During its ten-year existence, Redfern-based label Future Classic has gone a long way towards justifying its bold appellation. In addition to introducing the world to Flume, Jagwar Ma and Chet Faker, for the last three years the imprint has exercised its discerning tastes to curate a party for Vivid LIVE.
This year’s event features Scottish ambient sci-fi guy Koreless, Parisian R&B nostalgist Stwo and rising Sydney dance producer Basenji (AKA Sebastian Carlos). Basenji popped onto the scene just six months ago but Carlos is no stranger to the city’s winter festival.
“I love Vivid,” he says. “Almost every Vivid party I’ve been to has had this amazing energy to it. One of the first studio parties I went to was the Goodgod party two years ago, with Nicky Da B and Egyptian Lover, and that was literally one of the best nights I’ve ever had. The Future Classic show last year absolutely blew my mind.”
Future Classic’s advocacy is one of many auspicious omens surrounding the dexterous 21-year-old beat technician. Since the jaunty instrumental ‘Dawn’ got added to high rotation on triple j and FBi early this year, Carlos has gigged all over the country and supported the likes of Rustie, What So Not and John Dahlback.
“I’m having a lot of fun,” he enthuses. “The gigs have been incredible and I have a whole lot of new music, which I’m really excited to share.
“I finished university at the end of last year and I was like, ‘Well, I’ve got nothing to do. I want to really commit to making music, I want to start a new project, I want to see what I can do with it in 2014.’ I was very ambitious but I didn’t really see any of this coming.”
The number of Australian electronic musicians presently making waves draws attention to a pulsating underground. The condition of Sydney’s music scene is constantly under scrutiny, but despite this, plenty of local acts have made an international impact in recent years.
“I’m so happy to be here,” Carlos says. “The scene is beautiful right now and I feel blessed to be close friends with Cosmo’s Midnight and Wave Racer. I think Australia-wide there are so many talented people that are my age and it’s really fun watching a new generation of artists take off.”
Performing at the Opera House is a pinnacle achievement for any artist, no matter their breadth of experience. Getting a chance to perform there within a year of coming into the public consciousness is an exceptional privilege.
“I’m still really tripping out about that. It’s a show that I’m really looking forward to. The obvious prestige of the venue is a lot of fun. It’s something to do with the harbour; it just puts people in the right mood. It’s something special and people really get behind it.”
Far from getting carried away by the influx of adulation, Carlos is studiously experimenting with stacks of new Basenji material.
“I’m putting all my time into it,” he says. “This is what I’m doing 24/7, so it is really nice to see it paying off. Even if people didn’t care I would still be making music and putting in the same amount of effort.
“I’m working on what’s looking like maybe a four- or five-track EP right now. I’m working with different singers, lots of local artists. I was in the studio today with a singer, George Maple, working on a track. She’s the absolute best to work with. Who knows what comes after the next release but I really want to try out whatever.”