26 of the most anticipated albums of 2020: ZEDD, Mac Miller, Skrillex, and more

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26 of the most anticipated albums of 2020: ZEDD, Mac Miller, Skrillex, and more09 Zedd Colors Studio 2016 Billboard 1548 1

The return of the LP is upon us—full-length album plans have positioned themselves to dominate the conversation this year. From our binoculars, delays not withstanding, everyone is releasing a record this year. Many of these projects have been in the works for so long they’ve acquired mythical properties. So as 2020 begins to unfold, we compiled a list of some of the most anticipated electronic, hip-hop, and pop projects of the year. It’s also worth bearing in mind that as a new decade opens, some of the projects turned in this year might come to define the next 10. With that, Dancing Astronaut is waiting with perked ears for this year’s album agenda. Presented, in no particular order, see our list of the 25 most anticipated albums of the year below.


Whethan

For a star of Whethan’s scope and experience, it’s almost hard to believe that the young producer has not yet released his debut album, though 2020 will change that. Following his widely-celebrated 2018 debut EP, Life of a Wallflower Vol. 1, his impending first full-length LP, FANTASY is pegged for later this year, accompanied by a limited four-show run to introduce the album. Having brought his carefree dance-floor-and-beyond sensibility to massive festival stages while continuously molding his musical identity, the 20-year-old artist is expected to deliver his most exciting project to date in early 2020. —Jessica Mao

Charli XCX

Charli XCX is forging a new pop star archetype. Following last year’s Charli, the British vocalist’s self-titled third studio LP, which featured Lizzo, Big Freedia, HAIM, Troye Sivan, and more across 15 tracks, Charli XCX is ready to come out swinging in 2020. Riding a wave of inspiration from last year, the “Boom Clap” singer has ambitious plans to record two full-length albums in 2020, though she concedes that releasing them both might be a bit more than she can chew. For now, it’s safe to assume that we might have a fourth studio album from Charli XCX sometime this year. —David Klemow

Thundercat

While the electric bass virtuoso hadn’t announced any details regarding a new album outside of an apt three tweets, “album,” “coming,” and “just thought I’d let y’all know,” Thundercat did previously announce a North American tour, and that’s more than enough to get us excited about a 2020 release. Now, he’s officially announced It Is What It Is, produced by Flying Lotus, landing April 3 via his longtime home label, Brainfeeder. At it’s release, Thundercat’s third studio LP Drunk stood out as an album with consistently clever melodies and a strong cohesion, and it’s certainly withstood the test of time. If Thundercat can capture any of the magic of Drunk in 2020, It Is What It Is will be an album well worth your attention. —Mitch Rose

Mac Miller

Mac Miller‘s final offering, the posthumous Circles, should prove to be one of the more emotionally charged releases of the year. Written to be a companion piece to 2018’s Swimming which was being recorded at the time of Miller’s death, Circles will undoubtedly capture the musical macrocosm’s attention. Sadly, Swimming was received in the wake of Miller’s passing as some of his most creative work to date, so the upcoming Jon Brion-produced edition should follow suit, and thus cement Miller’s legacy as a brilliant emcee that had a lot more to prove but just didn’t have the time. Circles lands in full on January 17. —David Klemow

Caribou

Even though the title of Caribou‘s new album, Suddenly, is the antithesis of the manner in which it has been shared with public ears, the amorous reception attached to the two exquisite indie-dance singles from the album so far, “Home” and “You and I,” proves those ears were content with the wait. In traditional fashion, Caribou has announced more than 30 tour dates across the globe in the first quarter of 2020 including at slot at this year’s iteration of Coachella. After a five-year hiatus Caribou is surely primed and ready to get you dancing with Dan Snaith’s electronic-tinged acoustic grooves. Suddenly lands in full on February 28. —Harry Levin

Boris Brejcha

Boris Brejcha had his breakout year in 2019, signing his upcoming LP Space Diver to Ultra Records, and touring a hefty international schedule, topped off with a main stage set at dance music’s crème de la crème, Tomorrowland. For many, Brejcha’s explosion came spontaneously, but the truth is, he’s a veteran of the game with a half-dozen full-length albums under his belt. What sets his 2020 effort apart though, is that within the past year and a half, the German-born producer has found his sound, dextrously inside a frenetic combination of several genres. The result is as familiar as it is refreshing, disregarding what’s trending today and simply focusing on what works. Listen to Space Diver in its entirety on January 24. —Josh Stewart

Ekali

Ekali has been steadily gaining traction since his emergence, though 2020 sees the producer poised to take his presence to the next level. Following years of successful catalog building and his own headlining tour in 2019, Ekali is primed to not only turn in his debut full length LP, A World Away, but he’s also promised to launch a side project in 2020 as well, hinting at two full-length albums in a single year. The Canadian producer has proven his sound cannot be put into a box, and it is expected his album will only cement this sentiment by keeping listeners guessing from front to back. With the bar already set quite high, Ekali is looking to outdo himself in 2020, officially planting his flag with an LP that promises to be an engaging listen. A World Away lands via Big Beat/Atlantic Records on January 24. —Farrell Sweeney

Medasin

Behind the critical success of his debut album, Irene, Medasin planted his flag as one of electronic music’s brightest new torch carriers, earning his designation as Dancing Astronaut‘s Breakout Artist of 2018. Medasin’s first full-length LP was a deeply personal inside look at the producer’s complexion, born in the struggles he faced as a teen. Now, he’s primed to offer his follow-up, RIPPLS, which will likely continue to give listeners a firsthand perspective on what makes Medasin tick. The Texas-native’s sophomore LP promises 14 tracks in total, slated for the first quarter of 2020. —David Klemow

Lido

Lido just keeps getting better and better. It’s been nearly four years since his last full length album, Everything, but he hasn’t slowed down since then a bit. His Spacesuit, IOU1  EPs proved Lido has the musical chops to back up his ambitious ideas yet again. On his upcoming full length project Peder, which has been teased since summer of 2019, Lido will tell the story of a child raised on a spaceship, and the ever-improving producer’s concept should come to life in an extraordinary way. Watch the video for the record’s lead single “How To Do Nothing” for an inside look at the upcoming album. —Mitch Rose

J.Cole

Initially hinting at his sixth studio album on KOD‘s final track in 2018, J. Cole officially confirmed that his next album The Fall Off was set to drop in 2020. The Dreamville boss teased the upcoming album briefly at his headlining Day N Vegas performance with a faux political campaign-like slogan. Despite no word on release date, singles, or features (if any), with his repeated track record of critically-acclaimed projects like KOD4 Your Eyez Only, 2014’s unforgettable Forest Hills Drive, and most recently, his Dreamville compilation album Revenge of the Dreamers III, J.Cole may very well be poised to grab his seventh consecutive number-one album in the country with The Fall Off later this year. —Jessica Mao

Calvin Harris

Electronic chameleon Calvin Harris has changed colors many times over the course of his career. Harris’ title as one of the most versatile producers in all of electronic music is not just incontrovertible—it’s also well earned. With a broad catalog of collaborations that includes Frank Ocean, Migos, Rihanna, Gwen Stefani, and Katy Perry, Harris’ inventive work has enabled him to sonically rub shoulders with no shortage of pop and dance music’s most esteemed artists. Last year, news of major Sony releases leaked, bearing Harris’ name next to Tyler, The Creator, Mark Ronson, BTS, and more. 2019 came and went without a release from the Fly Eye helmer, though, ahead of his Coachella 2020 performance, Harris has promised new material is underway. Poised to make his first long-form outing since 2017’s Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1, Harris is positioned to reclaim his dance dominance, but then again, he’s never really lost it, has he? —Rachel Narozniak

3LAU

It feels like yesterday that Justin Blau, known to the masses as 3LAU, delivered his ultra ear-catching Ultraviolet LP. Fans who have gravitated to the producer’s feel-good brand of electro over the better part of a decade are in for a treat as 3LAU has promised another album due sometime in 2020. With another album underway, fans can likely expect another headlining tour with state-of-the-art production catered to the album. On top of a full-length project, 3LAU has also promised an EP on the way as well, and while neither has an official release date as of yet, something tells us we won’t be going deep in 2020 without new music from the “Down For Life” producer. —Farrell Sweeney

Squarepusher

Few names have been as prevalent in the electronic scene as long as drill n’ bassist Squarepusher, which is part of why his return to analog equipment for the upcoming Be Up A Hello is so damn alluring. With the album’s first two singles oozing the adrenaline-soaked Squarepusher appeal that fans fell in love with back in the 90’s, it’s clear that the UK-based indie dance pioneer hasn’t missed a beat in his five year hiatus. Be Up A Hello drops on January 31 before Squarepusher embarks on a stateside tour this spring. —Josh Stewart

The xx

Masters of minimalism, The xx know better than anyone that silence can be violent. The trio’s maintained a low profile since the resounding success of their 2017 album I See You, while Jamie xx has maintained a successful solo DJ career and Romy Madley Croft has lended writing credits to a variety of other artists. Little is known about their fourth studio album except that the group is currently at work, and that they officially extended their contract with Universal Music Publishing Group (UMG). On New Year’s Eve, the group took to Instagram to confirm the new project was indeed underway. —Bella Bagshaw

