Album Review: Morty — FIRST LIGHT
Having worked as engineer and producer on records by many major label artists including engineering credits for such legends as Dr. Dre, Rodney Jerkins and Timbaland, Morty has a rich background in pop and hip-hop music and surely knows how to create a sense of drama in his electronic productions by both sonic and song structure means.

His debut album FIRST LIGHT fully showcases both his pop sensibility and understanding of song form. It also presents Morty as a versatile artist, capable of creating new sonic worlds by bringing together music ideas from different genres.

For example, FLAVANOYAA merges stoned R&B reminiscent of The Internet with heavier dance beats, while SHIFTY combines ambient influences with digital synths and a minimalistic beat that bring to mind Kaytranada's style.
"I really wanted to vary up the moods, tempos, and feels throughout this album, so before making it, I decided to write 50 songs to create a handful of emotions & vibes throughout the record," explains the artist. After he was done with the 50, Morty picked 10 best tracks and worked on nuances. The resulting record starts off with songs that the artist describes as "fun and uplifting", before going into "a more dark and distant place halfway through to the end, while jumping back and forth between some aggressive and meditative moments".

An undeniable standout on the album is ASTROLENS, a track that brings together deep bass, calming arpeggios, a rich percussive pattern and ghostly vocal chops to create what feels like a sonic equivalent of a night sky — the facade for the bottomless space. It evokes the profound feeling expressed in a classic poem Upon a haystack in lands of South by Afanasy Fet – when the earth, mute as a dream half-hidden, is fast receding into space, and you're looking straight into the night's face, as if you're "the first man in Eden".
Another song that deals with space is MARS?. It features the voice of Morty's grandfather who worked for NASA in the 60s as an engineer. His sceptical monologue about the feasibility of going to Mars is set against an ambient background adorned with sci-fi synth bleeps. Morty's grandfather makes a comeback at the end of the album, finishing the track BABY YODA with a wise take on the future of working class.

This outro perfectly sums up the album full of unorthodox ideas and unexpected turns. The idea with grandfather's leftist monologue might seem quirky on paper, like the album's song titles and cover art, but once you listen to it, you are surprised and overwhelmed by the level of deepness and freedom, the qualities that sound engineer Morty definitely inherited from his space engineer grandfather.