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.
There’s just something about drum ‘n’ bass that’s always spoken to my soul. I remember hearing my first Pendulum song a decade ago and thinking “what on earth is this, and where can I get more?”
The genre began making its way into the electronic music sphere in the early 1990s, right around the time I was born. Its rapid breakbeats took over London and Bristol, ramping up the jungle and rave scene to 160-180 BPM. While still more widespread in the UK to this day, the genre has slowly trickled into the United States EDM scene. We still have a long way to go before drum ‘n’ bass artists are regularly installed as main stage performers at major US festivals, but there’s so much to discover and embrace in the US drum ‘n’ bass scene (I see you, Flite and Boxplot). There’s also an endless stream of quality dnb being churned out overseas, with imprints like RAM Records, Hospital Records, and Liquicity Records as strong as ever in their supporters and fan base.
I regularly tell people that have never really gotten into drum ‘n’ bass to just try. It’s a diverse and ever-evolving genre, full of sub-genres and offshoots. I guarantee you’ll find something you like in some format. Dig through the 100-song playlist I’ve compiled to celebrate 100 installments of this series to see if there’s something there for you!
Thank you, drum ‘n’ bass, for your tireless energy, emotive vocals, and the ability you always have to yank me out of a bad mood and reignite my love for electronic music in today’s day and age. Here’s to you, and the brilliant artists who create you.
The anticipation for the Knife Party EP has reached a fever pitch. It was no mystery that Rob Swire and Gareth McGrillen were cooking up new music —for both their Knife Party and Pendulum monikers— but now the forthcoming EP finally has a name and release date. Lost Souls will be the bass duo’s first solo release since their 2015 Trigger Warning EP. Despite the gap in Knife Party releases, Swire and McGrillen have been active hosting their podcast Knifecast, preparing for a new Pendulum live show and collaborating on music with Tom Morello and Pegboard Nerds.
According to the Billboard exclusive, the four-track EP contains “sonic shifts at play”, displaying both “a softer side of Knife Party” and “blood-curdling bass drops”. Martin Garrix has already given fans a preview of Lost Souls during his EDC Las Vegas set earlier this year when he dropped the EP’s hardest track.
Lost Souls is out on the duo’s Earstorm imprint, Friday July 19.
Since the inception of their Knifecastpodcast in 2018, Knife Party has treated those who tune in to some exclusive listening material—their latest exclusive gift being the duo’s forthcoming single “Ghost Train,” fresh off of Knifecast 13. The pair previously shared a demo of a track named “Ghost Town;” although bearing similar names, the tracks hardly resemble each other. Rob Swire and Gareth McGrillen have used their radio show-style platform to play IDs, host guests, and share updates on new releases. Earlier in the year, they announced a forthcoming Knife Party EP on top of new Pendulum music as well.
The new single “Ghost Train” is tinged with the usual Halloween-esque elements of a standard Knife Party production, but has received mixed reception about its squeamish drop. Love it or hate it, one thing is for certain—new Knife Party music is on the way.
Pendulum will be pairing their new music with an equally fresh show, according to the SW4 festival website. The news coincided with the festival’s announcement that the legendary Australian outfit would be closing the main stage on Sunday night, August 25.
‘Trinity’ alludes to the rare appearance of Pendulum‘s original three members performing together with new production—complete with live vocals from Rob Swire, and “special guests.” This rare appearance marks the first time in over a decade that the original three members have performed together outside Australia, making for an extra grand event. It’s also the debut of this new live concept, which will be followed by a Pendulum live tour. Expect to hear music from their upcoming EP as well, which is set for a release later in 2019.
“The original Pendulum TRINITY of Rob Swire (Anscenic), Gareth McGrillen (Speed) and Paul Harding (El Hornet) will perform together outside of Australia FOR THE FIRST TIME IN TEN YEARS at SW4! You will get to hear them play brand new Pendulum music from their forthcoming EP series and album, which fans have been waiting for with baited breath, with the trio surrounded by the kind of breath-taking production you have come to expect from these pioneers of electronic music. Plus some live vocals from Rob Swire and special guests!” – SW4 Website
Swedish House Mafia continue to make their return to the electronic sector one painstaking step at a time, the most recent of which directed the three-part supergroup to Columbia Recordsto pen a record deal with the label. Dancing Astronaut invites Swedish House Mafia fans to momentarily avert their eyes from the horizon where new SHM music has long loomed, to instead glance nine years backwards and relive the trio’s 2010 Creamfields Essential Mix as the ink of the Columbia agreement dries.
The Essential Mix takes streamers back to Aug. 29, 2010, a time in which Axwell, Ingrosso, and Angello were jointly pioneering their iconicity as Swedish House Mafia. The 2010 set, live from Daresbury, England pairs a number of classic Swedish House Mafia productions that have now ascended to catalog-staple status with remixes and edits of offerings from other electronic entities like Bingo Players, Calvin Harris, and Pendulum. Highlights include an instrumental rendition of “Miami 2 Ibiza,” and Axwell’s bootleg of “Tell Me Why vs. Bittersweet Symphony.”
