REVIEW: Soulection @ Taylor’s Rooftop, Sydney

Though it was only a few years ago that the distribution of music was controlled by only the biggest and most well-known labels, we are now seeing more and more smaller communities and families emerging online with fantastic tunes to share. One of these is LA based Soulection. With artists like Mr. Carmack, Sam Gellaitry, Ta-ku, Stwo and Sango all considering themselves part of the Soulection family, on top of their hugely successful Beats 1 radio show, it’s easy to see why they’ve garnered a huge following in the now five years they’ve been doing it. Their sphere of influence is a whole other story, hosting parties in places like Mexico, Brazil, and last Sunday, Sydney. It was the last stop on a huge tour all over Australia by the biggest in the family, Whooligan, Joe Kay, and Esta.

Taylor’s Rooftop, a largely untouched but gorgeous location right in the middle of the city, set the scene for what was to become a Sunday sesh turned all the way up to eleven. Kicking off in the late afternoon, you’d be forgiven for thinking that maybe this was going to stay pretty tame. Watching the sunset through the open roof, some classic tunes from Cashmere Cat and Wave Racer getting played as the warm up, and a crowd slowly building, it seemed pretty laid back. Thankfully, you’d be wrong.

Having just finished a show in New Zealand as part of Red Bull Sound Select’s Neck of the Woods, and also going live from Auckland for episode #257 of Soulection Radio, the boys were cutting it a little bit fine to get to the show in time. Ultimately they were late, about an hour or so, with Whooligan taking to the decks at around 7:30. You could feel the love in the room though – any other artist might have taken to the stage with some boos or questions as to why they were so late, but it was obvious that everyone knew, and everyone understood. The next three hours didn’t feel like three hours at all. Time flies when you’re having fun, and from the rowdiness of the crowd, it was clear that everyone was. Whooligan threw down a heap of jumpy and good feeling house tracks, kicking the crowd into the next gear. Before we knew it, co-founder Joe Kay was in the booth and taking us to the next level with an hour of huge rap bangers and absolute classics.

You’d never think that Biggie’s 10 Crack Commandments could be mixed well alongside Future, but I was so happy to be proved wrong. It was at this point that everyone was really taking it to the next level. Throwing down FlosstradamusMosh Pit, as you can imagine, “Then hit the club and turn the crowd to a mosh pit,” was the turning point. One bloke even climbed on top of a steel girder holding the roof up – a real embodiment of how everyone was feeling – though he was swiftly escorted from the premises. From there, the entire evening is a haze, lost in the beautiful yet surprising mix of filthy trap and groove that only Esta is able to throw down. Obviously stoked with the response they’ve been getting all the way Down Under, the three even joined everyone on the floor for a dance towards the end – you could feel the love in the air.

Soulection is without a doubt only on the way up, and this second sold out Sydney show, at the end of a phenomenal tour, was the best way to see them off into the future. Where will they be in the grand scheme of things when they’re next back in Sydney? That’s an exciting thought to say the least.

Image: BBE