Rihanna 

Since 2017, rumors of Rihanna’s mysterious ninth album have kept the world incessantly on its toes, journeying from whispers of a reggae project back to the unknown, with Skrillex, Diplo, Pharrell, and Calvin Harris rumored to be tied to the elusive project. While the pop icon has expanded her empire in other pursuits including Fenty Beauty, Savage x Fenty, and more, the dearth of her music activity has only exponentially built up the anticipation for her long-awaited Anti-follow up. Even Rih herself recently teased up the never-ending wait for R9 in an instagram post which she captioned: “me listening to R9 by myself and refusing to release it.” Something tells us that won’t be the case this year though. —Jessica Mao

The Red Hot Chili Peppers

There is no band that has clung to relevance with the same tenacious vigor as The Red Hot Chili Peppers. Over 30 years past their initial formation they still have an eager fanbase awaiting the next drop of news surrounding the defining Los Angeles rock band—whether it be yet another shift in their lineup or the promise of a new album on the way. In 2020 it’s both, as John Frusciante, the band’s most notable guitarist, is rejoining for the third time and contributing his impeccable guitar prowess and vocal work to The Red Hot Chili Peppers’ impending twelfth studio album. —Harry Levin

The Weeknd

The Weeknd‘s new album, Chapter Six, may reside behind a surreptitious veil of speculation, but one thing’s for certain: Abel Tesfaye is still violently at war with himself. Pop/R&B’s most delectable, self-demonized figurehead has thus far shared two vastly contrasting fragments from the upcoming LP. The first, “Blinding Lights,” is a glitzy ’80s-inspired anthem wherein the singer can croon freely about his half-whole benevolent heart. But Dr. Jekyl makes his surrender in “Heartless,” and the Party Monster rears his head. Listeners can continue to expect much of this thematic tug and pull from the Starboy singer. —Bella Bagshaw

Amtrac

It’s been nearly a decade since Caleb Cornett, better known as Amtrac, delivered his debut album—the memorable and summery Came Along. Capping at 13 tracks deep, many of which feature Amtrac’s own vocals, the indie-electronic introduction highlighted the producer’s artistic nature as well as his heaping ambition. With his sophomore album Oddyssey on deck, fans can expect Cornett to return to his artistic approach for another full length, but now through the lens of a more refined, mature producer. Oddyssey is out in the early part of 2020, with singles “Between the Lines” and “Radical.” —Josh Stewart

Justin Bieber

Jack Ü‘s inescapable, Justin Bieber-assisted “Where Are Ü Now” was a massive turning point in the Canadian pop star’s career, ushering in his fourth studio album in late 2015. Then, after the smash-hit Purpose, Justin Bieber went silent on the album front. After cancelling dates from the tour in support of the album, Bieber pressed pause on the long-form format as he took a hiatus from production to focus on his health and life offstage. Gradually, Bieber began to lend his voice to series of high-profile releases. As Bieber ramped up his feature game, year by year, gracing Post Malone, Billie Eilish, and Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee originals, it was possible that the vocalist might have only consigned his voice to fellow artists’ efforts. Not so, however, and with the confirmation that his next studio album will arrive in 2020 in tandem with a multi-city tour, the “Sorry” vocalist engaged his “Bieber Fever”-stricken following with a newly launched YouTube series, and an upcoming record that’s expected to chronicle Bieber’s growth over the years. —Rachel Narozniak

Flume

In 2019, Flume had his foot on the pedal perhaps harder than ever before—he released his mind-bending full-length mixtape Hi, This is Flume, relaunched his live production at some of the world’s top festivals, and was nominated for yet another Grammy. Best of all, he has no intention of hitting the brakes in 2020, having recently revealed in a Billboard interview that he expects to drop another album in 2020. Although it’s too early to say which direction the Skin producer will take his next project, Flume’s artistic growth and innovative moves ensure his next album album will be nothing short of a masterwork. —Jessica Mao

Lorde

When Lorde speaks, the youth listens, and when the Australian vocalist speaks on her next album, expected sometime this year, the youth will be hearing something different from her than ever before. After delivering a heartfelt ode to her late dog Pearl towards the end of 2019, the “Tennis Court” singer made it clear that her feelings of loss, melancholy, and emptiness would play a much more pronounced roll in her upcoming LP, despite being the cause of the record’s delay. While her music was certainly far from naive optimism in the past, this will be a new side of Lorde, one that will open her music to an at this point unexplored listening base. —Harry Levin

Frank Ocean

Frank Ocean‘s solo debut, Channel Orange, succeeded in introducing a new R&B star archetype, though it was his long-awaited sophomore follow-up in 2016, Blonde, which came to define the decade. Now, following a surge of new music in 2019, a series of NYC club nights, and a Beats 1 radio slot, a new project from Ocean seems imminent. Though, if Ocean’s track record tells us anything, it’s that he’ll only move when he’s ready, and we likely won’t have much notice before he does. —David Klemow

ZEDD

After striking sonic gold with his debut album, Clarity, in 2012, ZEDD further asserted that he would be a force to be reckoned with in electronic circles with his sophomore offering, True Colors, in 2015. All eyes were on ZEDD after Clarity, and True Colors arrived as proof that the forward-thinking concept album wasn’t a fluke, but proof of Anton Zaslavski’s unique and ingenious approach to dance production. After showing that the album format could be one of his strongest musical suits, ZEDD altered his style, favoring a one-off release pattern defined by singles such as “The Middle,” and “365.” With just about every release in the stream of singles that ZEDD began in 2016 with “Candyman,” the superstar producer expanded his style, progressively gravitating further away from his electro roots and closer to dance-pop hybrids. His embrace of different genres of music, such as house and pop, has enabled him to continuously reinvent his sound, and his third studio album, fondly referred to as “Z3” by fans, will further define his sound. With ZEDD’s 2020 album, listeners will hear who he has grown to be since he got his groundbreaking start in the early 2010s. —Rachel Narozniak

Tame Impala

Kevin Parker continues his championing of modern psychedelia in digestible fashion for the masses with the extended rollout of The Slow Rush. It’s clear Tame Impala‘s upcoming album isn’t to arrive as a drastic departure from his lysergic synth work and cornerstone bass jaunts. The wistful Currents-esque melancholy broods and bubbles through “Lost In Yesterday,” while Parker’s will-I-won’t-I lonerism walks tall along the pop-primed “Borderline.” Tame Impala’s fourth studio album is due to land on February 14 via Interscope Records. —Bella Bagshaw

Skrillex

March will mark six years since Skrillex delivered his seminal debut LP, Recess. At the height of the EDM boom, the album was an intergalactic thrill ride through genre-hopping collaborations, chock full of electronic instant-classics. Skrillex’s pivot into hip-hop and pop products since his sole full-length project reached shelves has proven to be a more than fruitful endeavor, though in 2020, all signs point back to a return to form for the OWSLA head honcho. Rumors of multiple projects in the works have swirled for months now, though one thing is certain—whatever Skrillex gives us this year, it’ll be reflective of a more seasoned, more creatively ambitious producer before us, and somehow, likely the same old Skrillex we’ve come to know and love at the exact same time. —David Klemow

Run The Jewels

It has been a long time coming, but the wait for RTJ4 is likely winding down now. EL-P and Killer Mike have been teasing their fourth studio endeavor for more than two years now, though the former has recently confirmed the record will land ahead of the group’s appearance at Coachella 2020. The timing couldn’t be better too—with Rage Against The Machine expected to bring a raucously politically charged headlining set to Indio this year, Run The Jewels should be primed to ride the same wave with their own new material. RTJ4 is understood to be capped at 11 tracks total, with a lean runtime of 40 minutes or so, now due to land before April 10.

The role of critics: Getter breaks his silence after Visceral Tour cancellation [Op-Ed/Interview]

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The role of critics: Getter breaks his silence after Visceral Tour cancellation [Op-Ed/Interview]Getter

Artists are people, too.

It may not seem like it through the lens of an Instagram filtered helicopter ride, but that doesn’t negate the fact. Artists require honest feedback on their work for the sake of progress. But they equally require encouragement from peers, critics, and consumers. When they’re receiving both, the music scene is at its healthiest.

The union of encouragement and appraisement invoke a sense of balance under the critical microscope. Honest feedback is well-rounded and multi-pronged: pointing out well-founded shortcomings, areas of oversight, regression, or misguided efforts, while real encouragement resides in helping the artist make use of critiques. Too much of either and the scene stalls. 

Power like this, on both ends of the artistic experience, is frequently abused, often unknowingly—with people wielding words like weapons, either unaware or irreverent of their impact. Apathy, in this particular regard, in both fan response and critical exegesis is starkly embodied in Getter, who months after being abused about the shift in sound on his latest album Visceral  is once again playing shows, producing music, and contributing to social media.

“No matter what you think, we are all humans with the same emotions and thoughts,” Getter tells Dancing Astronaut. “You have to remember that musicians aren’t here to serve you music sculpted by fans on a platter. There’s shit you’ll like, and shit you’ll hate, with every artist.”

An excess of encouragement means lackluster music permeates through the helm of the industry unchecked. On the inverse, too much criticism can stifle an artist’s creativity, curbing their hunger to try new things.

This illusive balance puts artists, critics, and fans in a precarious position. Unfortunately baseless detractors are often the loudest. And critics and fans, now equipped with the ubiquitous social media mouthpiece, have to be conscious of the power of their input.

