by William Sheehan
Dane Morris hasn’t been without his sonics; along with a Euro-tour last winter, a generous slot on the Shambhala undercard let the Low End Theory-enthusiast bask in the shine, while casual appearances on the local circuit kept his craft in check. The almost two-year break since 2016’s Lost & Loved marks a change in output from the artist while details on a follow up had been sparse up until recently.
In the wake of a controversial Boiler Room appearance, haters quipped that Morris’s vision had been compromised by an accessible setlist. While trap-hipsters might abide, the sensationalist opinions wrought from the dopamine-rush of social media culture represents a fake demographic, which some attribute to an influx of daytrippers marking their territory by posing as locals.
The TeamSupreme co-founder’s ear for nuance holds an even deeper conviction on Gamma Ray than the eponymously-titled predecessor, Great Dane, and the first single Sorry Steve comes out swinging in true west coast fashion with a boomerang hook that mellows as much as it howls. Thicc, foaming bass lines fill a cache that boils over and evaporate before your very ears while the building crescendos pay off in spades, trap horns and all. The scope of the project found Morris at a new home on ADBC Records, and the collaboration delivers on all fronts with a transient package that proves minimalism doesn’t necessarily mean less. With the deviation being all but collateral damage, Dane blurs the line between songwriter and disc jockey, and that should be the least of anyone’s worries. In an almost deliberate assault on genre, Gamma Ray is a meditation on an artist’s reach as a utility, and not a crutch.