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In an era of MP3 downloads, competitive streaming services, and artists plagued by piracy Future Classic is the label defying all odds. They’re the music industry’s “Aussie battler” showing that if you’re passionate about something, persist, and with a vision success will come your way. After ten years, there’s a lot for this independent label to celebrate.
Building their brand initially through hosting tours and underground Future Classic parties around Sydney, they’re now responsible for putting Australia on the electronic music map. Their most notable artists Flume and Chet Faker, have respectively cleaned up at the ARIAs; George Maple and Flight Facilities have played at major international festivals; and currently there’s much hype riding on acts like Basenji and Hayden James. All this from essentially a “bedroom” label that started with just three (Founders Nathan McClay, Jay Ryves and Chad Gillard), to now a full time staff of 12.
So a two-night party during Vivid Festival at the Sydney Opera House is definitely warranted. With a beautiful view of the Harbour Bridge and Luna Park and a dance floor underneath the Opera House sails, it seems promising. Unfortunately, it was disappointing, detracting from the independent and underground vibe that Future Classic was built upon.
When I entered the venue half way through Seekae’s set, there was a packed tent that appeared to be the crowd gathering to watch the three-piece outfit. Instead, this was just the line for food and drink, and don’t even get me started on the toilet situation. Rather than waste most of the night just to purchase a drink, I decide to tackle the night sober. After all, this was a night to be celebrated, amped by performances who all took time to say Happy Birthday to Future Classic.
Seekae’s set consisted of the dark and brooding electronica we expect. Dressed in black with sticks of glowing white lights surrounding the stage, they take on a gothic vibe, playing tracks like The Stars Below and Monster, and finishing in a distorted, dub-step, glitchy mash.
In between sets the MC hypes the crowd, attempting to detract from the frustrating drinks and toilet queue.
“Ever since Crave You they have drip-fed us with more music,” says the MC prepping us for Fight Facilities.
“There’ll be plenty of surprises,” he promises.
When the duo appears, they’re dressed in their signatory pilot uniforms, and immediately the first surprise of the night bounces on stage. Melbourne’s Owl Eyes sings throughout most of their set with songs like Foreign Language, Two Bodies and of course Crave You to a crowd that knows every word with all hands and phones in the air.
Flume’s appearance is highly anticipated. Playing only two shows in Australia, the Producer/DJ “wunderkid” immediately addresses the audience, letting us know how “great it is to be back.”
Featuring guest performances by Isabella Manfredi from The Preatures singing The Greatest View, and Marcus Whale from Collarbones singing a remix of their track Turning, the rest of his set had generous amounts of hip hop beats and non-stop dancing. In sequence he plays On Top, Holding On with rapper Freddie Gibbs and a new track with an awesome hip hop breakbeat, it’s obvious which direction Flume is heading next.
At the end he’s joined by Andrew Wyatt from Miike Snow for his recently released track Some Minds, in which the video clip was filmed at the Opera House. A perfect track to end at the venue that brought it all together, no matter how poorly the logistics were organised.
Watch: Flume – Some Minds
Image: Flume @ Sydney Opera House, Vivid LIVE 2015 / Pic Maria Boyadgis