Those familiar with Getter know that Visceral is a glaring shift in both sound and style from the jarring dubstep upon which he carved out an indelible niche. The album came out on deadmau5’s mau5trap label housing—known for its ghostly and symphonic approach to dance music. 

“I’ll always be proud of Visceral,” Getter says. “Moving forward, I want to put out all kinds of music and mix it up. That way everyone’s happy.”

Getter was admirably trying to expand his musical range with Visceral; yet the most pervasive feedback he received from listeners on his album and tour was vile, hurtful, and downright destructive. So much so to the point that he eventually cancelled the remainder of his tour dates.

In an emotional address to his social media, Getter said,

Consider the gravity of Getter’s statement. Visceral long stood as the focal point of his life, albeit a luxurious life that’s coveted by many and shared by few. However, the razor-tongued naysayers who opted to use this fact to excuse their myopic comments are egregiously misguided. Money and VIP vacations don’t assuage robbing someone of their professional resolve.

Those who have spent a minimal amount of time on the internet know that its inherent separation from face-to-face interaction invites cruelty to run rampant. Because the chances of tangible retaliation are practically non-existent, it’s an open door to proceed without caution.

“At the end of the day, social media is enabling a part of your mind that you wouldn’t normally notice,” Getter says. “It inflates your insecurity.”

For the most part, it’s not against the law to type hateful things. If Getter was someone’s dubstep idol, and that person spent money to watch his Visceral tour only to discover that he wasn’t going to play any dubstep, that person has a right to be disappointed in the show.

That person does not, under any circumstances have the right to attack Getter personally. That pushes the needle nowhere and incites progress for no one. Not Getter. Not the person posting. Not the dance music community as a whole. 

Getter’s a professional, though, and he audibly attempted to hear the concerns from his detractors and act on them. He understands that he needs to take feedback seriously if he’s going to succeed as an artist, and he tried his best to do so:

“Been thinking about the criticism of the visceral tour so far and have started to adjust a lot of shit in the performance,” Getter wrote to Twitter. “It doesn’t make sense for me to expect everyone from previous shows to be 100% down w the new stuff. Ima make this super special thanks for the pointers”

He acted professionally. Made adjustments to his set. But the trolls whittled his patience thin. 

When he canceled his tour, he emphasized the importance of honest criticism:

“Criticism is healthy. My friends and I frequently critique each other’s work and it helps the final product. However, the constant hate and the disgusting attitudes I’m faced with are destroying me.”

As Getter noted, artists are not hired guns, paid to deliver a singular product to an eager, esoteric fanbase. Art is too often reduced to a commodity, and the state of music suffers.

The only reason to be so upset with an artist’s performance that it merits condemnation is if they’re too intoxicated to perform, show up late, or bail on the show. Other than that, it’s mutually understood that they’re doing their best to deliver for the crowd and themselves.

“I think that sometimes people forget what a concert, or a live performance is. For a lot of musicians, you go in, do the job, and leave. It’s a paycheck, it doesn’t have to be a well thought-out performance. But… you should remember that you are going to see them… if you truly appreciate an artist, you’ll know if its done for money or for the art. And if you’re going see your favorite artist or any artist for that matter, rather than thinking about how much it sucks or if they are selling out cuz of a new style, think about what they are giving the crowd. Maybe you don’t like it, but maybe someone around you is really attached to it.”

Again, there is a balance to consider here between criticism and encouragement. If negative comments can have such a staunch and lasting effect on him, then positive comments would theoretically do the opposite to a similar degree. It’s possible to share a negative review while praising an artist’s will to experiment in a single stroke of communication.

If every artist were condemned when they wanted to try something new with their music, the scene would go nowhere. Everyone would be stuck making the same songs over and over again, and dance music would die. Consumers need to understand this fact. But this is also why critics also have a necessary place in music, as Diplo recently articulated.

Among critics, Visceral was a modest success. Some reviews were more critical than others based on the more concrete musical merits of the album (which is commonplace given their subjective nature). But most of them were complimentary based on Getter’s willingness to expand his sound and express his emotions through his music. 

Being a frequent habitué of digital critique in music, most critics are inclined to praise artists who try to expand their sound with verve. They often understand that is how the scene moves forward; how new sounds come about. This level of praise for Getter was probably one of the reasons he threw himself into his Visceral tour with as much vigor as he did, and in that sense, the critics did a good job. They encouraged Getter to continue on his musical journey.

“Critics stir shit up. They tell you what they think. And that’s fine, the world needs people to be real sometimes. I always appreciate constructive criticism, or if someone calls something ‘trash’ that’s fine too. But the understanding of why is a little more satisfying. There’s no comfort point you get to as a musician, you always want to move forward, good or bad, movement is key. Trying new things, innovating.”

Unfortunately, critics can often be too encouraging, as represented across every genre of music in the modern scene. When critics stop doing their jobs properly, commercialism has its way with music, and that’s exactly what’s happening right now. 

This is why Instagram personalities are signing record deals. The general public has meshed the ideas of what sells and what’s good which is a result of critics cowering to offer honest and well-founded opinion.

Believe or not, people still listen to critics. People hear about albums that are widely praised like To Pimp a Butterfly and Lemonade because those albums deserve every bit of admiration they receive. So when critics let cookie-cutter party tracks pass unchecked, it devalues authentically brilliant music, it inflates the egos of the artists, and it erodes the role of critics themselves thus opening the door for the debate Lizzo started recently.

After receiving a few lukewarm reviews (alongside an influx of exceedingly positive ones) on her album Cuz I Love You, the steadily ascending pop artist tweeted: 

“PEOPLE WHO ‘REVIEW’ ALBUMS AND DONT MAKE MUSIC THEMSELVES SHOULD BE UNEMPLOYED.”

The fact is, it’s better for non-musicians to review music. That way they focus on the product itself rather than the process. When critics review an album, they aren’t reviewing the effort the artist put into the album. They’re reviewing the album itself. If an artist were to do that job they would be inherently biased simply because they understand how hard it is to produce an album. 

Critics understand the effort in the abstract, but their job isn’t to pat the artist on the back for trying. Their job is to explain the merits of the final work. In a perfect world, every album would be the best of the best, and the artists who made the best music would be the most successful. Of course, the world isn’t perfect and the music business will never work that way, but the critics are obliged to do their best to make it that way. 

That includes being truthful when a piece of music isn’t up to par. Think about it. Just like when critics universally praise album, if critics universally denounce an album there’s a considerable chance that the album simply isn’t good. This is how inspired artists are separated from the contrived. A true artist will take that criticism and work harder as Getter did. Untrue artists will point fingers and find fault in critics.

It’s not right for any artist to have to cancel a tour, as Getter had to, after receiving endless vitriolic pelting for taking a chance. That is not the dynamic this industry needs. The artistic reward system for thoughtful risk is, frankly, off-kilter as it is now.

Music is, of course, subjective. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and no piece of music is loved by literally every human being in the ear-having macrocosm. But objective elements of quality are inseparable from music as well. That’s how songs like “Imagine” by John Lennon can actually change the world. Regardless of whether one or two people (including your humble author) don’t like the song, it is expertly written, exquisitely performed, and culturally galvanizing to the point that it helped inspire a generation to do the just thing.  

This may come as a surprise, but talented artists are making music of that caliber every day, and with the right support system from fans and critics that music will come to light and change the world all the same. We here at Dancing Astronaut are fans and critics alike, and we do our best to support artists like Getter in this way because they are people, too.

Photo Credit: Jared Stossel

Romania’s NEVERSEA makes earnest third effort [Review/Watch]

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Romania’s NEVERSEA makes earnest third effort [Review/Watch]Neversea

The third iteration of Romania’s coastal, fun-in-the sun (and long thereafter) festival, NEVERSEA, proved a particularly impressive production this past year—considerably so for a young festival still trying to find its footing in a swarming European event market. 

With tens of thousands of attendees, primarily from Bucharest and surrounding Eastern European meccas pouring in to the relatively quiet, though densely populated beach town of Constanţa July 4-7 for NEVERSEA’s multi-national electronic, hip-hop, and pop roster, success was a tall order, made taller with one of the aural agenda’s top-sellers, DJ Snake, rescinding his lineup spot in a last-minute heartbreaker of an announcement. 

But NEVERSEA rose to the occasion, largely due to its audacious artist acumen, which spanned UK-bred Sub Focus’ whiplash-inducing drum breaks, to the mellow electronic/live instrumentation synergy of Bob Moses. Saturday, the four-day affair’s busiest night, drew over 60,000 festival-goers, NEVERSEA reports; and while by 7 pm there was little room to move about freely (particularly near the main stage), let alone secure an opportune spot, most of the all-ages attendees hardly seemed to mind. The remaining three days saw much of the same congestion near the main stage, though mostly confined to the riper hours of the evening during the most prominent performances, like that of Alesso and G-Eazy.

[Neversea 2019 Dancing Astronaut X Born Ready Recap from Born Ready Films on Vimeo.]

