The LA beat scene has been getting a lot of attention these last few years with the unexpected popularity of Flying Lotus and now the wide-spread success of Soulection. Though it gets classified under a single name, the beat scene represents a wide array of underground producers and sounds that form a patchwork not dissimilar to that which you’ll find blanketing many aspects of Los Angeles life. They pop up defiantly — like dandelions between the cracks of the sidewalk– in coffee shops, tiny bars and make-shift venues to share the efforts of many sleepless nights. While no single entity could possibly hope to embody the massive, endless ocean of creativity that makes up the LA beat scene in its entirety, the legendary Daddy Kev has unquestioningly been a beacon for many underground producers with his label Alpha Pup and his weekly Wednesday night event at The Airliner Bar (now the “Airliner Nightclub” lol) known famously as Low End Theory (seriously, the Airliner used to be a hole in the wall… not anymore). Through his tutelage, DK has been influencing the next generation of the LA beat scene and in many respects, we find that reflected in his protegé, Great Dane.
Similar to Daddy Kev helped start Low End Theory, Great Dane is one of the co-founders of Team Supreme, a group of producers who were known for putting out excellent weekly “beat cyphers” where the crew would produce short tracks using a common sample and some “production guidelines” and then perform it as a mix. Some more notable members have included Djemba Djemba, Dot, ELOS, Mr. Carmack, Penthouse Penthouse and Snorlax (and your boy Lewdite). Since his initial releases, Alpha Dog and Beta Cat, Great Dane has played countless shows and become anything but an “underground” producer as he releases his third album, self titled as Great Dane LP.
And it’s fantastic.
The LP takes on a loose, organic structure that feels natural but not sloppy– on the contrary, every detail feels purposeful and each instrument impactful as Great Dane blazes through 20 tracks in his most multifaceted release to date. From Alpha Pup:
Humming with bass, smeared with synths and shaken until foamy, Great Dane is the artist’s most considerable release to date. His third album with Alpha Pup unleashes Great Dane’s finest work, twenty compelling tracks that are light and agile – yet impossibly heavy at the same time. The result is a bass-directed album that is riddled with perfectly placed sounds, a mischievous collection of expansive synthetics and psychotropic percussion.
The album drips with pure West Coast vibes, from the laid-back roll of “Devil Dance” to the hot breath of “Bat Whore.” “DVN3” floats as it expands, encompassing a stuttered space between beauty and bounce, with the slightest tinge of trap. Killer geishas move in slow motion through “Cosmotronique,” and “Fairhaven” is a day at the park, a sharp pastel suit, a carbonated easy ride.
Great Dane features productions that are pristine and thoughtful, but still sticky with filth as the floor of the club. Beloved by fellow DJs, this up-and-coming LA beat artist provides a thick dose of luscious bass, sonic syrup to be eaten with a spoon.
Stream the entire album below and if you’re feeling it, make sure to grab a copy and check out Great Dane next time he’s in your area! And if you’re ever in LA… be sure to hit up Low End Theory or a Team Supreme show if you get a chance! You’ll have fun, I promise.
Great Dane LP
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