Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 86
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.
It’s been years in the making, but Matrix & Futurebound‘s sophomore LP is finally here. The 16-track album is filled to the brim with melodic drum ‘n’ bass gems, including this beautiful tune with Ayak, “Follow Me.” The LP’s sixth track is everything Matrix & Futurebound fans have come to know and love from the UK duo. It’s led by gorgeous vocals and backed by an irresistibly infectious beat. This one will be stuck in fans’ heads for days.
It’s been only a few days since the release of Flip-Flop’s new EP on mau5trap, Synthesizer. The compilation’s formidable second track, “Just Do It,” came to life in the old converted church the duo turned into a studio. “We camped out for two weeks and made a serious amount of noise. The sample comes from the cult classic film Pump Up the Volume about a high school student in a sleepy suburb of Phoenix, Arizona who starts an FM pirate radio station prompting a revolution in his school.”
When Oliver Nelson, Tobtok, and Liv Dawson’s “Yellow” first came out in February, I couldn’t get enough of it. (Honestly, I still can’t.) There’s something about that melody that just lodges in my brain, so new and inventive takes on the song are always welcome. Russia’s Kepa is one of the latest to tackle the tune, putting a more subdued spin on it. He’s crafted a dreamier version of “Yellow,” chopping up Dawson’s vocals and giving the background synths a more restrained role. This more mellow “Yellow” is a relaxing breath of fresh air, giving the song an entirely different feel.
Volant and Punker have built a gorgeous, serene soundscape in their new song, “Godwave.” They spend the first minute of their collaboration weaving distant bird calls in between drifting synth notes, building up to a dark, ’80s-inspired drop. The song dives quickly into synthwave territory, building an otherworldly feeling sonic realm. With the overall EP, One, seeming to draw inspiration from outer space and its mysteries, “Godwave” makes for an impeccable addition, leaving the listener feeling as if they’re floating weightlessly into the unknown.
Tut Tut Child‘s Forest Knot project has been built from his experiences traveling and gathering sounds under what has morphed into a new style for the producer. He says the Forest Knot songs “come from a very different place musically and emotionally to the vibe of Tut Tut Child,” and fans have had a chance to experience fully what he means by that in the releases since August. The latest, “Undra,” exudes beauty in every form. It’s a peaceful beauty, though—the kind one might take in while exploring someplace quiet and full of nature’s wonder.