The Temple

The varied and immaculately decorated subsidiary stages offered ample refuge from the often-overflowing headlining performances. The kaleidoscopic Temple Stage, for example, with the elevated Constanţa strip as its beckoning, spotlit backdrop, hosted a lustrous litany of club-centric house and tech-leaning talent, including early-morning majesty from the likes of Jamie Jones, Boris Brejcha, and Dubfire. Faithful observers in the art of four by four, with penchants for surreptitious low-lit after-hour locales were sure to be found worshiping at the Temple.

The Ark

The Ark Stage offered dance digs of the most brash and unbridled variety. A walk past the vessel-themed stage could proffer either serrated drum ‘n’ bass displays from Andy C or Sub Focus and their razor-lipped MCs, or perhaps up-to-the-moment four on the floor from NERO‘s Dan Stephens. By all accounts, a rendezvous under The Ark is not for frightful ears.

‘Til the break of dawn

A stroll through the sandy grounds at daybreak proves NEVERSEA can hold an audience. Even at 5 am, as the orange glow of sunrise kissed the Black Sea coastline, and the delicious and delirious madness of Boris Brejcha’s “high-tech minimal,” an amalgamation of progressive, techno, and trance, began winding down, it was clear attendees were in it for the long hall—as hundreds remained camped around The Temple stage, wide-eyed and enthralled. The intensity of the Eastern European people is no myth, personified in hordes of young people dancing at 8 am with 8 pm vigor. They gathered restlessly, striking coquettish poses with the flowered festival foliage long after dawn stretched into day.

In just a few short years, NEVERSEA has solidified its spot as a must-attend on the Romanian festival front, really only contending with its Transylvanian sister soiree, UNTOLD. The robust beachside gathering is an impressive mid-sized mounting on the Eastern European festival mantle.

Video Work: Grant Stakenas via Born Ready Films

Camo & Krooked detail pivoting to singles, upcoming Red Bull Vienna shows, and working with Jeru The Damaja [Interview]

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Camo & Krooked detail pivoting to singles, upcoming Red Bull Vienna shows, and working with Jeru The Damaja [Interview]Camo Krooked Press 2020 1

For veterans holding more than 12 years of music-making, Camo & Krooked continue to ignite the drum ‘n’ bass scene with the fresh energy of newcomers. The Austrian duo consisting of Reinhard Reitsch and Markus Wagner have proved an indomitable force since their formation in 2007—signing to mammoth Hospital Records and winning the Drum&BassArena’s Best Newcomers DJs Award just three years after their debut. After captivating listeners with their explosive debut album, Above & Beyond, Camo & Krooked went on to assert themselves as ambassadors of multi-genre productions in their colorful exploration of d’n’b and its relationship to electronic music as a whole.

If d’n’b were a canvas, the color palette would be sub-genres and the painters: Camo & Krooked. Fundamentally loyal to their d’n’b roots while welcoming intuitive influences from dubstep, house, techno, grime, electro-house, and more, the d’n’b influencers have made it their standard to challenge the boundaries of genre-centric lines and push the sonic expectations exceedingly further.

They have embraced dubstep in their hit single “All Fall Down,” emulated disco in Zeitgeist, played off hip-hop in their 2019 single, “Set It Off” featuring Jeru The Damaja, and recreated their d’n’b sound with ever-cinematic expressions in their latest UKF10’s “Atlas” VIP remix. Now, with two massive orchestral Vienna shows locked in, a highly anticipated Rampage performance, and a pipeline of new music, Camo & Krooked are poised to take on 2020.

Dancing Astronaut sat down to catch up with Camo & Krooked on their pivot to single releases, insights into their Red Bull Vienna show, and the creative process behind “Set It Off.”


For a while, you were quiet on the music front, but 2019 was a massive year of releases with “Atlas,” “Sidewinder,” and recently “Set It Off” among other tracks. Will 2020 be a music-centric year as well or focus more on the tour side?

We are completely back on track musically so 2020 will continue along the lines of 2019 with lots of new music, trying to evolve in music production skills and find new directions. Really loving writing music at the moment!

You mentioned that the two of you went into studio hibernation to concentrate on new music. Do we have a new album in store? 

We are planning on working single-based, as it leaves us more freedom of creativity and we can fully concentrate on one track at a time. Writing an album of 12 tracks you have to apply new learned techniques on each of the tracks while writing over and over again, it takes lots of power and we really like the ease of releasing one tune after another at the moment, feels more up to date.

What inspiration came first for “Set It Off”—wanting to produce a hip-hop/funk-infused track or wanting to collaborate with Jeru The Damaja? 

As always, we tried to make a drop that is different to what everybody is doing at the moment, because that is basically what excites us when producing music, reinventing ourselves over and over again. After nailing it we thought that adding hip-hop flavor would give the tune more character than just your usual DJ tune. After nailing the halfstep part we approached some ’90s hip-hop legends and Jeru got back to us, being totally excited about the project!

Coming up on 12 years since you started releasing music, how has your respective approaches to the creative process evolved? 

When you start making music you imitate and recreate your favorite producers, learning all the techniques needed to find you own niche to explore. Now we feel like being in a position where, with every tune we make, we want to learn something or use new techniques, what makes the tune feel more special and valuable for us. Making simple sounds sound as pristine and big as possible and including new influences in each track.

Speaking of milestones, UKF’s decade anniversary saw your track “Atlas” on UKF10 and the release of its VIP counterpart. What elements did you want to add in remixing the cinematic aspects of the original? 

The VIP got even more cinematic actually and been influenced by the techniques we learned for the Red Bull Symphonic Show, C&K orchestra shows in Vienna beginning of February, at which we perform our biggest tunes with a 70-person symphony orchestra.

We’re just a few weeks away from the Vienna orchestra shows. How did this collaborative concept come alive and what type of experience would you like attendees to take away?

Red Bull approached us with this project and we loved the idea from the very first second. We have been working hard on it for the last three months and its going to be a really special event that no one really can say how exactly it will turn out in the end. We reworked most of our tunes to make space for the orchestral elements, so it’s not just the original tune with another layer, it’s a melting pot for both genres creating something completely unique.

Learn more about the Feb. 1 and 2 Vienna shows here.

What can we expect of your first ever back-to-back with Mefjus at Rampage 2020? 

This back-to-back was on our minds for very long already and what better platform than Rampage could you ask for as Introduction of Camo & Krooked b2b Mefjus. We will have lots of exclusive material and looking forward how the set will turn out, will start preparing soon!

Rampage 2020 has locked in an incredible program including you all. Who are you excited to see?

Lots of our friends are there and its going to be good times! Special acts are the Noisia farewell tour and the Pendulum Trinity Show!

You’ve mentioned that Tame Impala and Flume are musical influences for you, respectively (Krooked the former, Camo the latter). They both had returned this year with some pivotal releases. What did you think?

We are huge fans from all their recent output and took some influences from Flume especially as his sound is always changing and very exciting!

Any resolutions for the new year? 

Make new music, be healthy, be happy!

Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 125

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Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 125Deters 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


Degs and Unglued have teamed up to bring a collaborative effort to Hospital Records: “Levitate Your Mind.” This fast-paced drum ‘n’ bass tune features soulful vocals and fun variation in rhythm over the course of the song’s four minutes. It has an funky retro atmosphere to it, drawing the listener in from the first rapid notes.

After releasing his debut solo album in 2019, M Machine member Luttrell burst into the new decade with guns blazing. He’s gearing up for the release of his sophomore effort, Lucky Ones, due out March 13, and has blessed the music world with the LP’s first single: “My Friend The Sun.” The song features an energetic vocal that propels it forward, making for a stunning debut from the upcoming album.

Speaking of upcoming albums, Jason Ross has a thing or two on his radar. The producer’s new album arrives Jan. 24 via Seven LionsOphelia Records. He’s tapped the vocal talents of Dia Frampton for new release “1000 Faces,” and the result is an emotive journey. “Dia has been one of my favorite people in this industry since the first time we talked, right after I remixed her track with Illenium,” Ross says in the track’s description. “The moment I heard this vocal, I was blown away and knew we had a big one on our hands.”

Though it appears to have been out for several months, Sofi Tukker‘s “Swing” just appeared as a new song at the top of my SoundCloud feed. As always, this creative duo has crafted something in a league of its own. “Swing” takes the listener on a venture (mainly in Portuguese) from orchestral elements to a chanted verse from Brazilian poet Chacal.

Lane 8‘s long-awaited Brightest Lights has finally arrivedits 13 tracks filled with luminous and relaxing energy. A clear standout is “The Flood” with Nevve. Featuring a gorgeous drifting melody, heart-wrenching vocals, and a mellow beat, this song serves as a shining example of some of Lane 8’s best work.

HiJinx Festival returns to Philadelphia for bass boosted sequel [Review]

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HiJinx Festival returns to Philadelphia for bass boosted sequel [Review]HiJin Skrille 02 8

“Out with the old and in with the new” goes the New Year’s adage, and it’s the latter half of the expression that best applies to newcomer of Philadelphia’s live event circuit, HiJinx Festival. From December 27 – 28, crowds of dance music enthusiasts set out for the Philadelphia Convention Center to witness HiJinx’s second annual iteration. Dancing Astronaut was among them, and after attending the Live Nation-organized event for the first time in HiJinx’s nascent history, can confidently assert the following: it’s no wonder that HiJinx’s sequel was sold-out. 

