Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 23

This post was originally published on this site

Dexter’s Beat Laboratory is a weekly collection of songs from DA music editor and staff writer Robyn Dexter. With a taste that can only be described as eclectic — to say nothing of a name that lends itself to punnery — DA is happy to present a selection of tracks personally curated by Dexter for your listening pleasure.


There’s a serious shortage of glitch hop on my radar lately, so I’m delighted when some pops up. I’m a long-time fan of Au5 and his incomparable style. He crafts flawless, ethereal soundscapes that never fail to impress with their otherworldly qualities. He’s reworked APEK‘s “Supernatural” into a remix that juxtaposes Stassi’s delicate vocals with heavy glitchy elements. It’s both melodic and hard-hitting, which I love.


This next track continues with the theme of otherworldly music. WDMA’s “I Walk Alone” is an intense adventure of a track, containing elements of deep and tech house. Throughout its four-minute length, the song goes through an array of phases, making it more of a story than a song. With gorgeous builds and serene vocals, “I Walk Alone” caught my ear from first listen.


Stonebank and Darren Styles have teamed up for a legendary happy hardcore track on Monstercat called “Sky Is Falling.” With dreamy vocals from EMEL, the two top-notch producers are pushing BPM boundaries with this latest collaboration. As with many happy hardcore releases, the verses shine with emotive vocals, building up to a fiery, fast-paced drop. It’s addicting.


Party Ghost is back releasing music, and all is right with the world. Less than a month after the release of “Alone,” the Californian producer is back with a shimmery new track called “Keep Me Around.” The track focuses on Party Ghost’s vocals over a simple guitar melody, taking a minimalist approach to his music. Though it’s a bit melancholy, “Keep Me Around” still has catchy elements that keep the listener hitting “repeat.”


For his latest piece of work, GoodSex has released a remix of fellow Chicagoans Win & Woo. GoodSex gives the track a sultry vibe, with a deep bass line that gives the chorus a gritty, rough-around-the-edges feel while still maintaining top-notch production quality. It’s reignited my love for “Recognize” in an entirely fresh way.


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Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 22

Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 21 | Top Tracks of 2017

Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 20

Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 22

This post was originally published on this site

Dexter’s Beat Laboratory is a weekly collection of songs from DA music editor and staff writer Robyn Dexter. With a taste that can only be described as eclectic — to say nothing of a name that lends itself to punnery — DA is happy to present a selection of tracks personally curated by Dexter for your listening pleasure.


Over the past few weeks, the United States has been racked with harsh winter conditions. As cruel as winter can be, there are some songs make the perfect soundtrack for the more serene, peaceful side of the season. Ennja’s latest release, “Mirrors” is such a song. With glistening vocals and a minimalist, ambient pattern, the nearly 7-minute song is an ethereal journey that encompasses the sounds of the season in an impeccable manner.


StéLouse has been on a roll lately, releasing a fiery cover of Post Malone just last month and following it up with a fresh flip of Khalid‘s “Young Dumb & Broke.” He’s transformed the R&B track into an EDM-friendly future bass remix that’s more lighthearted than its foundation track. “[I] wanted to throw it back to some of that OG StéLouse sound I was doing back in ’14-’15,” the producer explains.


Crystalize promised his fans a big 2018, and he wasn’t kidding. Just four days into the new year, he unleashed a powerful remix of Knife Party‘s iconic “Rage Valley.” It kicks off with pure bass madness that’s rings true to the song’s name. Halfway through, Crystalize steps back, then builds to something even more intriguing: a shimmery, synth-laden, downtempo pattern that’s bursting with creativity and passion. The second half of the song is by far my favorite, and it makes me wish I had more than a minute and a half of it.


It’s been 14 years since ATB‘s “Ecstasy” came out, but passing time hasn’t stopped producers of all persuasions from modernizing the track in their own way. The latest such artists are “8-bit rogue” duo Pixel Terror. Their revival of “Ecstasy” uses the original’s vocals to draw the listener in before building into a formidable melodic drop. Its harmonized layers of synths lay the groundwork for a rework that’s glitchy and computerized, while still maintaining the emotive power of the root song.


