I have been contemplating the spiritual riches of Dimensionaut, the truly awesome prog masterpiece from Sound of Contact.
For me, the album does what prog does best, with that characteristically proggy ability to immerse the listener in a cosmic philosophical meditation.
To give another example: One of my absolutely favorite tracks from Big Big Train, “The Wide Open Sea,” does this sort of musical meditation stunningly well.
So, to encounter in Dimensionaut an album-length, equally successful exercise in that kind of philosophical and spiritual meditation, is a real thrill. And it’s an even more remarkable achievement if we consider that Dimensionaut is the equivalent of a vinyl double album.
Here is how I would slice it up for a deluxe vinyl gatefold edition:
01. Sound Of Contact (02:05)
02. Cosmic Distance Ladder (04:43)
03. Pale Blue Dot (04:44)
04. I Am Dimensionaut (06:25)
05. Not Coming Down (06:01)
06. Remote View (03:54)
07. Beyond Illumination (05:53)
[featuring Hannah Stobart]
08. Only Breathing Out (05:57)
09. Realm Of In-Organic Beings (02:52)
10. Closer To You (05:05)
11. Omega Point (06:30)
12. Möbius Slip (19:36)
I – In The Difference Engine
II – Perihelion Continuum
III – Salvation Found
IV – All Worlds All Times
If people approach Dimensionaut with an open mind, they will have to admit that this double album is an incredible achievement. Amazingly, it is prog that is accessible to everyone, and yet it does not shatter its integrity with any compromises.
All the negative reviews that I have read, and any reservations that I have heard expressed, stem simply from invidious comparisons, which are completely unfair.
Rather, if you clear your headspace of all preconceptions and genealogical obsessions, and just enter into the spirit of the music, the musical conclusion is inescapable:
With Dimensionaut, the Spirit ever lingers… undemanding contact in your happy solitude!
(I append below an interesting video in which Simon Collins and Dave Kerzner talk about the album’s story concept. They affirm that the musical journey explores not just dimensions of science fiction and romance, but most especially a serious spiritual dimension.)