EP Review: Dirty D – Solar Sail

Dirty D is a hip hop and jazz saxophonist who can usually be found entertaining the underground scene in San Diego, USA. His new EP Solar Sail is bringing his unique sound to a wider, international audience. Here’s my track by track review.

By Graeme Smith

The EP opens with its title track and Dirty D wastes no time setting the scene. Solar Sail is a journey through time and space, cosmic and psychedelic but tethered to human consciousness and emotion. His sax playing is expressive and seductive, matched with guitar, bass and twinkling keys. By the end of the EP’s opener, I was feeling suitably lifted.

Sonic Microgravity comes next. It moves away from the gentle jazz leanings of Solar Sail, with pensive percussion and low, long melancholic sax notes. The beat is hip hop as are the rumbling bass notes, but there’s definitely something a little genre-defying about it. The vibe switches from outer space to inner space here too, with a contemplative and introverted style.

Track three is Stellar Atmosphere which launches things straight back to zero G with it’s light and airy sax and bass. Delicate piano joins in giving the track a classical edge while the production remains thoroughly modern. As the track progresses, the bass becomes effects-laden, giving a sense of the extraterrestrial. It’s a wonderful way to reach the EP’s mid-point.

Orbital Velocity adds a bit of groove to proceedings through its intermingling drum and bass. The saxophone melody is particularly stand out, taking a hold of the arrangement and driving its story along. Dirty D’s intention with this EP is to give the busy earthlings a moment of escape and peace and through Orbital Velocity he certainly delivers on it.

The EP closes with Boostback Burn. The hip hop influences come through strongly in this final track, as well as elements of ’70s funk in the bass’s wah-wah style. The tempo is kept to a gentle canter which eases the listener back to the real world from their stratospheric journey.

If you’re after some relaxation at the end of a busy week, then you need look no further than Solar Sail. It’s a wonderfully chill collection from a musician who knows how to create a vibe. You can listen to the whole EP below.