Great Dane is the beat project of Orange County son Dane Morris, who ventured out to Low End Theory only to have his life changed. Plugging into the beat culture of the greater Los Angeles area, Great Dane's rise came quick as he discovered his sound through the heavy work schedule of the Team Supreme collective, which he co-founded. The collective began as a game between Great Dane and Virtual Boy to create a one minute beat in one hour under restrictive guidelines. The game spread as other producers gained interest in the weekly game, eventually expanding to producers in Colorado and Hawaii and becoming a compilation series. It's from this game that Great Dane began shaping his music, signing to Alpha Pup and releasing Alpha Dog in 2013.
In February Great Dane released his sophomore record Beta Cat on Alpha Pup, pushing his conceptual beast into the subs and super systems to rattle chest cavities. Album opener “Beta Cat” begins in a laboratory in which samples indicate an unrequested feeling is coming on. A demonic voice raps of vagrancy, introducing follow-up cut “Daisy”, which is a maximalist explosion that would shake the petals off the flowerbed. Great Dane keeps Beta Cat in balance though, as introspective compositions offer brief relief from the buzzsaw blips meant to irritate adrenaline glands.
Stream Beta Cat below and read on for an interview with Great Dane.
Beta Cat is your sophomore record. Was there any changes you made in approaching the recording of this one as opposed to the debut?
I produced Beta Cat entirely in Ableton and Alpha Dog entirely in Logic, so the approach was completely different. But those are just the tools, the musical ideas and themes co-exist and hopefully become clearer on this second record.
Being from Orange County when did you discover Low End Theory? What was your first experience at the fabled night like?
I first came to Low End when I was 18 with my friends from the Chapman music conservatory Henry and Preston. They were just getting started on their Virtual Boy career and I was along for the ride as a “friend of the band”. I didn’t start producing music until 4 years later. I can’t exactly recall the first artist I saw there, but I can tell you the most influential sounds of that time (to me) were Eprom, Edit, Hudson Mohawke, St. Andrew (now Djemba Djemba), OF and James Blake.
When did you get into producing and did you have any different styles than the one now? How did you arrive at your sound?
I started producing right after I graduated from college. I had been immersed in the culture throughout school and once I graduated I thought it could be a fun venture. The beginning stages of me finding my own “sound” in music happened only a few months before we started TeamSupreme so it all kinda just came together though that. I’m still finding it, but I feel like I’m not starting from scratch anymore.
Do you plan to continue the album title's thematic device into the third record?
I’m not sure yet.. It would be cool to go through the whole alphabet haha. But I also have bigger plans.
Great Dane's Beta Cat is out now on Alpha Pup.