Dexter's Beat Laboratory Vol. 18 – Dancing Astronaut

Dexter’s Beat Laboratory is a weekly collection songs from DA music editor and staff writer Robyn Dexter. With a taste that can only be described as eclectic — to say nothing a name that lends itself to punnery — DA is happy to present a selection tracks personally curated by Dexter for your listening pleasure.

We’re kicking things f this week with a chilled-out track from Gill Chang and Rahn Harper. “By Your Side” features a catchy, simple trumpet melody that serves as a perfect backdrop for Harper’s emotive vocals. With a noninvasive trap beat in the background, they’ve crafted a beautifully mellow journey that will fit in perfectly with any “chill out” type playlist.

I first heard ‘s music when he released the wonderfully glitchy “Paint the Sky” a few months ago. His next release following that is a melodic masterpiece: a remix ‘s “Back To You.” Upon first listen, it flows along smoothly with vibrant synths and playful vocal chops. About halfway through, Icehunt changes gears completely and flips his remix into a fast-paced drum & bass revival, giving it an extra touch ferocity that sets it apart from other remixes the track.

In those first few bars, the nostalgia hits like a brick wall. It’s been more than a decade, but ‘s iconic 2004 “Call On Me” is a classic that still gets nightclubs full people shouting those three words at the top their lungs (I know this because I’m one them). “Call On Me” is one the first dance music tracks I remember listening to on repeat, never tiring its simple vocals and timeless house beat. When I saw had remixed it just a few days ago, I braced myself. He’s been gutsy enough to remix some truly iconic tracks and has done them all justice — this one included. He’s put a bass-heavy, future bass-like spin on the track and even incorporated some saxophone riffs. It’s just plain awesome.

and vocalist are the perfect combination. With the incorporation a variety genres, “Square One” effortlessly appeals to listeners all realms dance music. Heavy bass and a trap beat in the chorus flow seamlessly into vocal-centered verses from MAX, bridging gaps between pop, future bass and even R&B. It’s been stuck in my head since its release on Dec. 5, and I find something new I like about it with each listen.

continues his stellar zodiac series with his latest, “Sagittarius,” featuring the vocals . Lusader’s serene voice lends itself impeccably to the ethereal soundscape the track, making it one the best in the series. Xan Griffin is a master at building dramatic, cinematic journeys with his music, and “Sagittarius” just demonstrates he’s been able to fine-tune his sound even more as this series has progressed.

Dexter's Beat Laboratory Vol. 18 - Dancing Astronaut

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