Swedish House Mafia currently shoulder headlining duties for Creamfields’ 2019 edition, slated for Aug. 22-25.
Rob Swire and Gareth McGrillen are doubling down on new music in 2019. The pair of Aussie producers plan to release an EP under their Knife Party moniker, and intend to also debut new Pendulum content with Paul Harding. Listeners of Knife Party’s fledgling podcast, Knifecastwill likely not find the news of a forthcoming Knife Party EP much of a surprise. The “Internet Friends” creators have utilized Knifecast as a platform to share IDs since the podcast’s September 2018 inception. The succession of sonic sneak peeks that Knife Party have so consistently offered fans via Knifecast was no subtle indicator that the pair had been logging hours in the studio, although Swire and McGrillen have only now confirmed that an EP is complete, during Knifecast’s most recent installment. Swire and McGrillen shared that they have not only finished the currently nameless EP, but will submit the project to their label by week’s end. The EP will notably be Knife Party’s first since 2015’s Trigger Warning.
Swire and McGrillen additionally imparted that they have brand spanking new Pendulum music waiting in the wings, “ready to go.” While that information will undoubtedly please Pendulum fans, Swire and McGrillen were adamant that they will not play the unreleased Pendulum music prior to its official release. Neither producer offered specifics on just how much Pendulum material they have loaded in the chamber, or when listeners can expect said material to debut. Knife Party and Pendulum fans alike can tune in to the most recent episode of Knifecast to learn more.
We’re finding a new host for the stream!
In the meantime – our first episode of 2019 is now online in the usual places (Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Pocketcast, TuneIn etc)https://t.co/QIlcA1q2a9
Bass music’s most iconic drummer KJ Sawka previously teamed up with Hi I’m Ghost for the release of “WAT” on Kannibalen Records. Now they’re all back in gear, this time with a full EP that includes their first epic outing. As you’d imagine, their project Misfits is a huge statement for all parties involved, kicking
It’s often easy to forget that the most prominent producers are also fans and connoisseurs of their gifted counterparts. Using their ever-expanding Deadbeats platform, Zeds Dead resolved to extend a retrospective tip of their producer caps to their favorite records and fellow artists of 2018. “The Boys” dedicated their 79th edition of Deadbeats Radio to rounding up their personal favorites from the calendar year–sneaking in a few of their own concoctions, of course.
From Fisher’s ubiquitous hysteria-inducer “Losing It,” to lesser-known drum ‘n’ bass delight, Noisa‘s remix of Pendulum‘s “Hold Your Colour,” the iconic duo’s multifarious taste is palpable as ever. Their fervent love of hip-hop is observed with additions like Pusha T’s “The Games We Play” and Nas’ “Adam and Eve” featuring The-Dream. Make no mistake: bass music, in its seemingly infinite forms, is sprawled across their preference palette, even over a decade into their career under their now-hallowed alias; as the mix recognizes offerings from Rezz, PEEKABOO, Skrillex, Dion Timmer, to name a few.
Zeds Dead & DNMO – We Could Be Kings (feat. Tzar)
Pendulum – Hold Your Colour (Noisia Remix)
Dillon & Batsauce – Keep Pushin’ (feat. Sadat X)
Friction – Stinker (feat. Riko Dan & Tantrum Desire)
Rezz & 1788-L – H E X
Nas – Adam and Eve (feat. The-Dream)
The Voidz – ALieNNatioN
Fisher – Losing It
Vato Gonzales – Bump & Grind (Bassline Riddim) [feat. Scrufizzer]
Funkin Matt – Aeon
Mozzy, Sjava, Reason – Seasons
TroyBoi – Hey Bo!
Ficci – Alone (feat. Yves Paquet)
Jim E-Stack – I Did the Best I Could
3lau – Touch (feat. Carly Paige) (Zeds Dead Remix)
What So Not – Beautiful (feat. Winona Oak) [ZEKE BEATS Remix]
Jorja Smith – I Am
AFK & Carbin – Boss (feat. Cody Ray) (Dirt Monkey Remix)
Travis Scott & Drake – SICKO MODE (Skrillex Remix)
Shades – ALARMA Ft Killa P
XXXTENTACION – SAD!
Dion Timmer – Shiawase
Gentlemens Club – Little John
Pusha T – The Games We Play
Gorgon City – Go Deep (Zeds Dead Remix)
A-Trak & Baauer – Dumbo Drop (Gammer Remix)
PEEKABOO – Maniac
ZHU – My Life
You know when you find an artist you love, and you discover they already have 3 EP’s so you think to yourself how the hell am I just finding out about this guy now. Unless you are like me and scour the corners of the internet every day looking for new and interesting music you
I stumbled upon a dnb remix of Pendulum’s Granite by a newcomer Reaper. I absolutely love that people can seemingly come from thin air and produce such quality music. Artists such as 1788-L, SWARM, i_o, all have burst on the scene dropping straight fire; You can add Reaper to that list. With under 1k followers