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

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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…

NMF Roundup: Alan Walker introduces part two of ‘Alone,’ Martin Garrix and Matisse & Sadko link again + more

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NMF Roundup: Alan Walker introduces part two of ‘Alone,’ Martin Garrix and Matisse & Sadko link again + moreAlan Walker Credit Rikkard Haggbom

It’s most important day of the week: New Music Friday. With the overwhelming amount of tunes hitting the airwaves today, Dancing Astronaut has you covered with the latest edition of The Hot 25.

As each week brings a succession of new music from some of electronic music’s biggest artists, here’s a selection of tracks that shouldn’t be missed this NMF.

Photo credit: Rikkard Häggbom

NMF Roundup: Blond:ish remix Diplo and Born Dirty, ATTLAS previews forthcoming LP + more

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NMF Roundup: Blond:ish remix Diplo and Born Dirty, ATTLAS previews forthcoming LP + moreCredit Aneta Pruszynska 01

It’s most important day of the week: New Music Friday. With the overwhelming amount of tunes hitting the airwaves today, Dancing Astronaut has you covered with the latest edition of The Hot 25.

As each week brings a succession of new music from some of electronic music’s biggest artists, here’s a selection of tracks that shouldn’t be missed this NMF.

Photo credit: Aneta Pruszynska

NMF Roundup: Dillon Francis remixes Saweetie, Mat Zo unveils ‘Emotion Sickness’ + more

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NMF Roundup: Dillon Francis remixes Saweetie, Mat Zo unveils ‘Emotion Sickness’ + moreDillon Francis Gerald Rave Jungle

It’s most important day of the week: New Music Friday. With the overwhelming amount of tunes hitting the airwaves today, Dancing Astronaut has you covered with the latest edition of The Hot 25.

Dillon Francis pumps his fans up this NMF with a remix of Saweetie’s “My Type,” and Mat Zo reveals his long-anticipated “Emotion Sickness.” Lane 8 showcases another brilliant single in “Sunday Song,” and Lost Kings, Sevyn Streeter and Luh Kel get the party started with “LA & The Parties.” Matt Lange and Kerry Leva reveal their blissful collaboration, “Every Word,” and Vincent and Naderi waste no time on their new powerful single, “Wasted Time.” Spooky dubstep returns for October in Figure and Dubscribe’s “The Phantom of the Opera,” and Chris Lorenzo tries his hand at drum ‘n’ bass production in “Take Me as I Am.” MitiS and RUNN craft a gorgeous soundscape on “Shattered,” and Chrome Sparks remixes Whethan and The Knocks’ “Summer Luv.” Dash Berlin shines on a new remix of Myon and ICON’s “Cold Summer,” and Morgan Page, Matt Fax, and Lissie take “The Longest Road To The Ground.” TroyBoi gets intense on his new single, “The Truth,” and Armin van Buuren and Cimo Frankel offer a dreamy trance collaboration, “All Comes Down.”

As each week brings a succession of new music from some of electronic music’s biggest artists, here’s a selection of tracks that shouldn’t be missed this NMF.

Photo credit: Rukes

Premiere: Oliver Nelson, Tobtok, and Simon Field link for snazzy collaboration, ‘Is It Real’

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Premiere: Oliver Nelson, Tobtok, and Simon Field link for snazzy collaboration, ‘Is It Real’Tobtok Oliver Nelson

The names Oliver Nelson and Tobtok go hand in hand in the music world, and the two Swedish artists have tapped a few additional friends for their latest venture: Norwegian artist Simon Field and London-based songstress Salena Mastroianni.

“Is It Real” makes its official debut on UK house imprint Perfect Havoc on Oct. 11 and touts all of its featured artists at their best. Mastroianni’s silky-sweet voice introduces the song, and the beat swiftly follows to preview the groovy, nu-disco elements that are to follow. “Is It Real” is fueled by a spirited piano melody and powerful chorus, giving the tune truly anthemic qualities. The producers’ skill sets shine in this accessible tune, leading fans of all dance music persuasions to the dance floor.

“Is It Real” is out Oct. 11 via Perfect Havoc. Pre-save it here.

Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 110

This post was originally published on this site

Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 110Deters 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


I’ve loved Maduk and Dennis Pedersen‘s “Miles Apart” since its release last spring and was intrigued to see that Fox Stevenson had done a remix of the tune for Liquicity‘s Reflections Part 3. In true Fox Stevenson fashion, the producer has flipped the tune into a more energetic iteration, complete with his own harmonies underneath Ella Noël’s. It’s flawless.

Tobtok‘s name seems to be popping up everywhere, and his funky vintage style of house music keeps drawing me in. His latest is a collaboration with Adam Griffin and vocalist Hayley May. With a bold, anthemic melody and steady grooving beat, “The Stand Off (I Want You)” is irresistible. The Swedish producer knows how to craft tunes for the dance floor, and this is ready for just that.

Last month brought the arrival of a new Dimension song, “If You Want To”—an aggressive drum ‘n’ bass number with a dramatic, foreboding tone. Here in the following month, the British producer has reworked his own song into an electro interpretation, fueled by the sultry spoken vocals. This one has a more laid-back feel, but its underlying orchestral elements give the tune a bit of an eerie feel.

At long last, the second remix EP for The Midnight has arrived via Silk Music. It’s been more than two years since the release of the first one, but it appears lush remixes featured on this new collection have been worth the way. This take on the Nocturnal song is breathtaking, as Kobana builds a rich sonic landscape with his progressive house-inspired version of the song.

Essenger‘s new single, “Tether,” combines a wide range of styles effortlessly. It opens with a wistful guitar melody, leading into a nostalgia-fueled verse from the producer, who does his own vocals. “Tether” drips with emotion from start to finish and seems to encourage the listener to look inward and absorb the very soul of the song in a raw and real way.

Lunar Lunes: Armin van Buuren and Inner City face off on ‘It Could Be,’ Notaker remixes Haywyre + more

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Lunar Lunes: Armin van Buuren and Inner City face off on ‘It Could Be,’ Notaker remixes Haywyre + moreArmin Van Buuren Press Shot Bart Heemskerk

Each week, New Music Friday sweeps through with torrential force, showering streaming platforms with immeasurable amounts of new tunes. Just like Dancing Astronaut rounds up 25 of the biggest songs of the week for the Hot 25 Spotify playlist each New Music Friday, Lunar Lunes serves as a landing pad for SoundCloud users who want a whole new dose of tunes to kick off the work week.

The selection is updated every Lunes (Monday).

Photo credit: Bart Heemskerk

Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 104

This post was originally published on this site

Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 104Deters 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


On a recent synthwave binge, I stumbled across a group by the name of Lebrock. It only took one track (“Runaway“) for me to become completely hooked, and I was thrilled to see the release of a new tune called “Takes All Night” on Aug. 8. Soak it up in all its retro glory.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Oliver Nelson and Tobtok are a dream team. Their latest piece of work together is no exception, and they add their groovy touch to Wilder Woods’ “Supply & Demand” with ease. A steady-rocking bassline and the original track’s vocals work in harmony for a blissful remix.

UK drum ‘n’ bass aficionado Kove has proven himself force to be reckoned with in 2019 with releases like “Echoes” and “BEARCLAW.” He’s returned in the heart of festival season with a new Drum&BassArena heater, “Motor,” which grinds with all the ferocity of, well, a powerful motor. It’s an epic piece of work.

Aug. 16 marks the release of HEYZ‘s first EP since his Schedule 1 compilation on mau5trap, and the three-track Human 404 is in a league of its own. Tracks like “In My Arms” clearly demonstrate a new sonic path for the producer, and it’s exciting to see. Read my Q&A with him here.

Sullivan King‘s rock-infused touch has been far-reaching in the electronic music sphere since his appearance on the scene, and he’s made a name for himself by continuously demonstrating his versatile skill set. His latest is a cover of Excision and Illenium‘s 2018 collab, “Gold,” and the musician’s vocals work flawlessly with the version he’s created.

Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 87

This post was originally published on this site

Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 87Deters 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.


Culture Shock continues to cement his name on the drum ‘n’ bass ranks, delivering heater after heater for the past 15 years. His latest installment is “Renaissance,” which makes its debut on Andy C‘s RAM Records. In this newest release, Culture Shock uses mighty female vocals to power the emotive aspect of the song and builds an intense, pounding rhythm around them. “Renaissance” marks the sixth part of his Sequence Series, which he kicked off in 2017.