BIJOU is in for a huge year. Just watch. The g-house guru has been cranking out a steady stream of top-notch songs for a few years now, making appearances on AC Slater‘s Night Bass imprint and kicking it into high gear the past few months with originals like “Warning” and “Assassin.” He tells of the work that went into his latest, “Count On Me,” on SoundCloud. “This song has been over a year in the making with over 10 different versions worked during that time. This final record is one that is a crossover record with Kaleena’s beautiful vocals, but a dark and driving drop that has the potential to be a dance floor killer.”


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Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 21 | Top Tracks of 2017

Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 20

Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 19

Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 21 | Top Tracks of 2017

This post was originally published on this site

Dexter’s Beat Laboratory is a weekly collection of songs from DA music editor and staff writer Robyn Dexter. With a taste that can only be described as eclectic — to say nothing of a name that lends itself to punnery — DA is happy to present a selection of tracks personally curated by Dexter for your listening pleasure.


This week’s Beat Lab will take a slightly different format.

When I started using SoundCloud in early 2014, I made playlists weekly (read: obsessively). I’ve backed off a bit in recent years, but I still take time to collect songs for my yearly “best of” playlist, which I create every January and add to throughout the year. In late December for the past three years, I narrowed it down to my 50 favorite releases of the year. They range from hard-hitting anthems to serene soundscapes, which truly sums up my music preferences.

My favorite part of this year musically has been all the refreshing innovation I’ve seen from some of my favorite artists. Many of them have branched out completely, forming sounds and styles that are entirely unique to them. In an industry where so much music seems to just be regurgitated over and over again with only slight modifications, it’s been thrilling to discover new artists and hear new material from my favorites that’s 100 percent original.

Without further ado, here are my 50 favorite songs of 2017, in no particular order.



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Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 20

Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 19

Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 18

Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 20

This post was originally published on this site

Dexter’s Beat Laboratory is a weekly collection of songs from DA music editor and staff writer Robyn Dexter. With a taste that can only be described as eclectic — to say nothing of a name that lends itself to punnery — DA is happy to present a selection of tracks personally curated by Dexter for your listening pleasure.

Check in next Friday for the Top 50 tracks of 2017 playlist!


In July, REZZ released a collaboration with an unknown artist named Knodis. “Premonition” was a mysterious, dark journey, capturing the attention of REZZ fans across the globe and leading them to wonder who this “Knodis” could be. His social media profiles disclose little, other than that he makes “space music.” Earlier this week, he released his latest original song, following his first solo venture later in July. “The Machine Is Feeling” is a complex, trippy composition that has been well worth the wait in between releases. Knodis’ use of computerized sounds truly make it sound like “The Machine Is Feeling.” I’m looking forward to hearing more from the producer in 2018.


2017 has been a year of me trying to get my hands on as much content from The Midnight as possible. The duo have created a ton of beautiful music in the past few years, inspiring other artists to remix their songs. Chillwave duo We Are All Astronauts just released their heartfelt remix of The Midnight’s “Synthetic,” an emotion-packed song from The Midnight’s 2016 album Endless Summer. Their take on “Synthetic” is a “post-rock” rendition, highlighting rare vocals from Tim McEwan over a beautiful bed of stringed instruments and piano. We Are All Astronauts have taken an already passion-filled song and brought out the best features for a refreshing — yet almost wistful — take on the song.


Around 2013/2014, Party Ghost was one of my favorite artists. His unique style of full of dancing synths and fun vocals was ahead of its time, and I looked forward to each new release. As time went on, releases from the California producer dropped off. I was thrilled when a new release popped up on SoundCloud earlier this week. “It’s been awhile since I released anything,” he says in the song description. “I wrote this song about a year ago. I feel like I changed a lot as a person and as a artist. I hope you enjoy this new song. I have many more to come.” This new track contains traces of his older music, but also brings an entirely fresh feel to it.


