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…

Lido shares ‘How To Do Nothing’ video from upcoming ‘PEDER’ LP

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Lido shares ‘How To Do Nothing’ video from upcoming ‘PEDER’ LPLido Outstanding Single

In October, Lido first released his soothing new track, “How To Do Nothing,” the lead single from his upcoming LP, PEDER, due out in 2020. Two months and a nation-wide tour later, the accompanying visuals for the tune have arrived. The “How To Do Nothing” video features Lido wistfully singing while riding by train through an assortment of natural, urban, and sci-fi-inspired environments.

“How To Do Nothing” is the first of three visuals to come along with Lido’s upcoming release. According to Hypebeast, PEDER will tell the story of a kid who grew up on a spaceship, and “How To Do Nothing” represents the protagonist’s naivety. The track is Lido’s first release since his busy 2018, which notably included his similarly interstellar release Spacesuit with vocalist J’Von.

Featured image: Michael Ray Vera Cruz Angeles

Lido soothes on new single, ‘How to Do Nothing’

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Lido soothes on new single, ‘How to Do Nothing’Lido Outstanding Single

In the midst of his busy Almost Peder Tour this month, Norwegian artist Lido has found time to reveal his first single of 2019: “How to Do Nothing.”

The producer/singer/songwriter had a busy 2018 with the release of I O U 1 and 2, but has been largely quiet this year—likely hard at work on his forthcoming album and live show that’s debuting across the United States in October.

“How to Do Nothing” peacefully fills the void his fans have been thirsting for, spotlighting Lido’s vocals and harmonies. Subdued instrumentals complement the artist’s voice in a delicate manner, allowing him to shine both as a singer and producer.

The artist recently revealed on Twitter that “How to Do Nothing” is just the beginning and that more new music is on the way.

Those interested in catching Lido on his remaining Almost Peder Tour dates in Nashville, New York, Cambridge, and Chicago can find more information here.

Photo credit: Michael Ray Vera Cruz Angeles

Lido announces ‘PEDER’ album and dates for Almost Peder tour

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Lido announces ‘PEDER’ album and dates for Almost Peder tourLido I O U 1

As of recent months, Norwegian singer-songwriter and producer Lido has been making his rounds in the production realm assisting on some of the hottest hip-hop work, but the pivot back to his solo endeavors has finally arrived. Lido took to his social media non-coincidentally on Aug. 8 at 8:08 p.m. to announce he finished his new album, revealing its title, PEDER and tagging a private PEDER account with exactly 808 followers—one of them being Skrillex. On Aug. 13, he followed up by sharing 10 show dates including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Denver, New York, and Chicago for his accompanying album tour, Almost Peder.

Lido’s last solo release, I O U 2, came out in November 2018. A few weeks ago, he revealed producer credits on Chance The Rapper‘s The Big Day after penning album track “Get a Bag.” As a longtime Jaden Smith collaborator, Lido also produced the four opening tracks on Smith’s latest album ERYS — the follow-up to SYRE.

Access the pre-sale for Almost Peder on at 10 a.m. local on Wednesday, Aug. 14 here.

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Lido announces ‘PEDER’ album and dates for Almost Peder tourScreen Shot 2019 08 13 At 2.49.32 PM

Lido reveals producer credit on Chance The Rapper’s debut LP on ‘Get A Bag’ [Stream]

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Lido reveals producer credit on Chance The Rapper’s debut LP on ‘Get A Bag’ [Stream]Lido Outstanding Single

Lido‘s been keeping busy outside his solo pursuits by stepping deeper into the hip-hop world. Shortly after the release of Chance The Rapper‘s long-awaited album debut, The Big Day, the Scandinavian prodigy took to social media to share a photo of himself and Chance after spending some studio time together penning “Get A Bag.”

When listening closer to ‘Get A Bag,’ Lido’s imprint can be heard inside. The underlying track is naturally a bit more stripped down and subtle in order to allow Chance’s verses to shine, but it stands in line with Lido’s love for off-kilter bass arrangement and use of multiple instruments to add dimension to the finished product. It’s also mixed to balanced perfection; a usual standard Lido follows. Lido and Chance have a long documented history of making great tunes together, and “Get A Bag” is a worthy addition to the pair’s joint canon.

Photo credit: Michael Ray Vera Cruz Angeles

Exclusive: Ric Wilson – ‘No Hands’ (produced by Madeon & Lido)

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Exclusive: Ric Wilson – ‘No Hands’ (produced by Madeon & Lido)Ric Wilson

Rising talent Ric Wilson clearly has a bright path ahead; the young hip-hop act is new on the circuit, yet has already caught the attention of both Madeon and Lido. Both agreed to produce his latest effort, “No Hands,” and the result is an infectious piece of music. Free-flowing bass and cheery melodies make an appearance, trademarks of the producers making the background track, while Wilson’s smooth verses speak of victory and growth. It’s a pieced that oozes with positivity, and succeeds in brightening the mood wherever played — especially when the sax solo ties everything together at the end.

This rapper and activist is certainly one to keep an eye on; not only is he getting cosigns from bass greats, but he’s also started a cultural movement in his own right with his BANBA (Black Art Not Bad Art), in which he’s been known to tackle deep subjects in his art. This is the kind of talent the world needs right now, and based off glowing reviews from Pitchfork to the Chicago Tribune, Wilson’s on the path toward spreading good in a huge way.