HiJinx Festival returns to Philadelphia for bass boosted sequel [Review]HiJin Lineup WebsiteHeader Final 1

The festival’s 2019 bass-riddled lineup was proof of Live Nation’s evergreen ability to land top acts, and further solidified HiJinx as one of the premier bass-centric events in the country. Topped by Skrillex, Porter Robinson, Bassnectar, Zeds Dead, GRiZ, and Excision and Slander, who collaboratively closed HiJinx with a back-to-back set, HiJinx’s 2019 lineup was a formidable followup to the festival’s 2018 billing, which packed its own one-two punch.

HiJinx Festival returns to Philadelphia for bass boosted sequel [Review]Hfzstgjb71m11

In 2018, HiJinx laid the foundation for its aesthetic identity with low-end heavyweights such as Bassnectar, RL Grime, and WHIPPED CREAM. As they did with the 2019 lineup, HiJinx organizers issued a nod to hip-hop and integrated the genre in the bass-leaning roster with the inclusion of artists such as Denzel Curry. Between 2018 and 2019, Bassnectar was the sole artist to receive an invitation to return to HiJinx.

For attendees, the festival experience is often not without token set delays and even last minute lineup changes. Not so, however, with the emerging Philly event, which went off without any hitches in a spacious venue that coalesced crowd members with various food and craft vendors.

HiJinx Festival returns to Philadelphia for bass boosted sequel [Review]Bassnectar HiJin 2019 Family Photo
Bassnectar’s family photo from HiJinx 2019

HiJinx, as festival goers based in the Tri-state area can attest, bridges a once existent gap in this area’s live event circuit. Although New York is a Mecca for the stateside dance scene, particularly during the week between Christmas and New Year’s day, the events offered are mostly singular, standalone shows rather than multi-day festivals. Those seeking to attend an electronic festival during this timeframe must consequently look beyond the northeast’s offerings, and might consider mainstays such as Snowglobe Festival in California or Arizona’s fledging Decadence.

HiJinx Festival returns to Philadelphia for bass boosted sequel [Review]HiJin Skrille 02 8
Skrillex performs at HiJinx 2019

Live Nation’s sophomore installation of HiJinx Festival effectively broadens the stock of seasonal electronic music festivals available to dance aficionados, but is of specific benefit to those in the Tri-state area, for whom multi-day options have been traditionally limited. With each year to follow, HiJinx Festival will continue to progressively transcend its current emerging status, adding value to the festival circuit at large, and giving bassheads another extended opportunity to ride the rails.

Dancing Astronaut’s Top 100 Songs of the Decade

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Dancing Astronaut’s Top 100 Songs of the DecadeTracks Of The Decade

Words: Bella Bagshaw, Rachel Narozniak, Chris Stack, Jessica Mao, and Farrell Sweeney

From “Clarity” to “Bangarang,” the past ten years have borne witness to no shortage of colorful electronic releases that, cumulatively, have contributed to the genre’s expansion from niche to mainstream. A golden decade in dance, 2010 to 2020 saw electronic music hit a commercial climax in 2012.

As dance music worked its way across radio airwaves, most commonly through the recently popularized dance-pop hybrid format, and as the stock of electronically oriented festivals expanded, one thing became increasingly clear: dance music is for everyone. In a retrospective review of the releases that defined the span of time between 2010 and 2020, Dancing Astronaut proudly presents our top 100 tracks of the decade.

1 Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites – Skrillex

“Yes, OH MY GOD!” The premier single from Skrillex’s first Grammy Award-winning album for Best Dance/Electronica Album in 2011. Also grabbing a Grammy for Best Dance Recording, the track catapulted dubstep into the American dance scene.

2 Stay – Zedd

“Stay” arrived as evidence of the symbiotic quality of Zedd’s refined approach to both electronic and pop stylings. In partnering with then rising pop starlet, Alessia Cara, on the record Zedd affirmed what his followers had long known: the dance-pop hybrid is one of his strongest sonic suits—and he’s still here to play.

3 Body – Loud Luxury

The release that catapulted Loud Luxury into the musical mainstream, “Body” is an evergreen electronic anthem that exemplified the duo’s acute ear for effervescent productions.

4 Jackie Chan – Tiesto and Dzeko

Tiësto and Dzeko‘s collaboration with Post Malone and Preme, “Jackie Chan” proved itself to be a particularly pervasive summer anthem, as the star-studded hit single worked its way through playlists and radio queues alike. The cut, which scored a platinum certification, was as much a credit to Tiësto’s ear for electronic tunes that resonate — and have consistently resonated — with listeners as it is a watershed moment in Dzeko’s progressing career as a solo producer.

5 After Life – Tchami feat. Stacy Barthe

The undisputed father of future house, Tchami wielded this dancefloor weapon to open the floodgates, helping a whole new generation of four-by-four lovers discover the “hard” sector of house.

6 The Veldt – deadmau5

Inspired by a fan’s tweet and a Ray Bradbury tale of the same name “The Veldt” is deadmau5 at his progressive peak. The halcyon track paints a visceral lyrical and production portrait, scaling mythical proportions in electronic lovers’ hearts. It’s an untethered demonstration of deadmau5’s unique ability to create music that’s both gentle and galvanizing all at once.

7 Instant Crush – Daft Punk feat. Julian Casablancas

Introspection is one hell of a drug. Daft Punk knows this well, seen through their somber synth-pop moments. The androids borrow The Strokes lead singer Julian Casablancas’ palatably plaintive vocoded voice for a glorious game of sad robot.

8 Promises – NERO (Skrillex & Nero remix)

Appearing on NERO’s official debut album, the trio’s “Promises” remix helped catalyze the decade’s emotional dubstep craze. It even snagged Skrillex the 2013 Grammy for Best Remixed Recording.

9 Faded – ZHU

Remixed by everyone from ODESZA to Lido, “Faded” was a collective late-night mood for more or less the latter half of the decade. No one could deny ZHU’s beckoning vocal advances and up-to-no-good production prowess.

10 Internet Friends – Knife Party

“You blocked me on Facebook / And now you’re going to die.” At the height of Knife Party’s rage or die reign over the first half of the ’10s, came “Internet Friends.” It’s a cheeky, relentless emblem of the group’s electro house savored sonic flavor. Aside from making an appearance in live sets far and wide, it even made it onto The Walking Dead.

11 One Kiss – Calvin Harris

One kiss is all it takes? Over 900 million Spotify streams later, it seems listeners wanted more than that from the heavenly Dua Lipa-Calvin Harris tag team.

12 Raise Your Weapon – deadmau5

Written with Skrillex at his side, deadmau5 puts on a full-frontal display of his aural dexterity. Greta Svabo Bech helps wed progressive and dubstep in this hallowed union.

13 The Island -, Pt. 1 (Dawn) – Pendulum

Between its ample radio play and both Skrillex and The Godfather of EDM, Tiesto’s decisions to offer the track official remixes, “The Island” garnered the good graces it deserves. The flagship progressive paragon not only helped Pendulum flex their genre agility, but catapulted a teenage Madeon’s career, after the young Frenchman won Pendulum’s remix contest for the track.

14 Afterhours – TroyBoi feat. Diplo & Nina Sky

A pairing aligned in trap paradise, Diplo and TroyBoi, with the help of Nina Sky, bring sultry, up-to-no-good worldliness to “Afterhours.” The track pulsed with production ad libs evocative of their champion caliber of nuance across festival frontlines following its release in 2015.

15 Titanium – David Guetta feat. Sia

Close to a billion streams later, Sia’s steely vocals ring with the same prophetic cadence, as does Guetta’s slow-burning pluck. “Titanium” is one of the few preeminent paragons of dance pop in the US.

16 Express Yourself – Diplo feat. Nicky Da B

If we had to pinpoint a piece of music that catalyzed Diplo’s “random-white-dude-be-everywhere” reign over dance music and—who are we kidding—the industry at large, “Express Yourself” was that moment. It’s bombastic, deathly danceable, Afro-leaning style stood as a pristinely telling precursor for the near-decade of nonsense to brew from the Diplo camp. RIP Nicky Da B.

17 I Know The Truth – Pretty Lights

“I Know The Truth” is nothing short of an instrumental love letter to dubstep. Expertly placed, just ahead of its genre’s wall-to-wall embrace mid decade, the track displays Derek Vincent Smith’s unparalleled sample savvy, in this case O.V. Wright’s “A Fool Can’t See The Light.”

18 Tell Me – RL Grime & What So Not

A trap affront for the ages. “Tell Me” combines RL Grimes’ over-the-top orchestral energy and What So Not’s ethereal, trend-setting melodic flair.

19 I Can’t Stop – Flux Pavilion

Producers literally couldn’t (and still can’t) stop playing this larger-than-life track out. The proverbial dubstep onslaught became a quintessential live set closer soon after its release.

20 Marijuana – Chrome Sparks

“Marijuana” not only helped spark synth wizard Chrome Sparks’ career, but topped the ubiquitous “chill-out beats” playlists near and far.

21 Civilization – Justice

Picked up for multi-national ads with Adidas, “Civilization” is Justice at their best, full of funk, femme, and downright fun.

22 Say My Name – ODESZA feat. Zyra

An exemplar of ODESZA’s fluttery, technicolor sweetness, “Say My Name” helped pave the way for the ’10s’ chromatic chill-out niche.