Drum & bass remixes are often unpredictable. I’ve been keeping an eye on 1991 since his stellar remix of Chris Lake‘s “I Want You” and was thrilled to see he’s remixed one of drum & bass’ biggest talents right now: Camo & Krooked. With an ambient introduction that highlights the vocals, 1991 takes his time to building up to a classic drum & bass drop around the two-minute mark. It’s well worth the wait, as he’s crafted a remix that is packed with energy from start to finish.


For a few years now, miƶu has been releasing top-notch remixes and originals, gathering a modest following while doing so. After finding his music through an emotive Ember Island remix last summer, I was hooked on his versatility and the pure quality of the music he was putting out. Apprehensive as I was to see he remixed Madeon, my doubts were immediately wiped away in the first few seconds of his “You’re On” remix. miƶu has created a thrilling take on the standout Adventure track — one that’s entirely different from the original. This remix toys with Kyan‘s vocals, chopping them up into a glitchy, whirling soundscape. It’s so much fun, just like the track it’s built from.


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Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 19

Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 18

Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 17

Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 19

This post was originally published on this site

Dexter’s Beat Laboratory is a weekly collection of songs from DA music editor and staff writer Robyn Dexter. With a taste that can only be described as eclectic — to say nothing of a name that lends itself to punnery — DA is happy to present a selection of tracks personally curated by Dexter for your listening pleasure.


Tired of a SoundCloud feed packed with Post Malone remixes, edits and covers? I thought I was, too — until I heard StéLouse‘s cover of “Rockstar” with Still Haze and Manus. StéLouse takes us back to a “gone but never forgotten SoundCloud era of 2014” with a feel-good cover of the iconic song, coming at the listener hard with the Flume vibes. A swinging beat, gorgeously redone vocals that are arguably much better than the original, and a light trap beat give their cover a life all of its own. It’s revamped my love of the song in a whole new way.


In their latest release, drum & bass powerhouse duo Koven tap into their dark side. “With You” is ushered in by Katie Boyle’s strong vocals and a delicate piano melody that quickly builds into something more forceful. Six-minute “With You” is a formidable BPM-cranked journey that ends the UK pair’s successful year on a strong note, showcasing all the best parts of their skill set.


Lost Kings have been on fire on 2017, shifting their focus to from remixes to original content like “Look At Us Now,” “Quit You,” and “First Love.” They’re rounding out the year with another original: a catchy pop-influenced number called “Don’t Call.” The single is a classic Lost Kings track, centered on catchy vocals and a solid dance beat. And don’t worry — they’re still in the remix game.


Kasbo‘s latest creation is a beautiful but melancholy single. He calls “Snow In Gothenburg” one of the most atmospheric and personal tracks he’s ever made, and that’s made completely clear by the somber soundscape he paints as the song progresses. “The song itself about loneliness and isolation, and the freedom of coming to terms with those feelings,” he says. “Seeing the beauty of realizing that everyone has their own ways to go in life and that not everyone is supposed to have someone.”


For the final track of this week’s playlist, we shift gears completely. Monstercat veteran Ephixa and label newcomer Bossfight thrill in this heavy electro creation called “Subside.” With dancing synth melodies and pounding bass, these two take the listener on a wild ride throughout their collaboration, with countless unexpected twists and turns. The surprise factor throughout the course of the song makes it practically unclassifiable, putting “Subside” in a league of its own.


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Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 18

Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 17

Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 16

Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 17

This post was originally published on this site

Dexter’s Beat Laboratory is a weekly collection of songs from DA music editor and staff writer Robyn Dexter. With a taste that can only be described as eclectic — to say nothing of a name that lends itself to punnery — DA is happy to present a selection of tracks personally curated by Dexter for your listening pleasure.


