Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 123 | Top Tracks of 2019

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Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 123 | Top Tracks of 2019Deters Beat Lab@0.

Dexter’s Beat Laboratory is a weekly collection of songs from DA managing editor 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.


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 five years, I’ve 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.

In 2019, I was fortunate enough to premiere a few of my absolute favorite tracks of the year, including The Midnight‘s remix of SYML‘s “Clean Eyes,” Com Truise‘s remix of Gold Fields‘ “Waterfall,” and Essenger‘s “After Dark.” (A big thank you to all the artists who choose DA as their platform to reveal new music—we love you!)

2019 was a stellar year for drum ‘n’ bass, exhibited in tracks like Kove‘s “Le Retour,” Koven‘s “Love Wins Again,” 1991‘s “Guiding Light,” Metrik‘s “Hackers,” and so many more. The genre took some fun twists and turns, which fans heard in Mat Zo‘s Latin-infused “Games” and Sub Focus‘ earth-shattering remix of Bring Me The Horizon‘s “Mother Tongue.”

This year saw the arrival of a slew of monstrous collaborations—some unexpected and some that simply made sense. Regardless, tracks like Sullivan King and Grabbitz‘s “Crazy As You” and Delta Heavy and Zeds Dead‘s “Lift You Up” blew my mind. I was delighted when Fox Stevenson and Feint teamed up on a remix of the former’s “Out My Head,” since it flawlessly combined both their styles.

Speaking of Fox Stevenson, the UK producer released his highly anticipated album, killjoy, this year, and it’s a dynamic journey through all sides of the producer’s capabilities. Goldroom wowed me with his double-sided, multi-faceted Plunge/Surface effort, which has quite a story behind it. I had a hard time picking a favorite from A R I Z O N A‘s nostalgic Asylum LP, which is gorgeous and heart-wrenching from start to finish. I also need to mention what was likely my most-listened-to album of the year, which isn’t on SoundCloud: Ollie Wride’s Thanks in Advance. It’s gold. I lived in the aforementioned albums this year, and I’m so grateful to the artists who made them for sharing their creativity with the world.

Without further ado, here are my 50 favorite songs of 2019, in no particular order.


A look back…

Monstercat reveals ‘Best of 2019’ list, voted on by fans

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Monstercat reveals ‘Best of 2019’ list, voted on by fansMonstercat Best Of 2019

After a few days of hard-fought voting, Monstercat fans have selected their top 40 songs of 2019.

The Canadian label revealed that fans picked RIOT‘s “Blackwater” as their No. 1 song of 2019, followed by Bossfight‘s “Overdose” and Grant‘s “Wishes.” This is the second year in a row that RIOT has topped the Monstercat charts, with 2018’s “Overkill” making its mark last year. Other notable releases on the charts include Pegboard Nerds‘ “Gunslinga” and Pixel Terror‘s “Amnesia,” which follow Bossfight and Grant, respectively. Voting for the annual list opened Dec. 3 and closed Dec. 5, and fans were able to vote for up to 10 songs.

In addition to the label’s fan-voted Best of 2019 list, listeners can find Monstercat staff picks in the latest episode of Call of the Wild.

Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 120

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Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 120Deters Beat Lab@0.

Dexter’s Beat Laboratory is a weekly collection of songs from DA managing editor 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.

Listen in playlist format here


Feint’s “Vagrant” is a drum ‘n’ bass classic. The late 2015 release with Veela thrilled Liquicity listeners upon its original debut, and it’s remained near and dear to Feint fans since then. Slovenian producer Smooth has put his own spin on the beloved track, refreshing it and giving fans a new angle from which to appreciate it.

AWOLTALK is helping lead the US drum ‘n’ bass scene, and he’s doing it in a big way. His most recent creation is a remix of chart-topping Billie Eilish and her song “Everything I Wanted.” He takes Eilish’s moody vocals and backs them with a racing rhythm that somehow complements the sonic atmosphere of the tune. It’s addicting.

Hot Date’s new EP is an adventure in all things funk. The three-track Lonely Heart compilation arrived on Dec. 3, comprised of an assortment of groovy elements that make it completely irresistible. The second track “So Good,” catches the listener’s ear with its funky leading melody and introduces mighty vocals to make it even more endearing.

