Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 69

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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.”

Old friends Martin Garrix and Julian Jordan finally release third collaboration

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Old friends Martin Garrix and Julian Jordan finally release third collaborationGlitch Artwork

Friends from their teenage years, Martin Garrix and Julian Jordan have teamed up for their third collaboration, “Glitch.” Previous releases together include “BFAM” and “Welcome,” the latter of which is still frequently played in both artists’ live sets.

Dancing Astronaut spoke with Jordan in 2017, who went into detail about why Garrix was his favorite person to collaborate with. He said, “We are just really on the same wavelength as artists and kind of approach things the same way. A lot of the time you get in the studio with someone and they just want to do things their way, but with Martin, we work really well together and bounce ideas off of each other.” This is certainly proven true through the multiple hits they have produced together, and “Glitch” is no exception.

The collaboration is upbeat with the progressive electronic synths the duo are known for with tracks like “Welcome.” A swift build culminates in an energy-inducing drop, making it a perfect addition to their collection. Garrix and Jordan started working on the track six years ago and only recently decided to finish it.

The track is out now on Garrix’s STMPD Records.

Grabbitz and Pierce Fulton renounce internet lifestyle in new collab, ‘Information Overload’

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Grabbitz and Pierce Fulton renounce internet lifestyle in new collab, ‘Information Overload’Grabbitz Pierce Fulton Information Overload E1544807468849

Grabbitz and Pierce Fulton reflect on social media-centered life in 2018 in their new collaboration, “Information Overload.”

A gentle guitar melody ushers in a scratchy beat as Grabbitz’s soaring falsetto takes center stage, contrasting the gritty ambiance of the introduction. A groovy bassline throughout makes this track sonically irresistible, while the lyrics ask listeners to take a closer look at the effects of social media and technology on everyday life.

“Looking at your life, and man, it sure looks nice, but do you have a filtered soul? Don’t forget to stay the way that you were raised in this information overload.”

The collaboration is a brilliant melting pot of both artists’ versatile styles, showcasing graceful guitar themes, stellar production, and polished harmonies — all while driving an important message in the age of social media.

Accompanying the track is a unique music video, put together by Seenfilm, a company that specializes in paper animation. In the video, we find a paper Grabbitz wandering the desert, video camera in hand. Throughout its course, viewers see gray cityscapes and technology created and destroyed, with colorful nature scenes taking their place.

“Information Overload” marks Fulton’s second release of the year following his collaboration with Martin Garrix and Linkin Park‘s Mike Shinoda. Grabbitz also had a star-studded year, releasing his official remix of “Propane Nightmares” on Pendulum‘s The Reworks album and inviting fans (and Shaq!) to his cloud in January.

“Information Overload” is out now via Ultra Music.

Slushii closes out 2018 with release of sophomore album, ‘DREAM’

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Slushii closes out 2018 with release of sophomore album, ‘DREAM’Slushii Rukes

Sophomore albums represent an opportunity for artists to delve deeper into their respective sounds and to refine or even redevelop their sonic styles. Slushii‘s second full-length album, DREAM, arrives as the product of much in-studio introspection, which is audible in each one of the project’s 16 tracks. The contemplative nature of DREAM, however, will be unsurprising to Slushii fans, given the producer’s detailed announcement of the then forthcoming production back in November. “This time around I wondered what it would be like if I was 100 percent honest about my feelings in my music, and actually let my emotions and true self show,” Slushii wrote when he originally shared the news that a follow-up to Find Your Wings was on the way. “What you’re getting [in DREAM] is the darkest, and most nostalgic music I’ve ever released,” Slushii added.

Familiar elements of the upbeat, bouncy sound that Slushii spread across prior releases like 2017’s Out of Light, and earlier singles like “Twinbow” still glimmer on DREAM cuts. The gossamer, twinkling tones that originally endeared listeners to Slushii’s music revel in an airy optimism of sound on DREAM, where they co-exist among mid- to downtempo beat constructions, rather than the faster-paced arrangements that characterized previous Slushii productions. Representative of a musical approach that largely diverges from past Slushii showings, DREAM signifies a difference in Slushii’s creative process, and beyond that, an overall maturity and versatility of sound that beams in the soundscapes that collectively comprise DREAM.

Photo credit: Rukes

SQUIRM throws a house spin on Marshmello’s ‘Happier’

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SQUIRM throws a house spin on Marshmello’s ‘Happier’Screen Shot 2018 12 13 At 6.45.21 PM Min

It appears that SQUIRM came across Marshmello‘s Billboard charter, “Happier,” featuring Bastille and decided to tinker with it. A celestial house makeover gives the original a boost of speed, cranking BPMs up to 127. Uplifting metallic synths dominate the melody with an accompanying bassline around a punching house track, showing quite the ecstatic alien producer.

While pairing with another artist who used anonymity to cover their work and define their brand, few have created a new world narrative for listeners to explore. SQUIRM is on that path with the robot’s mystic persona and storytelling, Traveller EP, which crash-landed out of nowhere. Sources say there’s a veteran dance music producer behind the creation, but SQUIRM could also just be a real alien looking for friends.