Versatile producer Sickick surprises with each new release. The mysterious Canadian artist has produced everything from pop music hip-hop to trippy “sickhop.” His latest, “Bermuda,” sneaks into your ear and stays there. It’s simultaneously catchy and intense, with seductive vocals layered over a dark trap vibe. The single is second in his “Sicks Weeks” series, ensuring that more top-notch production is coming our way.


This track from Mekanism has everything I love most about drum & bass: it’s emotion-packed, features gorgeous vocals and is fueled by a racing beat. Though NoCopyrightSounds released the track, there isn’t any information available about the artist. All they’ve revealed is that Mekanism is “coming soon.” If this is just the beginning for Mekanism, I’m looking forward to seeing what the future has in store.


This is perhaps my favorite release from the past week. Bishu seems to be capable of producing just about anything (remember that Santana and Rob Tomas remix from a few weeks ago?) His sophomore Monstercat release, “Eyes Wide Open,” makes a huge splash. With a foreboding introduction that leads up to an unexpected drop, Bishu continues to surprise. Each listen of this track brings out new details, revealing the complexity of it composition. It’s completely addicting.


Unlike Pluto recently announced a shift in the direction of his musical journey, citing that he’s going back to his roots after realizing he was “extremely unhappy” with what he was doing musically. “I was making music that I personally didn’t connect with – music that didn’t represent me,” he says in a Nov. 20 Facebook post. “I Need A Win” passionately marks his return to music that’s truly him, and it’s absolutely beautiful.


Tim Schaufert and CASHFORGOLD have once again crafted a gorgeous, ethereal soundscape with their latest collaboration, “Gold.” Schaufert’s flawless sound design skills truly shine on this single, and CASHFORGOLD’s delicate voice lends itself perfectly to the structure of the song. It’s light, airy and dreamy, making it the perfect nightcap for this week’s playlist.


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Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 16

Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 15

Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 14

Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 16

This post was originally published on this site

Dexter’s Beat Laboratory is a weekly collection of songs from DA music editor and staff writer Robyn Dexter. With a taste that can only be described as eclectic — to say nothing of a name that lends itself to punnery — DA is happy to present a selection of tracks personally curated by Dexter for your listening pleasure.


There’s something beautifully haunting about the call of a loon. Their eerie cry invokes deep nostalgia for me, taking me back to summer vacations spent in Canada and hearing the birds’ mesmerizing call echo across the lake in the late hours of the night. Sultan + Shepard have used a loon call in their latest release, “Bloom,” and it fits in perfectly to create a wilderness atmosphere surrounding a simple melody. It’s a beautiful song, made all-the-more beautiful by one of the coolest sounds in nature.


Teminite just hit 100,000 followers on SoundCloud and has released the perfect track to celebrate the occasion. “Party Time” is full of upbeat, dancing synths that frame a grooving melody, paired with pumped-up vocals that add to the party atmosphere. Though it starts off with a cheery vibe, Teminite brings his signature grinding dubstep elements to the chorus, creating a fun juxtaposition. “Party Time” is an intense, energetic piece of work, perfectly highlighting the producer’s excitement about the recent milestone.


Any song with Au5‘s name attached to it is bound to be a celestial, otherworldly journey. His latest, a collaboration with Last Heroes and vocalist Holly Drummond, is a carefully crafted exploration of a “Lush” soundscape. With intricate builds and a focus on Drummond’s soothing vocals, “Lush” is an impeccable example of melodic dubstep at its finest. And can we talk about that album art? Just beautiful.


RL Grime‘s “Core” is one of the most easily recognizable tracks in the dance music game. Since its release in July 2014, “Core” has fueled headbangers at festival stages around the world. On Nov. 21, “Core” was presented in a whole new light by flip guru Crystalize. He’s given the legendary track an even more bass-heavy makeover, adding dramatic synths behind the memorable siren-like melody and beefing up the trap elements in the chorus. “Core” marks Crystalize’s second RL Grime flip this year after his “Reims” rework in June.