Gareth Emery returns to Monstercat to deliver a collaboration with Kovic, “Somebody.” A delicate guitar melody kicks off the tune, and the singer’s moving voice showcases the heartfelt emotion behind the lyrics. Emery’s production is subdued in the verses but shines in the gorgeously atmospheric chorus.

Spanish producer Dosem follows up his recent EP with a tantalizing remix of Yotto‘s “Hyperlude.” The Anjunadeep release clocks in at more than six minutes, giving fans a chance to dive deep into the world Dosem’s creating in his rendition. It’s both dark and uplifting—a fine line that Dosem walks with style.

Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 100: The Ultimate Drum ‘n’ Bass Playlist

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Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 100: The Ultimate Drum ‘n’ Bass PlaylistDeters Beat Lab@0.

Dexter’s Beat Laboratory is a weekly collection of songs from DA managing editor 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 just something about drum ‘n’ bass that’s always spoken to my soul. I remember hearing my first Pendulum song a decade ago and thinking “what on earth is this, and where can I get more?”

The genre began making its way into the electronic music sphere in the early 1990s, right around the time I was born. Its rapid breakbeats took over London and Bristol, ramping up the jungle and rave scene to 160-180 BPM. While still more widespread in the UK to this day, the genre has slowly trickled into the United States EDM scene. We still have a long way to go before drum ‘n’ bass artists are regularly installed as main stage performers at major US festivals, but there’s so much to discover and embrace in the US drum ‘n’ bass scene (I see you, Flite and Boxplot). There’s also an endless stream of quality dnb being churned out overseas, with imprints like RAM Records, Hospital Records, and Liquicity Records as strong as ever in their supporters and fan base.

I regularly tell people that have never really gotten into drum ‘n’ bass to just try. It’s a diverse and ever-evolving genre, full of sub-genres and offshoots. I guarantee you’ll find something you like in some format. Dig through the 100-song playlist I’ve compiled to celebrate 100 installments of this series to see if there’s something there for you!

Thank you, drum ‘n’ bass, for your tireless energy, emotive vocals, and the ability you always have to yank me out of a bad mood and reignite my love for electronic music in today’s day and age. Here’s to you, and the brilliant artists who create you.

NMF Roundup: Audien remixes Calvin Harris, Armin van Buuren and Above & Beyond team up + more

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NMF Roundup: Audien remixes Calvin Harris, Armin van Buuren and Above & Beyond team up + moreArmin And Above Beyond

It’s most important day of the week: New Music Friday. With the overwhelming amount of tunes hitting the airwaves today, Dancing Astronaut has you covered with the latest edition of The Hot 25.

Gesaffelstein and Pharrell Williams top this week’s Hot 25 with their new collaboration, “Blast Off.” Audien layers on the nostalgia with a gorgeous remix of Calvin Harris and Rag’n’Bone Man, “Giant.” Above & Beyond and Armin van Buuren‘s mega-collab, “Show Me Love,” has finally hit the Armada airwaves, and Midnight Kids unveil a melody-packed remix of Gryffin‘s “Bye Bye.” Yellow Claw follow up their 2018 LP, New Blood, with a new single, “Give It To Me,” with Nonsens, and KSHMR joins forces with Krewella and Yves V for “No Regrets.” TOKiMONSTA releases a mellow new single with Ambré, “Strange Froot,” and W&W bring hardcore back with “The Light.” Sullivan King thanks fans for raging with a metal and dubstep-infused cover of Swedish House Mafia‘s iconic “Save The World,” and Fedde Le Grand puts his own spin on Loud Luxury‘s “Love No More.” 3LAU and Justin Caruso tap vocalist Iselin for a sugar-sweet new single, “Better With You,” and Varien covers Bring Me The Horizon’s “Can You Feel My Heart” with Andrew Zink. Fox Stevenson and Feint link on a new remix of Fox’s own “Out My Head,” and Steff da Campo reworks Galantis and OneRepublic‘s “Bones.”

As each week brings a succession of new music from some of electronic music’s biggest artists, here’s a selection of tracks that shouldn’t be missed this NMF.

