Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 122

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Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 122Deters 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


LO’99‘s new iteration of his own track, “Stay High” with Doolie, recently hit the airwaves with a vengeance. The Australian producer’s dreamy original made its initial debut earlier in the fall, but this new VIP edition sees the artist prepping the tune for a late-night shadowy dance floor.

Mazare is celebrating a stellar first year with Monstercat by revealing a VIP version of his and RUNN‘s emotive “Where Do We Go.” In the new take on the track, Mazare lets the listeners sink deeper into the melodies that endeared them to the track in the first place. This drumstep-inspired tune is a divergence from the original’s strictly drum ‘n’ bass pattern and is a refreshing new spin on the tune.

San Holo‘s album1 has received a variety of remixes since its birth last September, but the bitbird head honcho has chosen to end 2019 with a 15-track set of remixes. This varied set includes a thought-provoking rework from Rootkit, who’s added a drum ‘n’ bass spin on “go back in time.” It’s a completely different way to experience the minimalist track, and the creativity is just bursting from this new version.

T & Sugah have really come out swinging with their latest RAM Records release. The Dutch duo has quite a story behind this powerful number, and it’s no wonder it’s as brilliantly polished as it is.

“‘Mithras’ is a special one for us, since we started working on it back in 2015,” the duo said in a Facebook post. “At the time it didn’t sound the way we wanted it to, but after having revisited it a couple of times over the years it’s now finally out on RAM Records! This is an example (and reminder to ourselves) that shows it’s better to be patient than to rush a tune.”

UKF‘s massive 10-year anniversary compilation kicked off with the release of Camo & Krooked‘s “Atlas,” and it ended the way it began: with a VIP mix of the same song. This approach to “Atlas” packs a bit more of a punch than its predecessor, but overall it’s different in fairly subtle ways. It’s one of those VIPs that’s fun to listen and re-listen to, discovering all its intricacies.

Turning it up a notch with RAM Records founder Andy C [Interview]

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Turning it up a notch with RAM Records founder Andy C [Interview]Andy C Press Shot

Decades ago, the electronic music scene was nigh unrecognizable from its worldwide integration and popularity today. Andrew John Clarke was younger then, attending illegal raves with his friends in the English countryside. One such party came to mind when someone sent him a photo from many years over social media, reminding him of years past.

“It was one of those parties where somebody put out a phone number to call, and you met up at a service station on the road. Then this big convoy of cars made its way through the countryside to this back garden [in Kent] and we had a rave,” he recalls. “That’s how we used to do it. But now look at the kind of stages we do at EDC Las Vegas.”

It would be years before Andrew John Clarke would become known to most as Andy C, and he never would’ve guessed he would be where he is today. But his love of music and what would become drum ‘n’ bass led him down an unexpected pathway.

He helped create what many view as one of the most influential drum ‘n’ bass tracks of the 1990s—”Valley of the Shadows” under his Origin Unknown moniker with Ant Miles—and began to make a name for himself through his energetic DJ sets. Around the same time in 1992, he created RAM Records with Ant Miles, not knowing the influence the label would have over the next 27 years.

“Things are doing awesome [at RAM],” Clarke says enthusiastically. “We have an absolute steady stream of releases coming out every week. It’s relentless, but that’s how we like it. We make up one part of this beautiful scene of ours, and we’ve been there for everything. It’s a beautiful thing to still be at the forefront, you know?”

RAM had incredibly humble beginnings, starting out with Clarke picking up records in the trunk of his dad’s car and stamping the labels in his bedroom.

“Now, we’re streaming millions of streams all over these new mediums and touring the world,” he says. “It’s unfathomable, really.”

Though things have changed drastically since 1992 for RAM Records, Clarke maintains an optimistic viewpoint.

“I always think change is for the good,” he says. “I like to look forward. I appreciate the past because it invokes so many beautiful memories for me, but I love to look to the future. That’s what keeps the excitement there for me.”

Clarke is as excited about today’s drum ‘n’ bass scene as he was years ago. He says he’s “seeing a resurgence” in the United Kingdom, where the scene has “gone up to another level” in recent years. He’s also enjoying seeing the genre’s boom in the United States, where it’s been steadily getting more recognition and gaining traction.

“We seem to be seeing a lot of social media talk from people [in the States] who play drum ‘n’ bass tunes in their sets or are wanting to make dnb,” he says. “It seems to me we’re turning it up a notch.”

But Clarke would love to see even more drum ‘n’ bass coming out of the States. In fact, he encourages it.

“I know the United States is full of sick producers and people who want to smash the sound,” he invites. “Bring it to us.”

To those pursuing production, he offers advice that rings true for many aspects of life:

“If you want longevity, you’ve got to be true to yourself. If you’re pushing a sound and you’re passionate about it and love it, then you should stick at it and somewhere, hopefully, the crowd will get on your wave.”

When it comes to the style of music, Clarke notes he’s noticed today’s drum ‘n’ bass returning to “rawer sounds,” which delights the producer since that’s background he comes from.

“It’s been great to see the younger generations sort of battling it out week in and out to see who can make the sickest drop,” he says. “That’s what I’m feeling right now.”

But trends in music are unpredictable, and many producers scramble to figure out how to ride the current wave while staying true to their own sounds. For Andy C, though, the capricious nature of electronic music is a huge part of what makes it fun.

“I have no clue what drum ‘n’ bass will sound like in five years or even six months, and that’s part of the excitement” he says. “It just takes someone to come along and do a genre-defying song or create the next big bassline or take on a beat, and then it goes off on a tangent. That’s the beauty of it. Time goes pretty fast, but I know [drum ‘n’ bass is] going to be in an even healthier position than it is now.”

