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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.
How many flips of ZHU‘s “Faded” is too many? The limit does not exist! I’m always intrigued to hear new takes on this monumental 2016 release. Tiny Elephant gathers momentum quickly in the introduction he’s built, leading up to a dramatic bass drop in the chorus. He’s filtered the original’s vocals in the chorus in a unique way, bolstering the song’s backbone with a pounding house beat. This sensational remix is perfect for those who can’t get enough of the original, as it maintain’s ZHU’s ever-present dark atmosphere.
In his most recent effort, josh pan teams up with AWAY for an eerily melancholy OWSLA release, “Mask.” This trapped-out bass collaboration is highlighted by pan’s sinister vocals, which are ushered in by a plinking piano introduction. The duo hold nothing back in this release, creating a jarring environment that yanks the listener back and forth between more traditional trap elements and stuttered, unpredictable vocal and beat chops.
After making his Monstercat debut earlier this summer, CloudNone has quickly proven himself to be a valuable asset to the Canadian label. His chilled-out take on modern electronic music is perfect for the winter months and is filled with lush soundscapes and subdued vocals. CloudNone has expertly captured the wistful sounds of the season with the union of instrumentals and minimalist percussion. The song is out now as a part of Monstercat’s latest Rocket League compilation.
A.M.R.’s Silver Lining EP kicks off with a gorgeous intro mix of the collection’s title track. This six-and-a-half-minute venture is built around a subtle house beat, but A.M.R.’s introduction of elements like piano and children singing tucks the bass into the background and allows for the melody to shine through. Strings, too, many an appearance, elevating the “Silver Lining” intro mix to a whole new level.
As we settle into colder months, songs like Steve Brian‘s latest are perfect for brightening up a dreary winter day. “Playa de Santiago,” out as part of Enhanced Chill Vol. 5, brings blissful beats and a cheery piano melody that’ll light up any room. Brian has painted a vivid soundscape of rich, resounding synths, layered to perfection. The breaks and variation in percussion keep this song alive throughout its seven-minute entirety.