Lunar Lunes: Whethan’s ‘GOING UP’ in new release, Robokid taps longtime collaborators Manila Killa and AOBeats for ’17’ + more

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Lunar Lunes: Whethan’s ‘GOING UP’ in new release, Robokid taps longtime collaborators Manila Killa and AOBeats for ’17’ + more15493819 1195507060532921 90434525552801890 O

Each week, New Music Friday sweeps through with torrential force, showering streaming platforms with immeasurable amounts of new tunes. Just like Dancing Astronaut rounds up 25 of the biggest songs of the week for the Hot 25 Spotify playlist each New Music Friday, Lunar Lunes serves as a landing pad for SoundCloud users who want a whole new dose of tunes to kick off the work week.

As 2019 enters its second week, music releases have started to ramp back up. Whethan burst into the new year with the formidable “GOING UP,” and No Mana delivered the ethereal “Tell Me Most” in the new mau5trap We Are Friends compilation. The Knocks cooked up a funky remix of Joe Janiak’s “The Best You Ever Had,” and Robokid teamed up with longtime collaborators AOBeats and Manila Killa for “17.” Monstercat dove into 2019 by cranking up the BPMs, following Stonebank‘s hardcore “The Government” with Feint‘s gorgeous drum & bass original, “Drifters.” Chrome Sparks released a new album on the first of the year, highlighting songs like “Be On Fire” on his SoundCloud. Brock Wilson leads off the 2019 Mad Zoo releases with “hollow shell,” and Adventure Club put a melodic dubstep spin on AOSOON’s “Under.”

The selection is updated every Lunes (Monday).


Photo credit: Verge Campus

Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 72

This post was originally published on this site

Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 72Deters Beat Lab@0.

Dexter’s Beat Laboratory is a weekly collection of songs from DA managing editor 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.

Listen in playlist format here.


The pure, vibrant energy of this Oliver Heldens remix from Tom Staar is what initially drew me to it. The original is also full of life, but Staar’s take gives it an extra kick in the chorus, priming it for festival stages around the world. I’m hooked on the anthemic kick of the bass and the added percussion elements that make it completely irresistible. Songstress Shungudzo’s vocals work impeccably with the groovy beat, too.

nanobii is a master at flipping iconic childhood songs into modernized EDM masterpieces. He’s done takes on “Part of Your World” from The Little Mermaid and “Go The Distance” from Hercules. His infectious happy hardcore elements somehow meld perfectly with these nostalgic tracks, and his latest is no different. He’s taken “I2I” from 1995 Disney classic A Goofy Movie and flipped into a powerful live edit. In its brief 1-minute-and-36-second length, nanobii weaves in elements of hardstyle and thumping bass… and it works. Don’t ask me how — it just does.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: any day with Feint in it is a good day. But any day with brand new Feint in it is an even better day. The Manchester artist has revealed his first release of 2019: “Drifters,” out now on Monstercat. In true Feint fashion, “Drifters” is comprised of lush melodies, emotive vocals, and pristine production. This one also contains a gorgeous guitar theme in the background that complements the drum & bass rhythm beautifully.

Also from 1995 is this original piece of music from Japanese film Ghost in the Shell. American drum & bass producer Flite has put his own spin on “Making of Cyborg” from the movie, calling the tune “truly exceptional and timeless” in his description. This five-minute remix is a true journey, as Flite meticulously works to preserve the cinematic atmosphere of the song while adding his own intense stamp on the number. It’s thrilling.

With the release of mau5trap‘s We Are Friends, Vol. 8 compilation on January 4 comes the arrival of two new i_o songs: a remix of deadmau5‘s “Imaginary Friends” and an original called “404 Anonymous.” The shadowy producer welcomes his listeners to hell in these two authoritative pieces that cement his standing in the music world after a strong 2018. “404 Anonymous,” in particular, shows off his dark and eerie style perfectly, dragging fans into the deepest depths of techno with sinister synths and pounding bass.

Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 69

This post was originally published on this site

Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 69Deters Beat Lab@0.

Dexter’s Beat Laboratory is a weekly collection of songs from DA managing editor 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.

Listen in playlist format here.


It’s a good week for drum & bass. Feint has teamed up with vocalist Heather Sommer for a brilliant new NoCopyrightSounds release, “Shockwave.” This new release dips back and forth between melodic drum & bass and heavier, wobble-laden interludes that make “Shockwave” appealing to fans of the full drum & bass spectrum. This track is feel-good drum & bass at its finest, and Feint’s production remains unparalleled.

