Meet your stage presenters: Future Classic

We're excited to have Future Classic presenting a stage at Laneway 2013. Since forming eight years ago, Future Classic has built up a rep for excellent taste via their regular online DJ mixes, weekly radio show on FBi and Adult Disco parties, as well as touring international acts such as Little Dragon, Mount Kimbie, Holy Ghost!, The Whitest Boy Alive and Sebastien Tellier. They've released music on the FC record label for artists including Flume, Flight Facilities, New Navy, Panama and release and manage rising act MITZI and a young guy you've probably heard of recently called Flume, who debuted at #2 on the ARIA Albums Chart last week with his incredible self-titled debut.

We recently sat down with Nathan McLay from Future Classic to discuss the Australian electronic music scene, what's on their radar for the coming 12 months and why they wanted to collaborate with Laneway: 

What appealed to Future Classic when wanting to join forces with Laneway Festival to present a stage?

For a start we're huge fans of Laneway as music fans, having attended it for years and enjoyed the locations, programming and overall vibe. We've always been champions of music that sits in between genre's, that takes chances and sets rather than conforms to trends. Laneway has always had a ballsy, eclectic lineup that gives audiences something to dig their teeth into and we're excited about contributing to that.

Future Classic recently spent some time overseas at CMJ with Flume and lots of this year being based in Berlin – what are some of the newer acts you're excited about at the moment that are beginning to emerge overseas?

Travelling is always a fun way to discover artists that were otherwise off your radar, or check out acts you had a whiff of but don't know much about. I got a chance to catch Chrome Sparks in NYC after enjoying his tunes "marijauna" and "<3 & Soul", I was psyched on a live electronic set by Eprom who i caught at a heaving Low End Theory session in LA and in Cologne i went on a boat trip showcasing a bunch of young German bands and was super impressed by a young indie act Roosevelt. There, secrets revealed ; )

In your time you've seen a fair few festivals – what do you look for when curating a stage?

We've curated events for Vivid and Sydney Festival in the past but this will be the first all day / night stage we've been involved in. It's awesome when you are at a festival that has a stage you keep coming back to, that has a vibe of its own within the overall festival that keeps its audience engaged. We're excited about building the Future Classic stage at Laneway into an annual snapshot of what's exciting us, artists that are really able to engage live and some unexpected happenings that make it more than just a succession of artists on a bill.

The label also released a great compilation earlier this year, compilation CDs have always been around but do you feel mixtapes and curation are really coming to the forefront these days?

Our roots are as DJs so discovery and curation has always been central to what we do. Mixtapes have been around for a long time but the sheer volume of music we have access to nowadays and the participatory way in which we engage with music online makes filters and trusted reference points super valuable. Festivals are a vital part of this mix and the it's exciting to be curating music from a "live boutique festival experience" perspective.

Do you feel now is the time that Australia's beginning to catch up with many of the trends in electronic music overseas, or has this always been a very strong niche over here?

There's always been forward thinking artists and audiences here, but its isolated and a far smaller centre in comparison to Europe and the US. Talent wise, however, Australia punches far above its weight and i regularly meet fans and industry people from abroad who remind me of this. I am always pleasantly surprised when i am overseas and hear people know Future Classic, that our vinyl is in dope record stores like Rough Trade, Hardwax and Amoeba and sitting alongside records by our Aussie friends. There's so much talent here, i am more excited than ever.

The entire label has a really eclectic yet consistent feel, ranging from the international stuff you release to some of the locals you've picked up like New Navy, Flume and Panama – what are you looking for these days in an act locally?

Strong ideas, energy and music we haven't heard before.

A few of the acts on the Laneway line-up – in particular two of the guys you're working quite closely with, Flume and Shlohmo, have collaborated quite a bit before – do you have anything in store here now they'll be on the road together?

We have a bunch of ideas for ways in which Laneway artists on the road together could collaborate together, some of which will happen this year and others that may be more likely to eventuate for successive years. Flume is a huge Shlohmo fan so we'll see what happens there. Obviously Chet Faker sings on the Flume album also so there's possibility for other collaborations there too.

Earlier this year you toured Whitest Boy Alive in a few incredible shows around the country – this year we've got them in another form for Laneway in Kings Of Convenience – are you a fan of their KOC work?

The festival highlight of my year so far was watching Kings hush a 10,000 strong crowd to silence as they quietly opened their set at Primavera in Barcelona while overlooking the Mediterranean in Barcelona in May this year. Erlend and Erik had everyone in the palm of their hands. I absolutely love them.

Some of you have been on the road a few times with Laneway already, do you have any tips for some of the acts about to embark on the tour?


What are your fave remixes of 2012? And favourite record of 2012?

Fave remix at the moment is Erol Alkan's remix of Kindness "Gee Up". Fave album is Flume, but i am biased ; )


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