Dexter’s Beat Laboratory is a weekly collection of songs from DA music editor and staff writer 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.
Convex says he’s re-written this track no fewer than 10 times. The final product is a futuristic creation that blends of styles and is unlike anything I’ve heard before. Its dreamy feel, particularly in the introduction, is reminiscent of ODESZA‘s abstract style. Convex notes in the description that dainichi is the zen Buddhist embodiment of emptiness. “Essentially it’s the idea that everything is void of meaning or value,” he says. “All things are impermanent and in a state of constant flux. In a way, it teaches us to be optimists because problems and pain are both only temporary.”
In July 2014, Crystalize posted his first track on SoundCloud: a remix of Porter Robinson‘s “Sad Machine.” Here, more than three years later, he’s remixed Robinson’s first track under his new alias, Virtual Self. The original “Eon Break” is an intense synth-heavy frenzy that caught many Robinson fans off guard. Crystalize has made the daring track a bit more digestible, trading the pounding whirlwind of synths that dominate the chorus for a more melody-focused take on the song. It’s a beautiful adaptation — probably one of the best I’ve heard yet.
2017 has been a huge year for Ekali. He’s worked with ZHU, been remixed by Skrillex, and done massive mixes for Triple J and Diplo and Friends. In the midst of it all, he’s still had time to work on a handful of beautifully emotive singles, like “Past Life” with Opia. The sensual track manages to be both delicate and heavy at the same time, allowing listeners to absorb the depth of his creativity. With each listen, “Past Life” unveils new, intricate details that come together for a passionate collaboration.
I also just found out he’s going to be in St. Louis with Medasin in a few weeks at one of my favorite intimate venues, and I am so there.
Always a sucker for energetic new drum and bass, I was ecstatic to see the release of a new Dimension song. In his collaboration with UK heavyweight Wilkinson, the pair have built a dramatic, melody-centric tune that’s both classic and fresh at the same time. The build heightens anticipation for the beat to kick in, with echoing vocals and drifting synths that clear the way for the fast-paced rhythm that kicks in post-drop. It’s a collaboration made in heaven, making the long-anticipated release of this track well worth the wait.
A standout melodic track on their new Vantablack EP, Sullivan King and Dirtyphonics‘ “Sight of Your Soul” is more reminiscent of a 2007-era punk rock song than its EP companions. It’s a refreshing break from “bangers” and “lit” EDM songs that saturate SoundCloud feeds, leading to praise from music fans who were raised on the likes of Green Day and Incubus. “Sight of Your Soul” highlights Sullivan King’s powerful vocals, paired with a nostalgic guitar melody and a hint of a dubstep beat in the chorus. As someone who basically drowned herself in alternative and punk rock in high school, “Sight of Your Soul” resonates with me so much. More like this, please.