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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.
Over the past few weeks, the United States has been racked with harsh winter conditions. As cruel as winter can be, there are some songs make the perfect soundtrack for the more serene, peaceful side of the season. Ennja’s latest release, “Mirrors” is such a song. With glistening vocals and a minimalist, ambient pattern, the nearly 7-minute song is an ethereal journey that encompasses the sounds of the season in an impeccable manner.
StéLouse has been on a roll lately, releasing a fiery cover of Post Malone just last month and following it up with a fresh flip of Khalid‘s “Young Dumb & Broke.” He’s transformed the R&B track into an EDM-friendly future bass remix that’s more lighthearted than its foundation track. “[I] wanted to throw it back to some of that OG StéLouse sound I was doing back in ’14-’15,” the producer explains.
Crystalize promised his fans a big 2018, and he wasn’t kidding. Just four days into the new year, he unleashed a powerful remix of Knife Party‘s iconic “Rage Valley.” It kicks off with pure bass madness that’s rings true to the song’s name. Halfway through, Crystalize steps back, then builds to something even more intriguing: a shimmery, synth-laden, downtempo pattern that’s bursting with creativity and passion. The second half of the song is by far my favorite, and it makes me wish I had more than a minute and a half of it.
It’s been 14 years since ATB‘s “Ecstasy” came out, but passing time hasn’t stopped producers of all persuasions from modernizing the track in their own way. The latest such artists are “8-bit rogue” duo Pixel Terror. Their revival of “Ecstasy” uses the original’s vocals to draw the listener in before building into a formidable melodic drop. Its harmonized layers of synths lay the groundwork for a rework that’s glitchy and computerized, while still maintaining the emotive power of the root song.
BIJOU is in for a huge year. Just watch. The g-house guru has been cranking out a steady stream of top-notch songs for a few years now, making appearances on AC Slater‘s Night Bass imprint and kicking it into high gear the past few months with originals like “Warning” and “Assassin.” He tells of the work that went into his latest, “Count On Me,” on SoundCloud. “This song has been over a year in the making with over 10 different versions worked during that time. This final record is one that is a crossover record with Kaleena’s beautiful vocals, but a dark and driving drop that has the potential to be a dance floor killer.”
Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 21 | Top Tracks of 2017
Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 20
Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 19