Pnau -- featuring Sydney school buddies Nick Littlemore and Peter Mayes -- were not the typical Aussie music act when they first hit the stage during the mid-'90s.
Instead of rock, they played acid house and trance. In a changing climate down under, however, in which dance music was gaining strength, the duo swiftly won plenty of fans and respect. By the time Pnau were ready to put out their debut album, they had gravitated toward deep house, funk, and hip-hop with Latin and jazz flavors. The album, titled Sambanova, was released in 1999 by Warner
and made a big splash on Australia's underground music scene. However, as a result of problems with the copyright of some of the samples used on the album, the record company decided to re-release it. The new version of Sambanova came out in 2001, minus two tracks included on the original, "Arthur's Pizza" and "Disc One," but boasting three fresh numbers: "Journey Agent," "Ordinary Day," and "Searchin'." The group's profile rose during the rest of the 2000s, thanks to albums such as 2007's self-titled effort and 2011's Soft Universe. The duo remained prolific collaborators, with projects including Empire of the Sun
, Littlemore's group with the Sleepy Jackson
's Luke Steele, and Good Morning to the Night, a 2012 album with Elton John
. ~ David Peter Wesolowski, Rovi