Bass house is having a moment, and Spock is here for it. He’s just released “Digital War,” a ferocious, bass-driven single that’s complemented by plucky video game-like synths, staying true to its title. I first heard Spock’s music when he collaborated with Party Ghost years ago and have been thrilled to see the way he’s developed as an artist. His last release, “Floating,” is vastly different from “Digital War,” so there’s no knowing what he’ll cook up next. All we know is that it’ll be awesome.


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Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 15

Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 14

Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 13

Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 15

This post was originally published on this site

Dexter’s Beat Laboratory is a weekly collection of songs from DA music editor and staff writer Robyn Dexter. With a taste that can only be described as eclectic — to say nothing of a name that lends itself to punnery — DA is happy to present a selection of tracks personally curated by Dexter for your listening pleasure.


Since they’re on tour together, it was only a matter of time until we got some form of a San Holo/Just A Gent collaboration. Australian producer Just A Gent has flipped San Holo and James Vincent McMorrow‘s “The Future” into some unclassifiable futuristic (appropriate, right?) bass madness. He’s classified his flip as “newskool trap,” and as always, his sound design is top-of-the-line. Read more about his creative process in our interview with him earlier this week.


It had been 10 months since Irish producer Murtagh had uploaded any new music… until eight-minute “Pressure” hit his SoundCloud profile on Nov. 14 and refreshed his fans on his style — which, by the way, has changed drastically. “Pressure” is vastly different from the release before it, “Synapse,” which the producer attributes to honing his style and realizing the kind of music he wanted to produce. “The new music will be more focussed than what I have released to date,” he explains. If what’s coming is anything like the cinematic, bass-heavy journey of “Pressure,” I’m looking forward to it.


Autograf‘s “You Might Be” was enchanting in its original form: a picture-perfect hopeful song about the possibility of new love. Seven months after its initial release, MICA has put out his own rendition of the track. He’s turned it into something even more moving, including emotional soundbites from The Perks of Being A Wallflower and The Spectacular Now to complement the slow-paced remix he’s crafted. Its dreamy, spacey feel brings out the passion behind the track, and it’s entrancing.


Remember “Smooth” by Santana and Matchbox Twenty’s Rob Thomas? It came out in 1999 on Santana’s Supernatural album and was a huge hit, winning three Grammys and charting across the globe. When a modernized remix of it appeared on Bishu‘s SoundCloud, I was promptly carted off to my childhood — this time experiencing the song in a whole different light. Bishu’s remix plays up the Latin flair of the track and adds components of contemporary dance music, making it fresh while still hitting the nostalgia factor.


Ever since his incredible covers of George Michael‘s “Careless Whisper” and Alex Clare‘s “Too Close,” I’ve kept an eye out for new material from Prismo. His latest single, “Pretty Stranger,” surfaced on Nov. 10 and has remained in my music rotation this whole week. With its catchy vocals, lighthearted melody and a bouncing beat, he’s once again hit the mark.


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Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 14

Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 13

Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 12

Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 13

This post was originally published on this site

Dexter’s Beat Laboratory is a weekly collection of songs from DA music editor and staff writer Robyn Dexter. With a taste that can only be described as eclectic — to say nothing of a name that lends itself to punnery — DA is happy to present a selection of tracks personally curated by Dexter for your listening pleasure.


Fox Stevenson‘s For Fox Sake EP made its debut on Disciple on Oct. 27, featuring three original mixes and one remix. Stevenson, who has been releasing a little bit of everything lately, largely featured dubstep on this EP — aside from the fourth track, a drum and bass remix of “Miss You.” He returns to his roots for this bass-heavy rework of his own track, implementing a racing beat to complement his vocals and the original track’s grungy dubstep wobbles.


