Friday, June 2, 2017

The Dirty Snacks Ensemble - Tidy Universe [2016] USA

The Dirty Snacks Ensemble. What's the story behind the name? why Tidy Universe? I'm always curious about the extramusical traits of a record, after all it's those traits that complete the experience. I discovered Dirty Snacks while "wandering" around in Bandcamp during some long day's small hours; I hadn't finished the album when I pressed 'Buy Record/Vinyl', it was instant love. Am I being naive for buying records? friends suggest so but come on, it's the ultimate extramusical trait that enhances the experience. I mean I'll still stream, obviously, but you develop a different relationship with a music you like, it's getting physical (you get me).

Dirty Snacks are the brainchild (hate that word) of Mark Clifford, vibraphonist, keyboardist and composer and it seems they're based in Oakland. You get that Sunshine State vibe (pun) throughout the album. It's lingering on the positive yet thoughtful side, with lots of groove and experimentation. I'll draw some parallels with The Claudia Quintet although I find Dirty Snacks a little more daring and playful while not so polished. 

The ensemble sounds so organic (love that word) it feels they're recording next to you. Now. You gotta love how the reeds (especially that bass clarinet) interact with everything. Or how the vibes and piano bind the whole into one. The violin can range from austere to clumsy. The drums are delicate and the bass is king; some awesome post-jazz-rock moments here. You gotta love how the compositions are breathing, how these creatives are relevant. The style is maybe chamber-jazz, some friends called it cinematic; you can call anything cinematic, as long as it's soundtracking your own movie. And this is mine.

Is it arbitrary if I say SUPPORT THE ARTIST? I didn't think so.

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