Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 136
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 nearly nine years since the release of AMTRAC‘s Came Along LP. Patiently waiting fans have been thrilled in recent months, though, as the artist revealed a long-awaited follow-up LP, Oddyssey, was on the horizon. Out now via Openers/RCA Records, AMTRAC unveils the full canvas on which he’s been painting: a 14-track soundscape of rich sonic colors and thought-provoking instrumentation. The album’s namesake, “Oddyssey,” is particularly vibrant and showcases the best of AMTRAC’s capabilities.
Another LP making its full debut on April 3 is Purity Ring‘s much-anticipated WOMB album. The announcement of the 10-track collection debuted with the maze-encased “Pink Lightning” in early February, with other singles following in a more accessible manner in the weeks since then. The full collective of songs encompasses the moody and alluring elements listeners have come to know and love from the duo. Tracks like “vehemence” are shining examples of Megan James’ captivating voice and Corin Roddick’s meticulous production.
The breadth of Stephen Walking’s production seems to be limitless. Many know the Canadian producer for his Monstercat releases over the years, dating back to late 2011. In his first project of the new decade, the producer has opted to go the independent route, releasing “Ghost Town” with Road Lizard. With retro filtered vocals from Road Lizard and adventurous synths from Walking, this tune would be right at home in decades past—but simultaneously maintains a modern touch.
Remember “Get Down 2 Get Up,” the Mat Zo x The Knocks production from 2014? The trio date way back and have come together once again for another joint effort, “Get Happy.” This bouncy disco-house collaboration encourages fans to look on the bright side of life with spirited vocals and an irresistible, deep-pounding bassline. A jaunty piano melody dances through the length of the song, adding extra elements of merriment. The Knocks said in a tweet that the tune “is not a single on our next album or anything it’s just something we’ve been playing and wanting to put out for a while!”
A month after the release of the first single from their upcoming album, The Prototypes have followed up with the second one on UKF: “Oxygen.” This emotive drum ‘n’ bass number sees the duo tap Kudu Blue, bringing the same dramatic and powerful energy to the tune as they brought to their iconic City of Gold LP years ago. The pair said in a recent post that “Oxygen” is “one of our favourite tracks on our new album Ten Thousand Feet & Rising & one of the best we’ve written imo. Time to be uplifted!!!” Ten Thousand Feet & Rising is out May 22 and can be pre-ordered here.