As a sucker for emotion-packed vocals over a drum and bass rhythm, Dualistic’s “Thunder” featuring MENN caught my ear immediately. Dreamy vocals take center stage in the minute-long build, leading up to a surprisingly bold drum and bass drop. Liquicity Records hit the nail on the head with this release, as it perfectly evokes a feeling of nostalgia while still providing the fast-paced rhythm listeners like me crave.


KRANE‘s new Fallout LP is insane. Throughout the entirety of its 10-track length, the producer takes his listeners on a deeply personal journey, “a celebration of where [his] sound is today.” A stand-out track to me is “Titan,” featuring Nolan Van Lith. This dramatic, anthemic trap tune is so detail-oriented, setting it apart in the saturated trap market. Powerful synth melodies shine in the chorus, made more dramatic by an underlying trap beat.


Rob Gasser‘s playful, glitchy style shines through perfectly in the release of his “Ricochet” VIP mix. In the track description, he notes that the drop featured in this VIP rework was originally supposed to be used in the March NoCopyrightSounds release before he scrapped it. Though it’s short at 2 minutes and 10 seconds, it’s a fun new look at the original track with trippy video game-like vibes and a heavy beat.


Since seeing Puppet live for the first time in September, I have an even greater appreciation for his completely unique style. In recent releases, he’s been showcasing his own vocals layered over top of his impeccably produced instrumentals. August’s “Here Again” and the latest release, “Bigger Picture,” highlight a more punk rock-based style of electronic music with raw vocals and catchy guitar riffs. I’m loving this new style and can’t wait to see what he releases next.


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Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 12

Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 11

Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 10

Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 12

This post was originally published on this site

Dexter’s Beat Laboratory is a weekly collection of songs from DA music editor and staff writer Robyn Dexter. With a taste that can only be described as eclectic — to say nothing of a name that lends itself to punnery — DA is happy to present a selection of tracks personally curated by Dexter for your listening pleasure.


It’s been a minute since I started out a volume of Beat Lab with a confession, but it’s time for another one. I first heard “Let Go” when Boys Like Girls did a cover of it in 2007, and I honestly had no idea it wasn’t their song. So when a remix of Frou Frou’s “Let Go” by Aylen popped up on SoundCloud, I had to investigate. This rework is a bit of a double-edged sword. It holds true to the emotion of the original track, but Aylen still manages to inject it with heavy elements that give it a more appealing angle to the EDM crowd. The juxtaposition works perfectly.


One of the latest releases from Zeds Dead‘s Deadbeats imprint is a mellow, almost haunting original from Kid Froopy. The producer tugs at the listener’s nostalgic heartstrings with a simple melody, sprinkled with sparkling synths and fun vocal chops. “New You” is part of Kid Froopy’s new EP, Drive Slow, which came out a week ago and features three other tracks that are just as fresh as this one — along with a remix of “New You” from umru.


This beautiful track from Swedish duo Galavant deserves all the attention in the world. The new Armada release packs a powerful punch of emotion and is featured as the inaugural track on episode 179 of Armada Night Radio, which is how I stumbled across it. The introduction pulls the listener in right away with soulful vocals and a gradual build that drops into a chorus of swirling synths. It’s catchy and fueled by a clear passion the duo have for making music.


Arty‘s return to his Alpha 9 alias is such a beautiful thing. In tracks like his most recent, “Burning Heart,” he’s able to re-explore his progressive trance roots — something he clearly hasn’t forgotten how to do. With dreamy vocals and steady, twinkling builds, Alpha 9 shows off his perfected trance chops. The only unfortunate part of this track is its length: it’s short at less than three minutes. Here’s hoping for an extended version in the future.


Following up an impressive selection of tracks earlier this year, Notaker has released his biggest collection of music to date: his Genesis EP. In the middle of this EP is a track called “So Much Love,” a 7-minute journey of epic proportions through an underground, visceral sound. Each piece of work Notaker releases is a carefully fine-tuned, almost cinematic masterpiece, and this latest one is no exception.


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Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 11

Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 10

Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 9