also looking fast forward. Don Blackman, Roy Ayers, George Duke and the Mizells are big influences for Lanu but the album is even more informed and inspired by the digital rhythms of West London and Detroit and Ferguson?s infectious contemporary hybrid sounds are buoyed by expertly programmed beats. This effortless eclecticism is partly due to an interesting and varied musical heritage and career. Grandson of New Zealand?s first ever recording artist (Bill Wolfgramm played lap steel guitar and helped to popularise Hawaiian music in New Zealand?s dance halls in the 1950s), he has also toured as a session guitarist for Latin legend Joe Bataan, future funksters Mark de Clive-Lowe and Bembe Segue, and the UKs tightest funk outfit the Quantic Soul Orchestra. Lanu was Ferguson?s nickname as a child, and is also the Tongan word for ?color?.
In addition to guests from the UK and California, Ferguson also teamed up with musicians from closer to home. The album features appearances by keyboardist Simon Grey and New Zealand vocalist, Cherie Mathieson. Hailing from the culturally vibrant Melbourne music scene (home to the most recent Red Bull Music Academy) Lanu has united the sounds of broken beat, hip hop, house, soul, Latin and jazz, for an album with enough depth and versatility to work just as well on a decent set of headphones as it does on a club sound system.
?I feel like we have a very healthy scene in Melbourne. The city is culturally vibrant and there is real individual creative edge to what people are doing here,? says Ferguson. ?The scene for our music is small, but the collective of people involved are very close so it always feels solid.? This Is My Home is proof that while the world gets smaller the music and the message only gets louder.