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Future Classic: A Label Without Limits


Future Classic: A Label Without Limits

The HBT Crew’s all about sharing the influences that make the electronic music scene what it is—exciting, inspiring, and constantly evolving. We’re about the buzz, the talent, and the people who make a difference in the industry, which is why we couldn’t let this notable group of managers, record producers, touring agents, and die hard partiers go unnoticed by our readers.

Future Classic is an Australian music label owned by Nathan McLay and his right-hand man Clay Gillard. Though they aren’t entirely new to the music scene, their success in recent years has been extraordinary, reaching an international audience through accomplished artists and impromptu album releases. Their most noteworthy artists include Australian powerhouses Flume and Chet Faker, among many others such as Flight Facilities, Basenji, Cashmere Cat, Karma Kid, George Maple, Chrome Sparks, Jagwar Ma, Ta-ku and What So Not. They manage 50 artists and counting, each of which has their own distinct and promising sound. About half of Future Classic’s catalogue is a variation of 4/4 house music, while the rest is an assortment of upbeat nu-disco, future jazz, indie rock and bass music. They also provide a home for international artists touring in Australia and New Zealand, working with Little Dragon, Shlohmo, Kaytranada, Ryan Hemsworth and Rustie, to name a few.

Like many other music labels, the two founders started off as DJs trying to push forward with their own musical careers.  They started their humble operation as an after-work project in an apartment located in Sydney in 2004, years before their most memorable artists were even making music. It was only once they began managing artists that they decided to change their focus towards a more business-oriented A&R outlook. More than ten years later, they are now responsible for bringing some of the most unique and impactful artists to the global scene as well as enriching the local scene with international touring acts and some of the most sensational parties out there.

In an article awarding them Label of the Month published by Resident Advisor on October 2014, Matt Unicomb explains the philosophy behind the contemporary, avant-garde businessmen: “You have to be invisible,” McLay says. “Your job is to push an act’s profile forward, so you need to step back… It’s become less about us and more about the acts and their vision.” Gillard further explains that they made the conscious choice to put themselves in the background once they began managing artists.

Though they identify themselves as a music label, this company is anything but ordinary, as McClay and Gillard stretch far beyond the roles of managers and founders. They also plan and organize tour gigs for artists not on their roster, they produce records, publish songs, throw parties and “highly endorse dancing” – just what we would expect from such a refreshing and vibrant group of individuals.

Unsurprisingly, the team doesn’t stop there. Their collaborations outside the music world include four impressive Future Classic track listings on the hit game Grand Theft Auto V; namely, What You Need by Flume, Truly Alive by Mitzi, Mesmerised by Scenic, and Always by Panama. Additionally, Flume’s track titled The Greatest View was featured in the Assassin’s Creed Unity’s Trailer, Panama teamed up with global swimwear brand Seafolly to create a music video for the launch of their new collection, and Classixx was the headliner for a cheeky and intimate Adult Disco Show in Sydney.

If that’s not enough, you can also check out the staff’s Spotify playlist titled “Future Classic’s Office Radio,” where they not only feature the artists they represent, but many other interesting and original acts such as Tycho, Jon Hopkins, Clap! Clap!, Roland Tings, ODESZA, oOoOO, Medlar and many, many more! Be sure to follow them on Soundcloud to stay up-to-date on upcoming releases, including their newest track entitled Where You End and I Begin by Future Classic artist George Maple feat. Grande Marshall.

Also, don’t forget to give their Future Classic Compilation a listen. It features a perfect 80-minute dose of soulful sounds, showcasing FC artist originals, all mixed by Chad Gillard himself.

All in all, it’s their tenacity, hard work, and unique vision paired with multiple success stories that make the prospect of any future project of theirs pure magic. And that’s without-a-doubt what makes them an HBT favourite. Be on the lookout for whatever these guys have to offer next…we know we will!

If you want to find out more about Future Classic and what they’re up to, check out their website!

By: Franki Calabrese

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