World acclaimed producer, Steve Aoki, finally releases his long awaited debut album, Wonderland, in February 2012. The album, which was named for the famous avenue in Hollywood hills on which Aoki’s studio is located, features a list of collaborators that reads like a VIP guest list at a Hollywood club. Featured on the album are artists such as [[[zuper blahq]]] (AKA will.i.am), LMFAO (two #1 singles in Australia and over 1 million singles sold in 2011), Wynter Gordon (#1 single in Australia with “Dirty Talk”), Rivers Cuomo (Weezer), Travis Barker (Blink182), Lil Jon, Chiddy Bang, Kid Cudi and Australia’s own NERVO.
With Wonderland, Aoki brings a lifetime’s worth of passion for bands, DJs and artists of all stripes that he has met and/or worked with over the past two decades to the forefront. “There’s some iconic personalities walking up and down Wonderland”, Aoki laughs, but that’s not why the artist chooses to live on Wonderland Avenue. He’s there for his home studio and access to big name guests from around the world who are happy to drop by and record with one of the party scene’s greatest rockers.
“Every single day I’m in L.A., I’m recording at my house,” says the busy, touring DJ and producer, who, by his own admission, is only in Southern California for less than 100 days a year these days. “Luckily, L.A. is a place everyone wants to come visit and it’s a cool environment up there”, he adds.
“This album is a collection of singles with all different kinds of songs,” Aoki says, adding that “Earthquakey People”, with Rivers Cuomo, is resonating big time with rock, pop and dance fans. The song shot straight to the upper echelons of Beatport’s electro house charts as soon as it was released in October 2011.
“People are really going to like ‘Ladi Dadi,’” Aoki says of his pop skewing offering with Wynter Gordon. “Dubstep is a major influence in my production lately,” he said of the track. Gordon had a #1 hit in Australia with “Dirty Talk” in 2011 and performed in Australia on New Year’s Eve 2011/12.
But “Ladi Dadi” isn’t the only radio-friendly track on Wonderland featuring female vocals. Aoki also teamed up with CSS singer, Lovefoxxx, for deep house pleaser “Heartbreaker”, as well as rising star, Polina Goudieva on “Come With Me (Dead Meat)”. “It’s actually the first track I wrote for the album,” says Aoki of “Come With Me (Dead Meat),” which features commercial house production.
“I wanted this album to show all the different kinds of production sounds I can do,” says the globe-trotting DJ who has been on a hot streak lately thanks to singles like “Turbulence”, which emerged as one of 2011’s bigger anthems at large-scale dance events from Belgium’s massive Tomorrowland to Miami’s annual Ultra Music Festival.
Wonderland is far from your average dance music collection of singles, however. The record bristles with fresh-sounding collaborations beyond club jams that light up VIP sections from Moscow to Miami.
From rap to punk, electro house to alt-rock, Wonderland is truly a unique cross-genre whirlwind tour of music in 2012, as Aoki sees it, and as akin to driving down Wonderland Avenue at dizzying speeds, constantly shifting gears.
“This album is a spectrum of music that influences me,” says Aoki.
Arguably, no other producer has done more to raise the international profile of Los Angeles in underground electronic music circles than Steve Aoki. He broke bands such as Bloc Party, The Bloody Beetroots, Klaxons and The Gossip though deftly marketed single and full-length releases on his Dim Mak label, which he began in 1996 and now has over 250 releases. Those releases often dovetailed into performances at his weekly Dim Mak nights including Dim Mak studios (which are still going strong every Tuesday night in the heart of Hollywood). As a label owner and shrewd curator of talent from around the world, Aoki has hosted the debut US performances of hundreds of acts over the last decade from Lady Gaga to Ed Banger Records & Justice, Ke$ha, Skrillex, Kid Cudi, Kaiser Chiefs, No Age and Boys Noize. Aoki’s become a force of nature who has helped turn underground house, electro and harder-edged EDM with rap and rock leanings into the phenomena it is today, regularly pulling in 150,000+ fans at events such as Las Vegas’ Electric Daisy Carnival and the debut of the IDentity national electronic touring festival.
Aoki’s punk roots go back to the art of the house party. When he was just a student at UCSB he was already booking bands such as The Rapture, !!!, Jimmy Eat World, Hot Water Music and At The Drive-In at his Pickle Patch bash and forged relationships with big names that would end up serving him well in the future (he met Weezer’s Rivers Cuomo at a secret show in college).
Australia, suddenly insatiable when it comes to dance music in all its splendour and variety, is now ready to take a proverbial drive down a street the DJ/producer knows so well.
- Earthquakey People (Feat. Rivers Cuomo)
- Ladi Dadi (Feat. Wynter Gordon)
- Dangerous (Feat. [[[zuper blahq]]])
- Come With Me (Deadmeat) [Feat. Polina]
- Emergency (Feat. Lil Jon and Chiddy Bang)
- Livin’ My Love (Feat. LMFAO and NERVO)
- Control Freak (Feat. Blaqstarr & Kay)
- Steve Jobs (Feat. Angger Dimas)
- Heartbreaker (Feat. Lovefoxxx)
- Cudi The Kid (Feat. Kid Cudi and Travis Barker)
- Ooh (Feat. Rob Roy)
- The Kids Will Have Their Say (Feat. Sick Boy with former members of The Exploited and Die Kreuzen)
- Earthquakey People (The Sequel) [Feat. Rivers Cuomo]