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Sound Of Contact: Dimensionaut

Right let's get the details out of the way first. Yes Simon Collins is the son of Phil and yes, his new band Sound Of Contact have released a progressive concept album, Dimensionaut, as their first offering. Add to that the fact the Collins Jnr. plays drums expertly, as his father did, that he sounds (unsurprisingly) similar to his old man vocally and that the long arm of Genesis reaches out to this album in places and I can see people already lining up to shout "cash-in". How wrong they'd be. Oh how wrong.

For all the above, if you approached SoC without knowing of the Genesis link you'd never suspect it, unless that is you saw pictures of Simon with his long thinning hair wispily framing his face. Musically what Collins has created with co-collaborator Dave Kerzner, while nodding knowingly at the 70s heyday of prog, looks forward, striving to be at the forefront of the genre's current and welcome resurgence. You can hear Porcupine Tree, Genesis, Spock's Beard, Pink Floyd, Muse, Peter Gabriel and so on. However what you really notice is great songs, soaring melodies, intricate instrumentation, stunning vocals, crafted interplay and memorable hooks. All housed in a complex concept describing the mind and experience expanding journey of a traveller moving through space and time.

Surprisingly the results are nowhere near as daunting, nor as generic as they could and probably should be, with sympathetic arrangements and a cutting edge, but not edgy, production somehow giving the music great gravitas as it floats airily past on everything from electro-prog to gentle jazzy pop. It is a clever thing indeed and importantly an aspect that allows complicated ideas to quickly reveal themselves, while still having more than enough depth and emotion to draw you back time and time again.

Vocally Collins is more than assured, leading you to instantly buy into his messages and join in with the many sing along moments on an album that initially would suggest there shouldn't be any. However just as Genesis did back in the day, Sound Of Contact offer simple ideas in a complex vein and complex instrumentation in simple surroundings so that Dimensionaut works whether you lay back in the dark with nothing on your mind but the expansive beauty of the music, or as a backing to another hectic day. Something not many albums can truly attest to achieving.

Collins and Kerzner don't manage all of this on their own though, Kelly Nordstrom and Mat Dorsey also sprinkling their thoughts and skills liberally across the album. While prog-royalty-shoulder-rubber in the form of Porcupine Tree sideman, Marillion acquaintance and Fish collaborator John Wesley and District 97 drummer Jonathan Schang add their weighty experience to the live line-up.

Prog fans can often be split into "old" and "new" proggers. Dimensionaut is an album to bring them all together and celebrate a genre in its finest style. If there's another album released this year that achieves that elusive aim so well, I'll be shocked and awed. Sound Of Contact and Dimensionaut are that good and both are a reason to celebrate.

Track Listing
1. Sound Of Contact
2. Cosmic Distance Ladder
3. Pale Blue Dot
4. I Am Dimensionaut
5. Not Coming Down
6. Remote View
7. Beyond Illumination
8. Only Breathing Out
9. Realm Of In-Organic Beings
10. Closer To You
11. Omega Point
12. Möbius Slip

Added: June 8th 2013
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Sound Of Contact Online
Hits: 5092
Language: english

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» Reader Comments:

Sound Of Contact: Dimensionaut
Posted by Jordan Farquharson on 2013-06-09 05:00:20
My Score:

John Wesley and SOC's touring drummer aren't on this. Simon plays all the drums on this.

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