Lineup :: Bands :: The Wonder Bars

Philadelphia, PA

For almost half a decade, the Wonder Bars have consistently been pioneers of Philadelphia's live electronic music scene. Mainly inspired by legends as Daft Punk, Chemical Brothers, Aphex Twin and Kraftwerk (who would eschew the DJ paradigm and instead chose to perform their music using their own sequenced studio equipment), The Wonder Bars began performing at a time when DJing dominated people’s ears and House’s most talented producers were, for the most part, unknown or obscured. As the tools for live electronic performance matured to a reliable point, The Wonder Bars and many other solo/group "controllerists" began composing and performing music on MIDI controllers and with Ableton Live. Today, almost all of the new faces in electronic music have in fact been performing their music using a sequencer and MIDI controllers rather than simply spinning their tunes on turntables/CDJs, and as a result House as well as every other form of EDM has skyrocketed into the ears of the mainstream music world.

But The Wonder Bars aren’t just known for their technical abilities. They are themselves an improvement upon today’s solo act-dominated electronic music landscape. Instead of simply cueing sampled loops, producer Tom Phoolery opts to recruit the finest musicians from Philadelphia’s jazz & rock music scenes, to achieve a level of improvisatory capability that allows the band to be as free-form with the music as possible, while still remaining in the format of danceable, repetitive-yet-ever-changing EDM. Combining multiple levels of improvisation (from solo work to song form) and a long-form “DJ set” mentality (where the individual songs make up the hour-or more-long work as a piece in and of itself), The Wonder Bars stretch the concepts of House music, and dance music in general, to their farthest reaches. Remaining one of Philadelphia’s largest electronic ensembles, The Wonder Bars continue to strive for the progression of dance music in all of its forms.