There, in the virtual world of musical soundscapes, follow the paths leading down from the Pink Floyd and Camel mansions and, at the crossroads, look back towards Pink Floyd's own mansion. Now, focus on that spot close by there, do you see? - that's where Dyonisos lives. It's a pretty spot for sure and visited by many on account of its sunny climate and peaceful, relaxing atmosphere. Yes, despite the number of visitors this little idyll of soundscape retains its charm. If you're in need of a quiet space to recharge your spirit, I can recommend a visit.
Dyonisos is the pen-name for American multi-instrumentalist Dan Cowan. Dan composed the music, sings and plays all of the instruments on An Incidental Collection. The exceptions are "Leaving Home", "When Silence Has Spoken" and "Voices", whose lyrics were written by Joe Harvilla (who also takes the lead vocal on the latter two of those three); and "Pastures in Kahaluu" which has percussion and backing vocals from Ron Thunman. Dan's instrumental and vocal performances are fine, although I'm guessing that the drumming is programmed.
The main color of this soundscape, as you can probably tell from the introductory paragraph, is the fluid lead-guitar playing, reminiscent of an imaginary cross between Dave Gilmour and Andy Latimer. Very nice it is too, particularly on the lengthy introduction to "Reasons", "Leaving Home" where it carries slightly more menace than elsewhere, "Pastures in Kahaluu" and "When Silence Has Spoken". Keyboards and synthesizers paint the background with Floydian psychedelic and spacey hues rather than with those from Camel's brush.
It's a pleasant soundscape and a pleasant album for sure. The problem, if it is a problem, is that it is not easy to occupy such similar territory to Pink Floyd in particular and not suffer from comparisons, even if only mental comparisons, to their great ground-breaking albums of the past. Compounding this issue is the fact that modern CDs contain about twice as much music as those iconic albums. So, whereas, An Incidental Collection is very pleasant and betrays no trace of being a compilation like the title suggests, it does remain just that - pleasant, but no more.
Even so, if you're a big fan of Pink Floyd, or of Dave Gilmour and Andy Latimer's guitar playing styles, then you may well get a lot of enjoyment from this album.
Incidentally, the album was produced in 2006 and is not Dyonisos's latest - I will be reviewing Ages High in the near future.
1) Visions (5:17)
2) Reasons (5:11)
3) Facing Windmills *5:45)
4) Abstract Visions (4:46)
5) Leaving Home (5:06)
6) Pastures in Kahaluu (8:21)
7) Absolute Center of Nowhere (4:17)
8) Permanent Disembodiment (4:09)
9) When Silence Has Spoken (4:23)
10) The Wave (3:10)
11) Ohia Lehua (4:12)
12) Voices (3:10)