Words by Amar Gera //
So Billboard have just released their 40 Greatest Dance Albums of the Decade, with Flume’s 2012 self-titled debut taking out the 13th spot and Alison Wonderland’s 2015 debut album Run taking out the 37th. Interestingly they are the only two Aussie albums that made it onto the list, despite Flume and Rufus Du Soul tearing through the grammy nominations recently, both scoring nods for the Best Dance/Electronic Album award.
We all know Australia has churned out some of the freshest and most exciting electronic dance music scene has witnessed over the past decade, yet, if there had to be two Aussies to claim spots on the list, its safe to say Flume and Alison Wonderland have earned their places fair and square. Both have taken their unique brands of EDM to all corners of the globe, dominating world stages, headlining international festivals and touring the world, showing millions the range of talent that Australia has to offer.
The list has other EDM juggernauts too, with acts such as Kaytranada, Skrillex, Calvin Harris and Disclosure taking out respective spots on the list, with Disclosure snagging the top. It’s a star-studded list, filled with acts that have helped shape EDM and thrust it to the forefront over the last decade, but there are simply far too many to name.
But this is about the Aussies, so we’re gonna take a look at the albums that got Alison Wonderland and Flume onto the list:
Alison Wonderland’s 2015 debut Run was an absolute smash when it burst onto the scene, snagging the top spot on Billboard’s top dance/ electronic albums chart. Led by the trap vocal infused lead single ‘I Want U’, Alison let the world know she was here to stay. The 12 track LP also featured fellow Aussies Safia (‘Take It To You’) and Slumberjack (‘Naked’). The albums pristine vocals from Alison herself as well as the distinct production cemented Alison into the EDM scene, and she’s kept up the level of quality on her releases since, most notably on her 2018 release ‘Awake’.
Her live sets over the years have lived up to the energy of her music as well, with Alison displaying her versatility as an artist by playing instruments, singing live and turning up crowds the only way she can. It’s fair to say Alison has been a trailblazer for Australian female DJs and female DJs in general, being the highest billed female DJ in the history of Coachella, and thus she has more than earned her place on a list like this, it’s just a wonder she isn’t higher up on it. If you love Alison Wonderland just as much as we do, you’re in luck, as she’s playing Festival X this Saturday, and you can cop tickets right here.
One of Australia’s biggest international exports, the Northern Beaches born Harley Streten has captivated the world over the past decade, continuously pushing the boundaries of EDM with each release. When he burst onto the scene in 2012 with ‘Sleepless’ at 21 years old it was almost impossible to describe what his music sounded like, drawing influences from hip hop, RnB, UK garage and house.
His self-titled debut album continued this trend when it was released in 2012, breaking through the confines of the EDM genre with hits like the soulful ‘Holdin On’, ‘Sleepless’, ‘Left Alone’ featuring the formerly named Chet Faker, now Nick Murphy who went on to become a frequent collaborator of Streten’s, and the hip hop piercing ‘On-Top’ featuring T-Shirt. His debut was a launchpad for Streten, and enabled him to continue pushing the boundaries with albums like grammy winning Skin (2016) and his most recent experimental release Hi This Is Flume (2019). Thus, it’s understandable to see why it’s his debut that has scored the 13th spot and not his follow up albums, the impact it had when it came out was second to none, and set up Flume for the large amount of success that followed.
With each release Flume has continued to dominate and expand his influence, selling out shows across the world and developing an insane following. Recently playing Listen Out across Australia, he reaffirmed his place among Australian EDM and among EDM powerhouses around the world.
Australia has some incredible talent, and although we only scored two spots on Billboards ‘40 Greatest Electronic Dance Albums of the Decade’, it’s clear Australian artists are pushing the bounds of music, especially in the EDM world, and with artists like Flume and Alison Wonderland leading the way, as well as other artists like Golden Features and Rufus Du Soul, it won’t be long before lists like these are dominated by Aussie acts.