23 Turn Down For What – DJ Snake

Soon to become a ubiquitous catchphrase and altogether ethos of the mid-decade, “Turn Down For What” is one of the most voraciously used movie score, TV commercial, and remix sources in the history of dance music.

24 Spaceman – Hardwell

Big room house most certainly had its day in the sun this decade. “Spaceman” is hands-down the sound’s token epochal track.

25 Harlem Shake – Baauer

One of those songs of which the legacy precedes exegesis of the song itself. The “Harlem Shake” isn’t a track; it’s a phenomenon.

26 Tidal Wave – Subfocus & Alpines

The decade’s proverbial melodic drum ‘n’ bass offering. Nearly a full ten years later, “Tidal Wave” still washes over like a welcomed rush of endorphins.

27 Gecko (Overdrive) – Oliver Heldens & Becky Hill

A watershed waypoint in the “future” house foray this past decade. A precocious young Oliver Heldens proves the clarity and ultra-modern precision of his vision with this one.

28 Rude Boy – Zeds Dead feat. Omar LinX

A bass line has never crunched harder than Zeds Dead’s “Rude Boy,” with lyrical hellfire to boot on behalf of serial ZD collaborator, Omar LinX. Islandy and merciless all at once, 2010’s “Rude Boy” splashed onto the decade’s dubstep scene sending heads rolling.

29 Innerbloom – RÜFÜS DU SOL

Idealistic, implacably danceable, a song for lovers to its core, to “Innerbloom” we surrendered. We’re all for cheesy saccharine-sweet house tracks, but this just isn’t one of them. Melt into the chromatic complexities of “Innerbloom”‘s swimming corridors of color.

30 Roses – The Chainsmokers feat. ROZES

An effervescent dance pop presentation like no other this decade, “Roses” was instrumental in taking The Chainsmokers from niche to nationally recognized.

31 Midnight Hour – Boys Noize & Skrillex

No, not a Dog Blood number. But “Midnight Hour” bangs with the same flare and dexterous finger on the pulse of the modern electronic heartbeat. A notable cobblestone on the duo’s prolific partnership path.

32 Pop Culture – Madeon

What would this list be without dance music’s token mashup? An overnight YouTube sensation “Pop Culture” shot Madeon into the stratosphere.

33 It Ain’t Me – Kygo feat. Selena Gomez

Kygo’s one-size-fits-all appeal is supremely evident in the sweeping success of the Selena Gomez-assisted “It Ain’t Me.” This track saw cross-continental top-five chartings from Australia, to Canada, to Belgium. The tropical house/dance-pop phenom continues to prove why he’s sought out with nearly unprecedented fervency from all-star vocalists.

34 Cheerleader – OMI (Felix Jaehn remix)

On the precipice of the tropical house explosion “Cheerleader” was a wholesome, silver-tongued spoonful of dance music for the unenlightened. Infectious and saccharine as a sweet tooth, Felix Jaehn gave “Cheerleader” the feel-good flip we could all get behind.

35 More Than You Know – Axwell Λ Ingrosso

Fans crawled and clawed for this one after tasting it at Coachella in 2015, waiting another two years for an official release. “More Than You Know” are the Swedish boys at their best, pure festival euphoria bottled in a song.

36 Viol – Gesaffelstein

Nasty, writhing, deliciously unsettling, it must be Gesaffelstein. “Viol” is a slow-crawling, torrential techno endeavor that will send the unprepared spiraling into the darkest corners of the electronic continuum, if they’re not careful.

37 Closer – The Chainsmokers

A driving force of the dance-pop hybrid’s pop cultural pervasion, “Closer” exerted a white knuckle grip on the charts, spending one year in the US Top 40 and 61 weeks in Billboard’s Top 10.

38 Where Are Ü Now – Jack Ü

Defined by its inescapability, “Where Are Ü Now” secured triple platinum status in addition to Grammy Awards and AMAs for both Skrillex and Diplo, while simultaneously ushering Justin Bieber back into the sonic spotlight.

39 Turn Up The Speakers – Afrojack and Martin Garrix

On “Turn Up The Speakers,” Afrojack and Martin Garrix collaboratively revive the heart pumping, adrenaline spiking glory of electronic festival sets, to take attendees and the genre alike back to its buzzing roots. To say that the 2014 cut has aged well would be an understatement; “Turn Up The Speakers” remains a prominent inclusion of electronic circuit sets.

40 One (Your Name) – Swedish House Mafia feat. Pharrell Williams

Axwell, Ingrosso, and Angello made their auspicious debut under moniker Swedish House Mafia in 2010 with single “One.” Their entrance into the electronic music scene with “One” was a force that would set the tone for the group’s career. “One,” also written by Pharrell Williams, was one of the music industry heavyweights’ first forrays into electronic music writing and co-production. “One” is a track that has become a pillar of Swedish House Mafia’s discography and is still performed to this day thanks to the timelessness of the upbeat production elements. The single won Best Electro/Tech House Track and Best Progressive Track at the International Dance Music Awards in 2011. 

41 Get Lucky – Daft Punk ft. Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers

Daft Punk basically brought back disco with this single. Enlisting an all-out all-star collaborative team behind the release, Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers, “Get Lucky,” half a billion streams later, did just that.

42 Levels – Avicii 

If there’s one song that arguably kickstarted the commercialization and mainstream crossover of electronic music, it is “Levels” by Avicii. The larger-than-life progressive tune single-handedly took over every festival mainstage, radio station, becoming the backdrop to movie scenes, sports networks and more.

43 Animals – Martin Garrix 

“Animals” was the first global hit produced by the then 17-year-old prodigious producer, Martin Garrix. “Animals” is definitive thanks to the fact that it took over mainstages across worldwide, and vamped Garrix’s career on a global level. No mainstage set was complete without dropping this track at the height of its success.

44 We Found Love – Calvin Harris feat. Rihanna

Calvin Harris led the way for major pop music collaborations with electronic music artists when he enlisted Rihanna for “We Found Love.” Despite having only released electronic leaning music, Calvin Harris was an opening act on the pop queen’s Loud Tour, and this crossover helped to cement the fact that electronic music and pop music not only could coexist, but that electronic music could truly appeal to the mainstream. “We Found Love” was the first of many collaborations between Harris and Rihanna, including “Where Have You Been” in addition to “This Is What You Came For.” Calvin Harris can also credit his lone Grammy award to “We Found Love,” which won the Best Short Form Music Video category during the 2012 Grammy Awards.

45 Losing It – Fisher

Fisher reignited a global addiction to a song with his release “Losing It,” which also arguably put the producer on the map for the long haul. Chris Lake co-produced the single, as if that isn’t insurance enough for a hit. But “Losing It” is also impactful because it helped to reignite the electronic music community’s love of house music. Gimmicky, sure, but intoxicatingly fun.

46 Lean On – DJ Snake and Major Lazer

DJ Snake and Major Lazer brought Carribean sounds to the forefront of dance music after releasing “Lean On,” which went on to become a worldwide phenomenon. The single inspired many other artists to tap into Carribean and reggae influences for feel-good summer releases. The track even became one of the top 10 most streamed videos on YouTube after it amassed two billion views on the platform in 2017. 

47 Shelter – Madeon and Porter Robinson

Porter Robinson and Madeon teamed up in 2016 to produce “Shelter,” and the collaborative effort was truly a noteworthy one. Their distinctive qualities combined to yield a french electro and Japanese-inspired single that was quite different from the vanguard of the time. “Shelter” has withstood the test of time as a fan-favorite of both its creators.

48 Don’t You Worry Child – Swedish House Mafia

One of Swedish House Mafia’s most alluring ballads and well-known works is “Don’t You Worry Child.” It came out at a pivotal point during Swedish House Mafia’s ascension into progressive house royalty. The single cemented them as truly influential for the genre, and it remains one of their most streamed works to date. 

49 Latch – Disclosure feat. Sam Smith

Both Disclosure and Sam Smith reign as leading artists of their respective genres, but each of their ascensions was aided by “Latch.” The fluid exposition of Smith’s vocal chops and Disclosure’s production landed on Disclosure’s debut album, Settle, released in 2013.

50 This Is What It Feels Like – Armin van Buuren

Trance titan Armin van Buuren pioneered the underground subgenre, achieving notoriety for his trance anthems, but van Buuren’s breakthrough into more mainstream dance music was aided by this aching number.

51 Feel So Close – Calvin Harris

The second single released from Calvin Harris’ gilded third studio album, 2012’s 18 Months, “Feel So Close” saw Harris transcend his disc-jockey talents to lend his vocals to this leading cut. The success of Harris’ extension, from producer to vocalist, was evidenced in the track’s alluring catchiness, and ultimately, its inescapability. 

52 Runaway (U & I) – Galantis

“Runaway (U & I)” laid the sonic groundwork for Galantis’ penetration of the electronic genre, and pending the single’s release, the production pair swiftly attracted and held the public’s attention as they went on to further define the style. Streamers got a first glimpse of Galantis’ dance aesthetic on “Runaway (U & I),” and in the time since, Galantis have animatedly labored to sharpen it.

53 Sweet Memories – Kaskade & CID

The rushing, mid-tempo bliss of Kaskade’s “Sweet Memories” is nearly unparalleled in its ability to please all in the crowd at the afters. The energetic number eases streamers from the weekend adrenaline spike to the gossamer glide back down to repose with a muted brilliance that only Kaskade could effect.

