Album Review: Lance Ferguson - Raw Material

31 July 2017 | 4:14 pm | Dylan Stewart

"What an ambitious, fun project it is!"

He's been the face of the Melbourne soul scene for the past decade - and active for more than twice that long - but it's taken until 2017 for Lance Ferguson to put the final touches on the first record under his own name. And what an ambitious, fun project it is!

Ferguson began by recruiting some of the country's finest musicians, pulled from bands like Hiatus Kaiyote, The PutBacks and his very own The Bamboos. He recorded a dozen tracks with them, cuts filled with soulful grooves and funky twists. Not afraid to throw in strings, or guest vocalists such as Kylie Auldist and Fallon Williams, Raw Material released on its own would sit neatly as a more uptempo companion to Ferguson's Her 12 Faces release (recorded under his Lanu moniker).

Ferguson then handed a vinyl copy of each of his recorded tracks to a different producer (think Katalyst, One Above, US production duo Javelin and Toronto MC Clairmont The Second, who each received one cut each), to use as a template to sample for their own production.

Released as a double act, you could listen to the first record as a hands-in-the-air-like-you-just-don't-care party playlist, the second record as the logical next chapter in Ferguson's glittering career, or go one-for-one, exploring just what's possible when you combine a vinyl record and some hella-talented musicians.

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