Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 1
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.
I’ll start Volume 1 with a confession: I didn’t know the original version of this song when I heard this edit. Laszlo, an 18-year-old up-and-comer from The Netherlands, has continuously impressed with releases both on Monstercat and independently. He usually produces epic electro house tracks, so this smooth, sexy Post Malone rework was a bit unexpected. Lazslo toys with the vocals layered over slick synths and a melody that glides the listener effortlessly through the track. It’s completely refreshing, and I haven’t been able to stop listening to it since it came out on June 27.
(Note: I did finally go out and listen to the original. I much prefer Laszlo’s version).
Gareth Emery and Christina Novelli‘s “Concrete Angel‘ is an iconic example of the emotional beauty that permeates trance music. Celebrating the song’s 5-year anniversary, Emery released a set of remixes to “Concrete Angel” and among them was this perfect trance rework of the original track, masterfully done by ReOrder. It packs a harder punch than the original, but still maintains the initial integrity of the track. ReOrder’s trance beats are slightly more aggressive than Emery’s, but his builds are beautiful and soulful.
Drum & bass has a special place in my heart. Since Pendulum established my love of electronic music in 2010, I’ve always gone back to the genre-well in search of tracks that give me the same euphoric feeling songs like “Witchcraft” and “Watercolour” did when I heard them for the first time. When I first heard T & Sugah’s “Cast Away” three years ago, I got that same feeling. After following the Dutch duo’s music and loving everything they released, seeing a new track of theirs pop up was a thrill. “Sleepless” showcases the duo’s mastery of drum & bass with a swift beat that intensifies MVE’s vocals in the best way.
While browsing the latest content on SoundCloud’s feed, something unexpected cropped up: a new track from KDrew. KDrew has always made consistently solid music (c’mon, who doesn’t love “Last Train to Paradise” and “Summer Ashes“?) so it was interesting to see what his latest original track was like, especially since he hasn’t released new music in a while. With fun pitched vocals and a rushing trap-infused beat, “Back To You” marks KDrew’s triumphant return to the dance music world.
Since its release earlier this year, Zedd and Alessia Cara‘s hit “Stay” has, unsurprisingly, gotten a whole variety of remixes. Among these is a refreshing remix from producer Aylen. In a world where so many remixes sound the same, Aylen’s funky take on the track is catchy and new. He takes an otherwise mainstream-sounding track and pumps it up with a heightened tempo. Flawless harmonies line the bridge of the song, building up to a driving drop that begs shufflers to hit the dance floor and bust out their moves.