Parisian house maven Dustycloud continues his reign of dance floor-primed numbers with his newest, “The Way.” Released via BIJOU‘s Do Not Duplicate Recordings, “The Way” is one of the first songs Dustycloud made after coming to America last year. “It’s a song about the journey because that’s been the best part, so far,” he notes in the song description. “Most people are afraid to do what they really want in life because there is a big chance they won’t make it, but it’s not about ‘making it.’ It’s about being able to do what you love, every step of ‘The Way.’”

Oliver Nelson and Tobtok have teamed up on multiple occasions, combining their talents to create a perfect blend of pop and house music. They follow up February’s blissful “Yellow” with a new single, “Something ‘Bout the Music.” This one leans more into the house realm than the pop-oriented “Yellow,” using a grooving beat to drive the song’s message home. These two Swedish producers continue to heat up dance floors around the world with funky numbers like this one.

Last week, Jay Cosmic announced a new alias and its forthcoming debut on Monstercat on April 16. What followed was his first release under the name Desert Star, kicking off with “Foreign Land,” a short-but-sweet pop-oriented piece that gives the artist a chance to express himself in a different way. “I kept realizing I was trying to find a middle ground while making music,” he told a fan on Twitter. “By splitting it up, I can make this one thing, and the new alias totally another.”

Tycho embraces 2019 with open arms in his first venture of the year, “Easy.” The easygoing piece is as breezy as the early warm-weather winds that usher in the spring season, sweeping the listener up in dreamy, drifting melodies and a relaxing pattern of percussion. Soft female vocals ebb and flow, too, weaving their way in between subtle guitar plucks. “Easy” gives listeners a first glimpse into the artist’s forthcoming LP, which is sure to be just as heavenly as its initial offering.

Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 74

This post was originally published on this site

Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 74Deters 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.


After a massive collaboration with Netsky in December, 1991 returns with an original of his own, “Guiding Light.” The London producer asserts his energetic style of drum & bass in this emotive number. “Guiding Light” contains an impeccable balance of vocals and instrumentals, with the lyrics guiding the verses and the beats driving the chorus. While 1991 was relatively quiet in 2018, one can only hope that this early-2019 release will be the first of many this year. He’s off to a great start.

It takes a special touch to modernize and revamp a 23-year-old song for today’s dance music scene. Oliver Nelson and Tobtok are up to the task, though, as they bring Judge Jules & John Kelly’s Stix ‘N’ Stoned 1996 club anthem “Outrageous” into 2019. This sizzling house heater is ready for dance floors of any decade with its groovy beat and thumping bass. The producers ramp up the energy in the first half, dipping the tempo in the middle for a brief intermission, before building momentum back up again to finish their “Outrageous” rendition off.

After being propelled into the EDM limelight via two REZZ collaborations, 13 is having what is hopefully an extremely lengthy solo moment with a daunting original of his own. “Uppercut,” out via Mad Decent, shows the artist flexing his glitched-out production skills in full form. It’s a shadowy release right from the start, introducing filtered vocals that lead up to a bass-heavy drop, pounding listeners’ ears with the distorted sounds 13’s become known for.

Both halves of The M Machine have built captivating solo projects. Luttrell‘s made a name for himself with a unique strand of melodic techno, gaining notoriety through a variety of Anjunadeep releases over the past few years. His most recent release is a six-plus-minute adventure into the depths of Tycho‘s “Epoch,” which stemmed from their meeting at Burning Man. “It was an honor to share the stage with him that night and even more of an honor to recently be asked to remix his wonderful track, ‘Epoch,’” Luttrell said of the remix. “When I play this one out at shows recently, I always feel transported back to the playa – feeling the warmth of the sunrise over the Black Rock Desert.”

Draper has been making music since late 2010, shifting his sound from dubstep to house to drum & bass to glitch hop and everything in between over the years. He’s shown incredible versatility throughout his career, putting his Draper stamp on anything he’s making with ease. His latest, an EP called Pâro, kicks off with a serene soundscape titled “Her.” Its intro is simply beautiful, painting a vivid picture of two people in love. While the choruses are lighthearted and full of energy, it’s the spaces in between that truly make this track breathtaking.