Of the collaboration, Wilson had this to say:

“Madeon’s a good friend and this isn’t the last you’ll hear from us.. This song is for everyone that I’ve inspired and has been an inspiration to me. We young and we out here and we got this. I LOVE YALL.”



Photo credit: Michael Salisbury

Lido shares visual accompaniment for ‘I O U 2’ EP [Watch]

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Lido shares visual accompaniment for ‘I O U 2’ EP [Watch]Lido Iou2 2

Although Lido‘s visual I O U 2 EP may have received limited screenings in a handful of US theaters last month, Lido has now released the transcendent project in its entirety to YouTube.

Directed by close Lido confidant, Arudz Goudsouzian, the visual realm of the EP is highly emblematic of Lido’s own coming to terms with a real-life lost love; an exploratory journey reflecting on despondence, confusion, and eventual resolve. The visceral tour through Lido’s psyche oscillates between immaculate baths of light and forestry (including pensive pans over the project’s British Columbia backdrop) and poignant, lone bedroom scenes.

Lido’s own vocals, heard homogeneously throughout the five-part project, bolster the narrative’s accessibility in regards to the artist’s path to self-reconciliation. The story is a timeless one: unflinchingly relatable, while remaining empirically authentic to its creator.

Sunday Morning Medicine Vol 154, with Beach House, Pretty Lights, Phantogram, + more

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Sunday Morning Medicine Vol 154, with Beach House, Pretty Lights, Phantogram, + moreSMM 2400

Lido‘s rendition of Bill Withers’s timeless ballad, “Ain’t No Sunshine” is a warm brush with daylight you won’t dare deplore—no matter how nasty the hangover this Sunday. The Norwegian experimentalist’s raindrop plucks and redemptive synth stabs effortlessly usher in residual weekend splendor.

This wavy Beach House B-side is a Sunday morning must. Victoria Legrand is here to sagely remind us to find “perfection in the accident,” with hazy, rolling chord progression and vapory vocals for the ultimate Sunday subterfuge.

This velvety Future Classic Chrome Sparks offering, “The Meaning Of Love” is a like quixotic trip through the most delicious technicolor clouds. Sparks’s cosmic analog synths furrow and float atop lush, deliberate percussion as our worries of the week begin to dissipate.

The sultan of sampling, aka Pretty Lights, has the sublime synth loops to rectify your most raucous inner voices. Borrowing from a sultry ’70s soul track from La’Fez, Pretty Lights conceives a celestial requiem for your weekend.

From their most recent album, Phantogram‘s “Cruel World” is the ideal vessel for vanquishing Sunday stress of the most pesky existential variety. As the band’s frontwoman, Sarah Barthel, so starkly points out, life can be quite cacophonous; but with a spectral duo like them around, your Sunday playlist doesn’t have to be.


NMF Roundup: Oliver Heldens remixes CHIC, SLANDER and Spag Heddy team up, Ray Volpe flips Ookay + more

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NMF Roundup: Oliver Heldens remixes CHIC, SLANDER and Spag Heddy team up, Ray Volpe flips Ookay + moreOcaso Festival Tamarindo By Pablo Murillo 06 01 2018 0525

It’s most important day of the week: New Music Friday.

This week’s releases are true stunners. After announcing a collaboration with Lights back in July, deadmau5 has finally unveiled “Drama Free” as part of his mau5ville: Level 2 EP. Oliver Heldens throws it back four decades by remixing CHIC‘s 1978 hit “Le Freak,” adding in a pounding bass to accentuate the original’s groovy beat. Bingo Players and Bali Bandits bring the funk with “Body Rock,” and SLANDER and Spag Heddy waste no time setting “Running to You” on fire. Ray Volpe puts his own spin on Ookay‘s “In My Mind,” while Party Favor taps Naïka for the hefty “Blame.” As part of What So Not‘s Not All The Beautiful Things remix package, AC Slater‘s put his signature bass-fueled house spin on the famous “Goh.” Kill Paris has put his own laid-back twist on Alison Wonderland‘s “Easy,” and Ross From Friends thrills with a take on Thundercat‘s “Friend Zone.”

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: Pablo Murillo

Lido lets his own pipes pave the way for reflective ‘I O U 2’ EP [Stream]

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Lido lets his own pipes pave the way for reflective ‘I O U 2’ EP [Stream]Lido Iou2 1

Lido has released part two of his I O U concept album, featuring a plethora of his own vocals–a rare and, at present, particularly warranted inclusion for the multi-talented instrumentalist.

The boundless bearer of beats also packed the highly personal I O U 2 with a visual accompaniment, which saw limited theater release in Chicago, Toronto, and Seattle. The short film, like the EP itself, is quite meta. Ascribing his Everything album from two years back as the official introductory offering to the extended project, a post-breakup catharsis of sorts, Lido deems the I O U EPs as a “reflection on that process.”

Fittingly, Lido’s R&B-routed vocals encircle this conflicted tale of an ex-lover emerging from his scorn, not entirely ready for reconciliation. From newfound perspective, Lido posits on the violin-infused “Ex” that perhaps the romance was ill-fated from the beginning, when he “borrowed” her “‘from the universe.”

While “Flaws” touts ’90s-inspired R&B harmonies and organ synths under the guise of a forthright pop ballad, “Vultures,” “The Lonely Slow Ones,” and “Son Of Simon” exude Lido’s characteristic experimental flickers that render his work so compelling: ambient interruption, vapory synth emissions, and billowy, melancholic vocoder–to name only a few.