Runner is the first single and video from the forthcoming album of the same name by Lance Ferguson as Machines Always Win, and it arrives with a sound that may be unexpected for some from the leader and guitarist of world-renowned Melbourne Funk & Soul outfit, The Bamboos.
The project combines vintage synths and live drums to create an enveloping world of Ambient Beats, Downtempo Electronica, Lo-Fi Hip Hop and Dream Pop that will appeal to fans of Boards Of Canada, Tycho, DJ Shadow, Four Tet and Air. Ferguson wrote and produced the album and played almost all the instruments himself, alongside his longtime studio cohort John Castle (Dean Lewis, Gretta Ray, Angie McMahon, Washington).
The album will be released digitally on November 1st and as a Limited Edition turquoise double LP on November 22nd on Ferguson’s own Pacific Theatre label. The track Runner is accompanied by a suitably surreal animated video that evokes feelings of exploration and metamorphosis, which was created by Thiing Studios from the UK, who have previously created videos for Roisin Murphy, Gang Of Youths, Middle Kids, Gordi, Spring King, Dreller and Kronos Quartet. A follow up animated video from Thiing will coincide with the vinyl album release.
Machines Always Win is a musical experiment designed to reconcile Ferguson’s love of beats, breaks, vinyl-digging culture and sampling with a particular strand of melancholic, ambient, guitar, synth-based music. Think much-sampled drummer Bernard Purdie playing with Ryuichi Sakamoto, or Clyde Stubblefield joining Cocteau Twins. The album is a musical reaction against writing standard verse/chorus/bridge song structures and is intent on letting the music flow and settle in its own way, finding its own level.
Always one to look to the stars, for Ferguson the Runner album touches on themes such as the drama and beauty of human space exploration; the juxtaposition of technological creations with the ancient earth; and observing human beings as an example of the Universe itself becoming self-aware.
Machines Always Win’s self-titled debut album was released in 2014 and received acclaim and support from Triple J, Frankie, Tone Deaf and The Music. That was released as a deliberately anonymous project, however Ferguson decided to be open that he was behind project on this follow up album. But the album is still caught in the contradiction of looking to escape and find refuge from the weight of the expectations of others, but at the same time having the desire to be heard. “Leave me alone to make some music I really love…/ ”But don’t leave me alone for too long because I’ll miss you…”
“Machines Always Win champion a sunny, nostalgia-filled dream pop sound…”
“A blissful mashup of ’80s and ’90s retro influences with modern day idealism and pop sensibilities.”
“Machines Always Win know how to make flowy and dreamy pop tunes and we’re officially intrigued”
Machines Always Win, Runner single & video out now.
‘Runner’ album out Nov 1st digitally and Nov 22nd on limited coloured 2LP on Pacific Theatre / BMG.