54 Language – Porter Robinson

The seminal Porter track “Language” marked a pivotal point in not only the producer’s evolution as an artist, but also the dance scene’s welcoming of melodically-inspired electro house— Peaking at #1 on the UK Indie charts and #7 on the US Billboard Dance Airplay charts, “Language” cemented Porter as a household name and served as a precursor for his creative direction in Worlds.

55 Clarity – Zedd feat. Foxes

To this day, “Clarity” stands irrevocably as a Zedd masterpiece that has held its own amongst the exponential growth of the dance scene. Smashing the charts, the Triple-platinum record was Zedd’s first Grammy and broke through to mainstream airplay—introducing the producer’s pop-influenced electro house and marking another wave of dance music domination.

56 Opus – Eric Prydz

The final offering from Eric Prydz’s debut artist album Opus, titular track “Opus” and its deliberate 9-minute intricacies have perhaps seen itself as one of the most grandiose and gratuitous unfoldings of progressive house in the sense of both a standalone track and its context as the capstone of a concept album. Melding cerebral textures and masterful layers, “Opus”‘s climactic progression is an ode to the Swedish producer’s legendary craft and continues to be a pillar of his EPIC sets.

57 You & Me – Disclosure (Flume remix)

The iconic Flume remix of Disclosure’s “You & Me” shot the Aussie producer’s pioneering future bass sound into the hallmark of fame and opened the gateway for the subgenre’s subsequent popularization. Enveloped by euphoric strings and brimming oscillations, the remix’s momentous drop has been celebrated time and time again.

58 Gold – Adventure Club Feat. Yuna

The second meeting of Adventure Club and vocalist Yuna brought about the Canadian dubstep duo’s iconic Calling All Heroes track, “Gold”. Arriving in the midst of the golden era of melodic dubstep, “Gold” exemplified Adventure Club’s command of emotive dance music and female vocals in its prime.

59 Calling (Lose My Mind) – Sebastian Ingrosso & Alesso

Undeniably one of the most popular EDM tracks of all time, “Calling (Lose My Mind)” joins the forces of powerhouse Sebastian Ingrosso and Alesso with OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder in the culmination of euphoric-inducing progressive house. With songwriting support from Matthew Koma, the chart-topping track, its instantly recognizable top line and sing-along characteristics have established the collaboration as a timeless festival anthem.

60 It’s Strange – Louis the Child Feat. K.Flay

Upon the release of their K.Flay track, “It’s Strange”, it wouldn’t take long before then-newcomers Louis the Child broke onto the electronic scene. While the age of future bass had dawned, the Chicago outfit innovated on the popular sub-genre—constructing subaqueous-like synths over K.Flay’s spoken rap fusion to deliver a tastefully eccentric concoction of future bass, pop and trap.

61 Room for Happiness – Kaskade Feat. Skylar Grey

Hailing from Kaskade’s iconic 2011 album Fire & Ice, “Room for Happiness” lives among several other companion singles including “Eyes”, “Turn It Down”, and “Lick It”, as a nuanced showcase of Kaskade’s discography. The track saw the superstar coalesce with pop singer Skylar Grey on a melancholically hopeful track with house progressions equal parts gut-wrenching and suited for the dance floor.

62 Sweet Nothing – Calvin Harris Feat. Florence Welch

Topping the UK and Ireland charts and nominated for a Grammy, “Sweet Nothing” made up of one of nine top ten singles from Calvin Harris’ 18 Months and marked his first UK No.1 from the album. A distinct departure from his previous stylings, “Sweet Nothing” simultaneously rocketed Harris as an electro house aficionado with a penchant for radio appeal and showcased Florence Welch dynamism—its firing synths, club-driven BPM, and embrace of Welch’s powerful vocals as the foundation for a smash hit.

63 Bunnydance – Oliver Heldens

Ushering in his groove-tinged house productions, Oliver Heldens and his delivery of “Bunnydance” put footwork first, beat-wise and quite literally, on stage. Both quirky and channeling mass appeal, “Bunnydance” built the Heldens brand in his dance antics during sets and established him as a future house frontrunner.

64 HyperParadise – Hermitude (Flume remix)

Yet another ode to Flume’s range as a producer, his remix of Hermitude’s “HyperParadise” resides as his self-titled debut album’s embodiment of the Grammy-winning act’s investigation into trip hop-influenced future bass. Infused with heavy vocal chops and funkadelic rhythms, the 2012 remix timelessly depicts Flume’s inclination as an experimental innovator then, and now.

65 5 HoursDeorro

Perhaps Deorro’s most preeminent track, “5 Hours” crushed the charts, receiving two gold certifications, and received widespread success across the industry with appearances in several dance compilations during 2014. An electrifying hook encased by a four-on-the-floor structure, “5 Hours” breathes as an addictive track on all occasions, from the dance floor to late night drives.

66 Tremor Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Martin Garrix

Good or bad, the argument for “Tremor” as one of the most iconic dance tracks of the last decade is difficult to refute. Its 2014 release brought about the commercialization of the next generation’s big room house and resonated with festival crowds worldwide—crowned as one of the quintessential anthems among staples like “Seven Nation Army” and “Kernkraft 400”. Characterized by archetypal drops and crowd-pleasing energy, “Tremor” paved for success for main stage sound, undeniably influencing the future direction of both EDM and festival appeal.

67 Ten Feet Tall – Afrojack

Afrojack’s cross-genre hit “Ten Feet Tall” became an international sensation upon its release in 2014. With inspiriting chord progressions and rousing vocals from Wrabel, “Ten Feet Tall” and its emotional dance-pop connected with listeners through the track’s uplifting foundations.

68 Acrylics – TNGHT (RL Grime Edit)

When two bass superforces collide, RL Grime’s “Acrylics” Edit happens. Revamping the heavy duty TNGHT single, RL Grime’s edit ups the ante on the original gargantuan destructive soundscape—doubling the chaotic trap expression and championing an evil acidity exclusive to the bass legend’s realm.

69 Firestone – Kygo Feat. Conrad Sewell

The seminal Kygo track “Firestone” established the Norwegian producer as the tropical house’s lead innovator while simultaneously breaching international territory with No. 1 positions in several countries. In line with his major key stylings, “Firestone” distinguished itself from its dance counterparts of big room and festival-oriented peers with its heartfelt vocals and soft aesthetics.

70 Sexual Healing – Marvin Gaye (Kygo remix)

Preceding his attention-garnering Ed Sheeran’s “I See Fire” remix and subsequent breakthrough with “Firestone”, Kygo’s 2013 “Sexual Healing” remix stole the spotlight with its infectious, sensual undertones and served as the platform for his continued execution of tranquil dance beats.

71 Fantasy Alina Baraz & Galimatias

If sound were a remedy, “Fantasy” would be the cure. The then-20 year old Alina Baraz joined with electronic producer Galimatias in delivering a fantastically-sensual track reminiscent of the directions of ambient electronic music blooming in SoundCloud spaces. Its dreamy fusion of lush sonics set the precedent for more downtempo, synth-kissed acts to perforate the scene.

72 Lights – Ellie Goulding (Bassnectar Remix)

Bassnectar rarely crosses over into the pop realm; however, the underground bass king made an exception for Ellie Goulding, and the result was resounding radio success. 

73 All is Fair in Love and Brostep – Skrillex

The Recess track “All Is Fair in Love and Brostep” garnered attention not just for its impeccable dubstep sound design, but also for its uncanny resemblance to Zomboy’s “Terror Squad” — ultimately, bringing about a speculative war regarding who-copied-who that ended with “love and brostep” in which Zomboy revealed “Terror Squad” was unwittingly inspired by Skrillex’s This Much Power DJ Tool.

74 Boneless – Steve Aoki

2013 “Boneless” amassed widespread success across Europe and the broader dance scene as a club banger—adding to Steve Aoki’s portfolio of party smashers and forecasting Chris Lake’s rise as one of the house music’s most coveted. Boasting a minimalist electro structure easy enough to mix into any dance set or simple enough to layer hip-hop verses over, “Boneless” and its signature beat have continued to be recognized over the last decade.

75 Need Your Heart – Adventure Club Feat. Kai

Adventure Club’s “Need Your Heart” enlisted Kai for a forceful display of melodic dubstep that showed the duo’s intuitive craft for balancing heavy wobbles with euphoric vocals. Complete with a tasteful build-up and scintillating bass, “Need Your Heart” sits comfortably in Adventure Club’s arsenal of potent, yet artful dubstep tracks.

76 Everyday – Rusko (Netsky remix)

One of the most sweeping drum ‘n’ bass/drumstep tracks to ever touch down in the states, Netsky’s “Everyday” remix is a fearless explosion of ad libs and production nuance evocative of Netsky’s production caliber.

77 Spectrum – Zedd

In the span of an artist’s career, there are few songs that subsist as the apex of their artistry. Alongside its sister single “Clarity”, “Spectrum” endures as one of ZEDD’s legendary productions. The Matthew Koma collaboration topped three charts including Billboard’s US Dance Club Songs and enforced Clarity as a holistic body of work in itself. Fine-tuned with complexities of layers and emotional lyricism, “Spectrum” speaks to ZEDD’s capabilities as not just an electronic artist, but an artist built from traditional musical foundations.

