#98 – Lanu Told Me To

Lanu is the solo project of Lance Ferguson, who some of you may know from Australia’s The Bamboos. They are responsible for all kinds of sweet funk and soul. A couple of our favourite tracks from them include ‘Step It Up’ which features Alice Russell and their cover of the Kings Of Leon song ‘King Of The Rodeo’ (which we blogged a while ago). He recently released his second album under the Lanu moniker called Her 12 Faces on Tru Thoughts which is a blend of pop, indie, jazz and a bit of breaks for good measure. The second single off this album features Megan Washington on vocal duty, who is also responsible for singing on the Kings Of Leon cover. If this sounds like a good mix then, rest assured, I can tell you it is. Stream the song below and you can download it from Lanu’s bandcamp page for absolutely nothing.

As well as sending us this rather delightful song, Lanu also sent us a couple (three, actually) of songs that he likes and told us a little something about them. Here he is…

DJ Shadow – Changeling [Buy]
From ‘Endtroducing’ 1996 (Mo’Wax)

Shadow basically changed the paradigm of what was thought possible with sampling with the Endtroducing album. But besides that the music stands up as objectively truly monumental regardless of HOW it was created. Unlike many DJ/producer albums, Endtroducing remains timeless – it is evocative, expansive, imaginative and panoramic in its scope. As a long-time Native Tongues fan I have always been big on a nice Fender Rhodes sample so when I heard the intro of ‘Changeling’ for the first time I completely bugged out. The beauty of this song for me is the juxtaposition going on: The fragility and poignance of the female vocal sample, strings and keys up against the heavy darkness of the drum break and Bassline. It’s pure genius.

Serge Gainsbourg – Ballade de Melody Nelson [Buy]
From ‘Histoire de Melody Nelson’ 1971 (Phillips)

An acknowledged classic that never gets tired. This is as much Serge’s song as it is Jean-Claude Vannier who took care of string and choral arrangements over the whole record as well as co-writing the music. In two minutes this song basically encapsulates an entire time and vibe in musical history. The modulating chord sequence sets off the string lines in this way that is unbelievable, and then there’s THAT Bass tone which has spawned a million imitations (some of my own records included). I got into Gainsbourg relatively late and wondered what the hell I had ever been doing before.

Gold Panda – Marriage [Buy]
From ‘Lucky Shiner’ 2010 (Notown)

I’m going to throw in a recent record here because I think this one has already become a ‘classic’ for me already. It’s this track but really the album as a whole. Gold Panda’s music brings together emotive, melancholy and reflective moods with Beat technique in a way that is totally mesmerising. I have seriously hammered this album and still find new layers and discoveries with every listen – it goes so much deeper than just a bunch of songs with Eastern/Asian samples (as some critics have said). Sometimes it seems like it’s harder to get ‘inside’ an album these days as people are buying individual songs more and there is so much music available that you don’t have time to get stuck on something. When we were kids we’d listen to one album over and over again because we only owned a few. I feel like I kind of got back to that same headspace with this record.

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