Gig Reviews

Alison Wonderland – The Corner Hotel, Melbourne 18/09/2013

Following the release of her debut single Get Ready, Aussie DJ & producer Alison Wonderland put on a fun, solid set full of her trademark attitude at The Corner Hotel in Melbourne on Wednesday night. Her debut single is proof that Wonderland can craft awesome original music in addition to her unique mixing skills most DJs would be envious of.

Kicking off the night was Melbourne’s Can’t Say DJs, Willow Beats and Tomderson. Duo Willow Beats began just as the punters started spilling into The Corner and finished with a near full house dancing to their dreamy, hippy-esque sound––reminiscent of the sonorous sounds of a rave recovery den in Goa, and the punters certainly showed appreciation for their set. Tomderson mixed crowd pleasing tracks from dance to hip hop and Top 40, creating a European club sound to warm up the punters for Wonderland.

The curtains of the stage were finally drawn to reveal Wonderland standing at her ultra-high decks, dressed in an unassuming black Adidas tee. Her arms outstretched soaking in the screams from her fans, flanked by giant cubes projecting images. Wonderland is a classically trained musician and this shines through her performances. She has solid composition skills and music theory behind her, which exude from her mixed creations. She performs with a complete confidence in her ability and her carefully chosen vocals and beats.

Wonderland is known for mixing tracks and vocals you normally wouldn’t expect to work together, and she has an amazing knack for picking what will take it to another level. On stage, she mixed stacks of old school hip-hop beats and vocals, mixing the likes of Snoop Dogg’s Drop I Like It’s Hott, Naughty by Nature’s Hip Hop Hooray, Biggie Smalls’ Hypnotise Me and Pharoahe Monch’s Simon Says (so popular with the crowd) with Busta Ryhmes and Kanye West; the old school hip hop lead straight into the super body-rolling, unmistakable electronic-reggae of Major Lazer’s Watch Out For This. Wonderland told Music Feeds at Splendour in the Grass, that she treats all of her remixes as original music. She simply pulls vocals from one track and mixes in her own beats, or vice versa.

During certain peaks throughout the night, confetti and ribbons spewed from the ceiling, covering the screaming crowd. Wonderland jumped and danced energetically to her own creative splendour pounding from the speakers. Every so often, she would encourage the crowd to scream louder and dance harder, screaming her orders at the top of her lungs but remaining silent in the absence of a microphone, but the crowd knew what she wanted.

The climax of the night came in the last twenty minutes of her set when she pulled out some old school crowd pleasers to a roar of appreciation from the fans. Wonderland mixed old school Daft Punk (Da Funk) and Chemical Brothers, which bled into M.I.A’s Paper Planes, with the crowd providing the famous dance routine at the hook, all the while giant, glowing, red and blue beach balls were thrown into the crowd, who hit them around the room. It unified the crowd, who were all there for the one purpose: to lose themselves to dance. Wonderland ended her set mixing the beats from Massive Attack’s Teardrop with the vox from Bill Withers’ Ain’t No Sunshine.

Wonderland played an outstanding set for her Melbourne fans. Her sound has unquestioned attitude. It’s danceable, even when skimming from one beat to another, and versatile, displaying a remarkable command of genre. It’s fair to say there is no other DJ or producer like her right now. She bears a love for her craft, has carved her own little niche in the industry, and has an ever-growing fan base as a reward.

Photos: Alison Wonderland – The Corner Hotel, Melbourne 18/09/2013

(Photos by Jodie Meier)

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