ATTLAS invites listeners to frolic under his ‘Charcoal Halo’ [Review]

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ATTLAS invites listeners to frolic under his ‘Charcoal Halo’ [Review]TEST 5 1

ATTLAS has been demonstrating he has all the makings of a mau5trap luminary since his exquisitely executed debut EP of 2015, Siren, on deadmau5‘s auspicious label housing. Now, a handful of emotionally saturated, atmospheric house projects later, he’s resolved to lay 2018 to rest, adorned in a six-piece Charcoal Halo. 

Charcoal Halo is, according to ATTLAS himself, a pensive, deliberate product of long-winded introspection, an emancipation from the confines of screen-induced slavery. Designed for purposeful listening, the project acts, throughout its duration, as a blissful rendezvous point between the narrator’s complex inner life and a heavenly body of newly discovered surroundings.

“Unsurprisingly, the themes, sounds, melodies, and even titles on the final project lean into that push-pull… that, creatively, was about experience and reflection,” ATTLAS says. “Too much experience lacked the patience to learn from it, and too much reflection lacked anchor points of living and story.”

Indeed, there is much to infer from the EP’s eponymous titles. “Water for the Trees,” emphatically exemplifies this notion, with its pastoral and tender piano melodies and synth trickles, which fall like happy rain. ATTLAS’s adept piano playing flows decidedly through the project like a life-giving stream. His kaleidoscopic emotional palette is palpable as ever, as the listener is greeted with the poignant, slow-motion breakbeat of “Coldest Night,” splendidly rendered with melancholic vigor on behalf of 7Chariot (the solitary feature on the EP); but “Cyprus Lake” soon takes hold, with its untethered optimism and vapory synth blasts, falling and crashing, only to take shape again, like a liquid dream one should dance to.

ATTLAS’s Charcoal Halo brings a quixotic splendor to modern, atmospheric house music/electronica. Timeless elements, like the worldly choral emissions of “Fine Modern Structures,” or the winding and furrowing instrumentals of the title track, run abound, allowing the work to eclipse any particular epochal timestamp. Underneath the Charcoal Halo, one can expect, if nothing else, a momentary reconciliation of Yin and Yang.


REZZ joins forces with Blanke to unleash collaborative new single, ‘Mixed Signals’

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REZZ joins forces with Blanke to unleash collaborative new single, ‘Mixed Signals’1 Photo Cred William Selviz 1 1

REZZ and Australian producer Blanke have combined their styles to unleash a new collaborative project, “Mixed Signals.” With a futuristic messaging intro that leads into REZZ’s signature unsettling melody surrounded by a thick bass undertow, the sci-fi sounds build into a drop of potent bass and computerized glitches for fills. Blanke’s trademark pulsating chord patterns glide along REZZ’s heavy demeanor and perpetuating bouts of uncertainty and confidence.

Blanke proved to be a force to be reckoned with in 2018, with his songs played out at Ultra Miami, EDC Las Vegas, Shambhala, Coachella, and Lost Lands, also receiving support from the likes of Marshmello, Jauz, Illenium, Steve Aoki, and many more.

2018 marked REZZ’s busiest year thus far, releasing her highly anticipated sophomore album, Certain Kind of Magic. She also toured all over the world, smashing stages like Tomorrowland, Lollapalooza, Coachella, Electric Zoo, REZZ Rocks, and recently coming off a stint in Asia. On Halloween, she released a 30-minute mix of unreleased music, “Nightmare on REZZ Street,” and she recently released an official remix of Porter Robinson’s “Divinity.”

Photo Credit: William Selviz

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

RL Grime drops off formidable final volume of ‘NOVA’ remix series [Stream]

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RL Grime drops off formidable final volume of ‘NOVA’ remix series [Stream]RL Grime Day Of Dead Billboard 1548

RL Grime provides a formidable follow up to the first wave of NOVA remixes with NOVA (The Remixes Vol. 2). The second and final installment in the two-part saga of alternative takes, volume two presents listeners with 11 more innovative revamps of album inclusions like “Pressure” and “Undo.” The variant collection of remixes sees re-imaginative work from Valentino Khan, Vincent, QUIX, Devault, and more.

Also comprised of 11 tracks, volume one saw an equally able cast of producers submit NOVA reworks including 1788-L, k?d, Said the Sky, and Eptic, among others. That NOVA has yielded a total of 22 different remixes from 22 respective producers speaks to the album’s influence in the electronic sphere this year, particularly in the trap domain. NOVA quickly solidified its status as a strong sophomore showing from RL Grime immediately upon its July release, and now, the caliber of the album seems only to be affirmed anew by the abundance of NOVA remixes currently in circulation.

DJ Snake releases adorable pixel version of hit music video for ‘Taki Taki’

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DJ Snake releases adorable pixel version of hit music video for ‘Taki Taki’Taki Taki Piel

DJ Snake is not done with his “Taki Taki,” which came out earlier in the fall, just yet. The Latin pop crossover number with Cardi B, Selena Gomez, and Ozuna was an instant global hit, shooting straight to the top of the charts worldwide. Its accompanying music video was originally premiered and released during the American Music Awards back in October, and it has since become the ninth fastest music video of all time to hit 100 million views.

The artists have now teamed up for a pixelated version of the hit music video. It follows the same story lines and visual concepts as the original, but showcases them through lego-like animated characters. The pixel video has already hit 1.1 million views in less than 24 hours, demonstrating that views will not be in short supply for “Taki Taki’s” animated video sibling either.