Great Dane is back with another FUXWITHIT Guest Mix! The underground legend has been pushing the boundaries of bass music for the past decade with a hip-hop influenced style that’s consistently evolving. His latest project Epsilon Iguana is his most vulnerable and impressive work to date, spanning a myriad of emotions, vibes, and sounds. He’s currently gearing up to relaunch the iconic Team Supreme and is on his way to Japan for a run of shows. To celebrate the upcoming sets he’s blessed us with a very special guest mix + interview.
The mix is half an hour of heaters including a grip of unreleased gems. To make it even more massive he’s dropping a video version of the mix which premieres at 6:00 PM EST/3:00PM PST (also embedded below). As for the interview, we touch on his upcoming trip to Japan, the personal nature of his latest album, killing his old self to move forward, the upcoming Team Supreme relaunch, a symphony bringing him to tears, and much more. Check out both below.
Tell us about this mix. Where are we going when we press play?
Okinawa! This mix is a bunch of unreleased tunes from myself and the other artists going to Japan with me this week – Kowta, Luhv & Thumbprints, as well as some Halftime classics. The first track is a really special one that I’m planning to drop as a single at some point, I sampled Naoko Gushima’s “you can fly”.
When this drops you’ll be on a flight to Japan. What are you most looking forward to about the trip?
Definitely the food. I’m a huge sushi/ fish guy so I feel like being on a tiny Japanese island there’s gonna be ridiculously good seafood.
Does where you’re playing influence your set list or approach to DJ’ing?
Yeah definitely. I think the main job of a DJ is to read the room and find the right sound for that audience. I wanna play a bunch of original stuff but I also want to feel out the vibes and see what kind of energy I get back from the crowds in Okinawa. At Halftime (our monthly Brooklyn show) I’ve been spinning a lot more rap music – which is pretty much my favorite genre as a music listener – so I’m stoked to see what kind of hip-hop will pop off over there.
It was really cathartic. I needed to get it all out of my system to move forward with my life.
Epsilon Iguana feels highly personal and very vulnerable. What was it like writing your latest album? How did it feel to finally release it?
It was really cathartic. I needed to get it all out of my system to move forward with my life. Definitely feels like a huge relief to have it finished and out in the world.
The album showcases your vocal talents in a new way. Why did you feel like now was the time to put them on full display? Did this alter the way you think about creating?
I’ve been dabbling with original vocals for a while now with tracks like ‘To Stay’ (2016) and ‘The Lonely Ones,’ but I always kinda masked it and made it sound sort of electronic-y. Putting more of my raw vocals into this album felt really organic and natural, and I think it added to the vulnerability I was feeling at the time.
The last time we connected you mentioned being, “bored with music that is trying to be soooo intense, and dark, and scary.” Is Epsilon Iguana a response to this showing that bass music can be more melodic and emotional?
Haha yeah I mean I’m not trying to necessarily “respond” to anything, but I just like to write music that feels right to me (and isn’t boring). I think at the time I wrote this, it felt right to make some pretty melodies and some moody basslines.
My whole identity was tied to California, so I didn’t even know who I was outside of that. I feel like my new self is definitely rooted in the West Coast – and I’m proud to be from such a dope place – but I get to explore new parts of my personality here and become (hopefully) a better version of myself.
On ‘Royal Perspective’ you said, “Killed my old self just to see if I was capable of loving.” Can you expand on that? What does killing your old self mean to you? Why did you need to go to this length?
Wow you’re paying attention. I think a lot of “killing my old self” just came down to moving my entire life to New York. My whole identity was tied to California, so I didn’t even know who I was outside of that. I feel like my new self is definitely rooted in the West Coast – and I’m proud to be from such a dope place – but I get to explore new parts of my personality here and become (hopefully) a better version of myself.
We’re excited to see Team Supreme is coming back! What prompted you to bring it back now? What can we expect from the return?
Yes!! You can thank the Partica Artist Group for inspiring the return. I was a guest judge on one of their beat battle streams and it reminded me so much of TeamSupreme. On the stream, over 30 producers flipped the 1st track off my album Epsilon Iguana in 30 mins and I was floored by how good they were. I don’t want to spoil the return plans but just keep an eye out in early November for the 1st new cypher and the samples/ rules to the next one.
Do you really make music every single day? If so what does that actually look like? How do you maintain that steady workflow?
I definitely make music every day, whether I want to or not haha. Part of that is because I teach Ableton – at a production school in Manhattan called 343 Labs – and the cool thing about teaching is that I’m constantly honing my production skills. Even if I’m not necessarily working on a new Great Dane beat when I’m teaching, (and sometimes I am) when I get inspired to write at home I have hours of practice under my belt, and that translates into my creative flow.
What’s the last piece of art that really impacted you and why?
I finally watched Tár a few weeks ago and that really stuck with me. It was like the perfect combo of a music movie, but also sort of creepy and horror vibes. I also sat front row (like behind the orchestra actually) at a symphony last week on mushrooms and cried my eyes out to Prokoviev’s Romeo & Juliet.
Basically just keep trying shit. Also take breaks, it’s a marathon not a sprint.
What do you view as core facets of your success?
Tenacity! Basically just keep trying shit. Also take breaks, it’s a marathon not a sprint.
You’ve been able to achieve a lot throughout your career. What’s still on your bucket list?
Still need to play Red Rocks.
Any final words you’d like to leave us with?
I’m just super grateful for all the good things happening in my life right now, and I wanna express that as much as possible!
FUXWITHIT Guest Mix 234 – Great Dane – Halftime.jp – Tracklist
1 Great Dane – You Can Fly ID
2 Great Dane – F My BM (Jersey Edit) ID
3 Traveler x Luhv – ID
4 Kowta – BAD DREAMS
5 Herzeloyde – Breaksta
6 idntrmmbr – lundun
7 CHEE – CLOUTMEISTER
8 Great Dane – NOSE GOES
9 LYNY – Jump Bros!
10 Great Dane – Epsilon Iguana
11 idntrmmbr – big dawg (fendi’d up)
12 Kowta – Need It
13 Great Dane – That Zaza
14 Drake – What Would Pluto Do? (Great Dane Flip) ID
15 Sumthin Sumthin – Poison (Flip) ID
16 Kowta – Click Clack
17 Jengi – Bel Mercy (Great Dane Flip)
18 Luhv x Kurei – Coke w/ My Rum
19 Sameet x Great Dane – Bombardment ID
20 Kowta – I LIEK TO GET HIGH ID
21 Gunna – fukumean (Great Dane Jersey Edit) ID