Clarke’s passion for drum ‘n’ bass and the scene surrounding it is driven by “the energy, the people, and the sense of community.” He calls the genre unique and says that “when you feel it, you really get it, and it becomes a strong passion within you.”

Those who have embraced this strong passion span generations—something that’s truly special to Clarke when he performs.

“At the events I do, there can be people spanning a 25-year age gap, and everybody will be raving together. It’s all ages, but that passion is always there. There’s a real beauty to a passion that never leaves for a style of music.”

When asked if he thinks the scene has changed for the better over the past few decades, Clarke’s answer is instantaneous.

“Of course! As much as I like raging in the back garden with 12 people, I definitely love being able to play all over the world to thousands of people. I’m such a lucky guy. It’s humbling and beautiful.”


Catch Andy C at one of this remaining 2019 shows. Learn more and get tickets here.

Turning it up a notch with RAM Records founder Andy C [Interview]Andy C Tour Dates Fall 2019

Delta Heavy discuss why ‘Take Me Home’ is one of their favorites off of forthcoming album

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Delta Heavy discuss why ‘Take Me Home’ is one of their favorites off of forthcoming albumDelta Heavy Press Shot

Delta Heavy‘s newest addition to the stream of singles from their upcoming album is called “Take Me Home,” featuring previous vocal collaborator Jem Cooke. Blaring trumpet-like notes combine with the punching vocals to fall into an energetic and uplifting chorus, giving the release the capacity to appeal on the radio or within a live performance.

The Delta Heavy duo spoke with Dancing Astronaut on the new release, stating, “‘Take Me Home’ is one of our personal favourites from our new album, and the second collaboration with our good friend Jem Cooke, who is a wonderfully talented singer.” They continue, “It’s a record we’re all really proud of- when we played the first demo in the studio we all got goosebumps. Musically it represents a lot of the different sounds and influences that we were inspired by while writing the album, such as the combination of both trap and DnB in the rhythmic feel. The song tells a simple, hopeful message; it’s essentially a love song that tales the tale of a bond between two souls. We’re all really proud of it.”

Their sophomore album will be titled Only In Dreams, and if “Take Me Home” is any indicator of what fans can expect from the compilation, the album will almost certainly be a hit amongst Delta Heavy fans. “Take Me Home” is out now on Ram Records.

First Listen: Culture Shock wows in fiery new single, ‘Take Control’

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First Listen: Culture Shock wows in fiery new single, ‘Take Control’Culture Shock 1 E1548363016626

London drum & bass mastermind Culture Shock is at it again.

He’s closing out the first month of 2019 with his first release of the year: “Take Control.” The single marks the fifth entry in his Sequence Series on Andy C‘s RAM Records, trademarked with colorful geometric artwork. Clocking in at just under five minutes, “Take Control” kicks off at a cautious pace, leading in with vibrant female vocals. As the song progresses, it becomes clear that it’s building into something formidable, as computerized beeps and a gnawing wobble usher in a grinding drum & bass rhythm. “Take Control” fits in snugly with the rest of Culture Shock’s discography, kicking off what can only be another successful year.

2018 proved to be massive for the UK producer. He released a slew of exceptional originals and remixes, including an acclaimed remix of Camo & Krooked in March. In May, Culture Shock celebrated the release of FABRICLIVE 98 by teaming up with Dimension, Friction, and 1991 for an insane two-hour back-to-back set. His emotive June release, “There For You,” was dubbed Annie Mac‘s hottest record on BBC Radio 1 and later went on to soundtrack the London Fireworks on New Year’s Eve.

“Take Control” is out RAM Records on Feb. 8.

Zeds Dead and Delta Heavy keep it retro and energetic in new DnB release, ‘Lift You Up’

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Zeds Dead and Delta Heavy keep it retro and energetic in new DnB release, ‘Lift You Up’Zeds Dead Delta Heavy Lift You Up

Zeds Dead and Delta Heavy have teamed up for their first and hotly anticipated collaboration, “Lift You Up.” The DnB release showcases the best from each group, and “Lift You Up” is out now simultaneously on Deadbeats and Ram Records.

The listener is transported back in time to a retro arcade with vintage electronic synths and vocal synthesizers coming together to blend in a burst of 80s video game nostalgia. The electric combination of production techniques is brought together by a throbbing DnB foundation, keeping the energy high and the song radio-ready. “Life You Up” proves that both groups are off to a big start in the new year with Zeds Dead going particularly outside the box, and this quality output will certainly be a fitting addition to their live performances as well.

 

Andy C sells out 12,500-person Wembley arena in three days

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Andy C sells out 12,500-person Wembley arena in three daysAndy C

Drum & bass king Andy C has just made history.

The UK co-founder of RAM Records was announced as the first artist to host an all-night event at Wembley’s SSE Arena — and sold it out in just three days. The event, called “Andy C All Night Wembley,” will run from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. on Nov. 17. With a capacity of 12,500, SSE Arena will be Andy C’s biggest show to date.

The event follows the producer’s wildly successful 13-week residency at XOYO, which sold out every night.

The producer enthusiastically posted about the event on his Instagram, saying “This one’s gonna be special! Let’s make history!”

Named best DJ at the Drum & Bass Awards earlier this year, Andy C has been making his mark on the dance music world for more than 20 years and is considered a pioneering force in the drum & bass genre.

H/T: Mixmag