Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 2
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.
Let’s kick off this week’s playlist with a beautiful track from Puppet that blurs the lines between electronic music and alternative rock. After following his music through various Monstercat releases, I can enthusiastically say that “Here Again” is one of Puppet’s best yet. His vocals and production in “Here Again” truly impress as he takes his own spin on A Will Away’s original song. As electronic music spreads its roots into other genres, we need talented producers like Puppet at the forefront of the movement.
First things first: Madeon is a genius and “Pay No Mind” is a work of art. The disco-fueled collaboration with Passion Pit came out as a part of the French producer’s Adventure album in 2015 and has since received a medley of reworks from artists like Lemaitre. Since it’s a few years old, though, I figured the remixes were done. I was wrong. Phantom Sage released his own version of the iconic track after seeing that Madeon had released the stems, and “a hundred projects later,” he put out his own interpretation. The Colorado producer pays homage to one of his favorite songs in the best way, with dancing synths and an even funkier groove than the original.
It’s now time to switch gears completely. I’ve been following PsoGnar and Teminite‘s collaborations since they first started working together and was thrilled when I saw they were putting out an entire EP together. With PsoGnar’s reggae-infused, silky vocals and Teminite’s filthy dubstep stylings, the two are a unique, formidable force. “Rally The Troops” has both a fierce, driving melody and the elements of grimy dubstep both producers’ fans have come to know and love. It’s one of those songs that’s truly a story: taking listeners on an exciting adventure from the first second to the last.
The journey continues with Stonebank‘s newest trap anthem. The introduction to this song is masterfully composed, with the first 30 seconds feeling practically symphonic. Though I love the entire track, the beginning 60 seconds are what really drew me to this track. Stonebank has proven he can produce everything from happy hardcore to trance to drumstep and shows no signs of slowing down.
My love for drum & bass knows no limits. My love for 80s-style music lately knows no limits, either. After a song called “Kyra” by a Los Angeles group called The Midnight popped up on SoundCloud and mesmerized me with beautiful saxophones and gorgeous vocals, I began following the duo’s music. Yearning for more material from them, I put their discography on repeat and waited patiently (OK, impatiently) for more. Luckily, they released a beautiful remix album at the beginning of the month that has (for now) quenched my thirst. The highlight of the album is a six-minute drum & bass remix from Russia’s PROFF. His take on The Midnight’s track “Days of Thunder” is a beautifully minimalist drum & bass rework that highlights the vocals and tunes in completely to the euphoria of the original track.