Spotify was in a contemplative mood this week. My favourite streaming service served up track after track of melodious keyboards and laid-back beats. It was all very pleasant but Spring is a time of vitality and vigour and the Crotchety sinews were in longbow tension, as if waiting for Diana to release her hunting arrow. This was no time for tranquil tunes and honey-sweet voices. We had come for some sport. The chase was on, the stag was near, but the quarry had, so far, remained elusive.
For an hour I searched, but that rocking rhythm did not break cover. Another hour went by with neither restless hide nor twitching hair appearing in the undergrowth. The peace of the forest laid a sound-deadening blanket over our band of tired hunters. The trail had gone cold and the murmuring of the Spotify stream seemed more appropriate now. So, for this Track of the Week, I have acquiesced to the music gods and chosen one of those gentle, after the workout songs. This is Beyond Illumination and it’s by an outfit called Sound of Contact.
There’s not much to say about Sound of Contact. The band was formed by Phil Collins’ son, Simon, in 2009. With Collins on drums, Dave Kerzner on keyboards, Matt Dorsey on bass and Kelly Nordstrom on guitars the band began writing, touring and recording. In 2013, they released their debut album Dimensionaut. A second album was begun but both Collins and Nordstrom left the band in January 2018 with the album still unfinished. Although SoC has not disbanded it is unclear whether they will perform together again.
The songs on Dimensionaut sound a lot like Genesis shortly after Peter Gabriel left. In fact, Simon Collins’ vocals sound so much like his father’s and the production is so similar that you could be forgiven for thinking they were from a lost Genesis recording. Beyond Illumination stands out, though, by virtue of guest vocalist Hannah Stobart.
The lyrics suggest a phantom world of illusion manufactured in silicon minds. You only see what the solid state matrix chooses to show you. What lies outside the spotlight’s beam can only be imagined.
Synthetic lives and imitation.
While you are in my lucid dream
A paradox of heart and mind
What lies beyond illumination?
Perhaps the energy of Spring is coiled up there, hiding in the shadows.