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Van Der Graaf Generator - ALT CD (album) cover


Van Der Graaf Generator


Eclectic Prog

2.48 | 216 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Music By Mail
3 stars When I read all the many reviews on the net, I feel the urge to point out in thick black ink a few things, so as to correct common misunderstandings and mistakes joyously committed by reviewers all over the world.

1. Alt has been released after "A Grounding", yes. Alt was NOT recorded after this album and is NOT a new album by the band! The recordings behind ALT mainly go back to the years around Trisector, which is quite logical as we have the same trio at work! Look carefully at the back cover of your copy of ALT and you will see the mention: recorded and mixed between 2006 and 2012.

2. Why have so many people problems to accept that an artist - especially one having been active in so many years - may someday wish to do something completely different than what they're known for? Why are the dogs slipped free, barking as loud as they can because Peter Hammill is NOT singing or because this album doesn't taste like their fave VDGG ice cream?

3. All the promotion text publicly printed all around the world before the release made it clear: ALT is no ordinary Van Der Graaf Generator album! Peter Hammill even explained in details what it was about. So why all the fuzz, disappointment and harsh critics ending sometimes in an explosion of very low star grading? Payback for a personal unjustified frustration?

4. Alt is a meeting, a long-time-running experiment, an exchange of views, an event (Evans was sleeping in a tent inside the studios!!), an ongoing reflection, three men at work, a test of new recording technologies, Alt is NOT a duplication of a receipt-based VDGG wax museum!

5. One of the consequences of such an experiment is that the musical interrogations, questionings, may appear unhomogeneous, fragile, maybe unsure at times. So is musical life too!

6. My strongest and only advice to any of you about to listen to this album: be amnesiac! You don't know who's playing, you listen to the music of an unknown group and you judge from there.

7. oooh you'll probably say I didn't write anything at all about the music and this isn't quite a review! Well, what I would write about ALT as a reviewer has been already said many times, many places, by many people so I wouldn't repeat it. Instead, here's a subjective and entirely personal description of my experience, as I saw the pick up of my turntable slowly going down: I was entering a dark and mystical lab, not sitting on a chair with a lot of wires connected, no, freely moving, sensing, reacting, feeling my ears massaged by a constantly evolving musical material, micro changes in sounds or lines working like enzymes, toying with directional perspectives and dynamics, remote, near, low, loud, slow, fast, finding myself after some time in some kind of mental otherworldly condition .... until the wake up call, the repeated click of the pick-up.

That's ALT for now.

Music By Mail | 3/5 |


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