78 FadedAlan Walker

Clocking in 2.6 billion views on Youtube and over 1 billion Spotify streams, “Faded” saw massive worldwide success upon its release and charmed both dance and non-dance fans with its instrumental beauty and brand of anonymity.

79 Gold Dust – DJ Fresh (Flux Pavilion remix)

Dubstep came from the UK, and Flux Pavillion was known to influence the likes of Skrillex with his remix of DJ Fresh’s “Gold Dust” and the likes. 

80 Alive – Krewella

When the group was a trio with producer Kris “Rain Man” Trindl behind the beats, “Alive” charting at 32 on the US Billboard Hot 100. The song was Krewella’s first and only top 40 hit on Billboard.

81 Cinema – Benny Benassi (Skrillex remix)

The hard hitting remix was a seminal weapon in Skrillex’s liver performance arsenal for years, and won a Grammy for Best Remixes Recording, Non-Classical. 

82 Bird Machine – DJ Snake and Alesia

At the precipice of EDM Trap, “Bird Machine,” was simultaneously silly and hyphy, and a festival pleaser as one of the first officially released tracks from the mega-superstar, DJ Snake.  

83 I Could Be The One – Avicii & Nicky Romero

The first Avicii producer collaboration that really took off with its unforgettable melody.  Released after “Levels,” the track fast-tracked Avicii’s upward propulsion to stardom.  

84 Bass Head – Bassnectar

Bassnectar fans are some of the most, maybe THE most, devoted fans in the history of dance music. This is their theme song.  

85 I Can See It In Your Face – Pretty Lights

Pretty lights continued his upward, live-performance trajectory towards the turn of the decade, and “I Can See It In Your Face” was a mainstay in the electro-funk magnates sets. 

86 Light – San Holo

“Light” is San Holo’s certified gold, future bass offering that bolstered the experimental melody writer to new heights.

87 Thief – Ookay

2016’s sing-a-long anthem was brought to us by the lovable and jovial, Ookay, with his sax-lead, future bass crossover, “Theif.”

88 EdgeREZZ

After Skrillex’s dubstep ran its course, a new kind of bass music began to emerge in the low-end populous. REZZ surfaced from the mau5trap depths with the piercingly scintillating “Edge,” launching her to headline for the new era of bass heads.  

89 Eyes – Kaskade Feat. Mindy Gledhill

Kaskade’s first Grammy nomination came by way of Fire & Ice, for best Dance/Electronic Album in 2013. “Eyes” was the lead single off the project and a closing song for that epoc of the melodic house guru.

90 Higher Ground – TNGHT

As hip-hop crossed over to EDM for the electronic trap wave, Lunice and Hudson Mowhawk’s “Higher Ground” was at the forefront, helping the duo earn stellar production credits with Kanye West and the like. 

91 Never Be Like You – Flume Feat. Kai

Off Flume’s first Grammy winning Skin album, “Never Be Like You,” was the premire song off the project and received a Grammy nod for Best Dance Recording. To this day, it’s Flume’s most streamed song on Spotify.

92 Bangarang – Skrillex

Skrillex won back-to-back Grammy awards for Best Dance Recording and Best Dance/Electronica Album in 2011 and 2012. The latter was from his Bangarang project with the title track winning the prestigious award.

93 Fade Into Darkness – Avicii

The infectious piano melody encapsulated the melodic house wunderkids’ early ability, as the hit predecessor to his world renowned “Levels.” “Fade Into Darkness” served as a momentum that catapulted Avicii to the top of the industry greats.

94 Wake Me Up – Avicii

Avicii’s ‘Wake Me Up’ featuring  Aloe Blacc has been named as the highest charting dance track of the decade as a seminal closing or opening song for Tim’s 2013 tour supporting his True album that crossed country music into the electronic music realm for an epic and emotional melody escapade. The track is Avicii’s most streamed song on Spotify, reaching close to 1 billion streams all-time. 

95 Summertime Sadness – Lana Del Rey (Cedric Gervais Remix)

An oxymoronic summer anthem flipped one of Lana Del Rey’s number six Billboard topper for a 2014 Grammy Award winner for Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical.

96 Original DonMajor Lazer

The dancehall trio partnered with The Partysquad for a festival staple in their 2012 and beyond sets. Notable remixes from Flosstradamus made it to Major Lazer’s essential list on Spotify in 2018.

97 Techno – Destructo

Gary Richards (Destructo) took Eminem’s infamous Moby diss from “Without Me” (“Nobody listens to techno!”) and set the record straight.

98 I Want U – Alison Wonderland

The effervescent Alison Wonderland at her best. “I Want U” is the bouncy, frolicsome trap that had us hooked from that first time we watched her crawl up on the decks.

99 Bodies – Drowning Pool (Drezo remix)

Drezo has a penchant for frequenting the smoky and seemingly uninhabitable corners of the dance music continuum. His “Bodies” remix soon became a soul-sucking insertion in hundreds of artists’ sets across the globe, from festival front gates to covert club floors.

100 OKAY – Shiba San

If anyone can make tech-house digestible for the uninitiated, it’s Dirtybird dynamo Shiba San. “OKAY”‘s genius is in its sensational simplicity. The four-on-the-floor guru has been stripping crowds of all will power and sensibility with this one since its 2014 release.

Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 124

This post was originally published on this site

Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 124Deters 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


AMTRAC and Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs are a match made in heaven. Leading up to the release of his sophomore LP, Oddysey, AMTRAC has been trickling tunes out slowly to his fan base, including December’s “Between The Lines.” “Radical” makes a stunning follow-up to its predecessor, with dreamy melodies and infectious vocals from TEED.

Following the release of the Ship Wrek remix of “Problems” in November, A R I Z O N A have revealed a new remix from ASYLUM: a Cruise Control rendition of “Still Alive.” This groovy slow-burner has a slightly darker tone to it than the upbeat original, with deeper vocals and melancholy chords.

Last Island looks to be kicking off the new year in fine form by releasing the appropriately titled “New Things.” His first work of 2020 slows things down a bit, as the Scottish producer concocts a funky downtempo tune that would be right at home in a sunrise set.

Madeon‘s Good Faith has been remixed into oblivion since its release in mid-November, but artists continue to develop new and refreshing takes on the LP’s 10 tracks. One of the latest of these is camoufly, who’s added his own “kawaii bounce” spin on “All My Friends.” It’s sparkly, joyous, and smile-inducing.

Former Hero lends his thoughtful creative process to San Holo‘s “surface” via a new remix. The UK producer spends the majority of the track’s introduction building a serene soundscape for the listener to bask in. What’s unexpected, though, is the burst of energy just after the two-minute mark.

Dab the Sky curate awe-inspiring selections ahead of Decadence AZ with new ORBIT playlist [Stream]

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Dab the Sky curate awe-inspiring selections ahead of Decadence AZ with new ORBIT playlist [Stream]Dabthesky 1

Having both individually rose as emotive forces in the melodic electronic space, when Said the Sky and Dabin debuted their collaborative pairing “Dab the Sky“, the anticipation for more has triple-folded. The duo’s specialization in ethereal soundscapes and guitar-driven melodies has played out naturally—building off both producers’ touring efforts on Illenium‘s ASCEND run and complementing each others respective artistic styles. The long-time friends and collaborators officially showcased their initial coalition with track, “Superstar” in June 2018 before sweeping fans with the euphoric “Hero“.

Now, Dab the Sky will return to close out the year with a special back-to-back performance at Decadence Arizona. Taking place December 30 and 31 at Rawhide Event Center, the New Year’s Eve celebration annually attracts a formidable coagulation of dance music’s finest. Alongside Dab the Sky, Decadence will see spectacular sets from the likes of Illenium, Skrillex, Diplo, Zeds Dead, and many more.

In Dancing Astronaut‘s latest ORBIT edition, Dab the Sky has curated a nuanced selection of cuts that serve as inspiration ahead of their Decadence appearance. Of the joint duo’s selects, indie grooves and electronic pepper the playlist with Of Monsters and Men, Nightly, Bob Moses, and Tycho gratuitously in the mix. In regards to Tycho, Dabin states,

“I fell in love with Tycho after I stumbled upon their set at Electric Forest. I always thought it would be cool to hear vocals on a Tycho song since their songs are predominantly instrumental. Their new album delivered exactly what I wanted and this is one of my favourites from it.”

On the less electronic edge, Dab the Sky looks to the past for insights, citing diverse sub genres for artistic growth.

“Recently I’ve been going back to the music that inspired me to start making music, even before I started making electronic music. Of Monsters & Men has always been one of my favourite bands and this one off their new album is a bop”

Likewise, the collaborative duo have payed homage to their “sad boi” origins with the inclusion of emo-leaning punk-esque artists including nothing, nowhere and Bring Me The Horizon.

“nothing, nowhere blends my love for the emo bands and hip hop artists I grew up listening to in such a unique way. I always feel nostalgic listening to him”

Having given taste of their upcoming performance, Dab the Sky will bring no shortage of melodic anthems, instrumental cuts, and incisive bass. Grab tickets to Decadence AZ here.

Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 123 | Top Tracks of 2019

This post was originally published on this site

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…