Twenty-five-year-old Ram Records has released its annual drum & bass compilation, and with it comes a slew of exclusives and classics. UK producer Culture Shock makes his mark early in the 60-song collection with the emotive “There For You” as the second track. This touching track pulls the listener in right from the beginning with its infectious vocal hook and builds — with the help of some elegant synth melodies — into a welcoming drum & bass number.

RL Grime‘s NOVA has received an impressive array of remixes since its release in July. The final installation, released this week, features hot takes from artists from Vincent to Valentino Khan to Alexander Lewis, who’s crafted a heavy trap take on “Take It Away.” Lewis’ signature horns add an extra punch to the bassline and command a more authoritative and fiery atmosphere than the original, making it a standout on the latest remix compilation.

Hidden Face has had a steady stream of solid songs this year, never seeming to slow his release schedule. A stringed melody demands the spotlight in his latest, “Flowers,” which is backed by a steady deep house beat to drive it along. Intermittent snaps and twinkling notes comprise two brief interludes, giving the song an extra element of diversity. With countless releases this year, 2019 is sure to hold even more stellar work from the mysterious Parisian artist.

Tut Tut Child began a new project in August called Forest Knot, in which he creates a new song each month for a year. Each month since then, he’s been thrilling old and new fans with ambient and contemplative tunes he’s composed from years of traveling. He told listeners to “expect downtempo, explorative electronica, filled to the brim with real sounds,” and he’s delivered on that promise with a gorgeous tune called “We Walk Through The Streets Of Lisbon.”

NMF Roundup: REZZ & Blanke share ‘Mixed Signals,’ Gareth Emery provides a trance haven, Martin Garrix teams up with Julian Jordan + more

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NMF Roundup: REZZ & Blanke share ‘Mixed Signals,’ Gareth Emery provides a trance haven, Martin Garrix teams up with Julian Jordan + moreDA WM 89

It’s most important day of the week: New Music Friday. With the overwhelming amount of tunes hitting the airwaves today, Dancing Astronaut has you covered with the latest edition of The Hot 25.

This week’s slew of releases came in hot, kicking off with a formidable new collaboration between REZZ and Blanke. Gareth Emery again teams up with songstress Emma Hewitt for the gorgeous “Take Everything,” and Valentino Khan thrills on a new rework of RL Grime‘s “Pressure.” Martin Garrix and Julian Jordan bring the Friday feel-good vibes with their new collaboration, “Glitch.” Gryffin is back with a new one, bringing along Stanaj for the ride. Ferry Corsten and Ilan Bluestone refuse to leave the dance floor in “We’re Not Going Home,” and CAZZETTE keeps the dance floor rocking with “On My Mind.” Arty is one of the newest to release on Ninja’s NINJAWERKS compilation with silky “Velvet.” The Chainsmokers bring “Hope” with their newest, and Ookay drops off the five-track Nice! EP. In the dubstep realm, 12th Planet and PhaseOne deliver the heavy “Taco Bout It.” Over in the drum & bass realm, Culture Shock pull at listeners’ heartstrings with the emotive “There for You.”

As each week brings a succession of new music from some of electronic music’s biggest artists, here’s a selection of tracks that shouldn’t be missed this NMF.

Photo credit: Christian Miller

Feint revels in lofty drum ‘n’ bass disorder with ‘Defiant’ EP

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Feint revels in lofty drum ‘n’ bass disorder with ‘Defiant’ EPFeint Defiant 1

Feint‘s lengthy love affair with ubiquitous drum ‘n’ bass domain, Liquicity, lives on. His myriad of releases with the legendary, YouTube-oriented label housing stretches into 2018 with the three-track Defiant EP, which includes an auspicious instrumental cut of his capstone Liquicity collaboration with Koven, “Take It In.”

The EP serves to satiate listeners who recognize Feint’s “Whatever I Do” remix (originally released by Cartoon) which he debuted inside his fiercely streamed, 99-track UFK Podcast circa 2016. In this rendition, Feint revs up the Amen breaks and blasts the bass line from a subdued echo to a rogue wave of euphoric urgency. Pushing the deliciously delirious tone onward, Laura Brehm’s seasoned Liquicity lungs breathe a chimerical cloud atop the EP’s title track, serving as the pinnacle of the collection’s nuanced lifeblood by offering a rushing dissonance paired with wistful guitar interludes. The work as a whole illustrates Feint’s inexorable ability to thrust listeners through a number of halcyon soundscapes in a matter of mere minutes.