Release Date: Sep 30, 2016
Record label: Esoteric Antenna
High-voltage prog. VDGG’s fourth album since they became a trio in 2007, Do Not Disturb is every bit as strange, angular and unpredictable as anything the band did in the 70s. The passing of time has added weight and poignancy to Peter Hammill’s extraordinary voice, and the chemistry between him, Hugh Banton and Guy Evans verges on magical here.
Since reforming in 2005, Van der Graaf Generator have kept up a steady stream of new releases, cementing their status as the last survivors of the golden age of progressive rock. (Although King Crimson remain active on the touring front, Robert Fripp has so far shown no desire to take the current incarnation of KC into the studio.) Do Not Disturb is the fifth album from the reunited VdGG, and the fourth since the acrimonious departure of sax and flute player David Jackson left the group as a trio. In interviews to promote the record, the group’s singer, guitarist and principal songwriter Peter Hammill has commented on the fact that he, organist Hugh Banton and drummer Guy Evans are all approaching their 70th birthdays.
Van Der Graaf Generator were one of the more esoteric entries in the British prog rock sweepstakes of the late ‘60s and early ‘70s, a band whose erratic dynamic was steered by Peter Hammill’s melodramatic vocals and the lavish yet intricate accompaniment of bassist/keyboard player Hugh Banton and the ever-shifting rhythms of drummer Guy Evans. After various periods of disengagement and subsequent reunions, the core band is back with a new effort that proves as farsighted and ambitious as the early Van Der Graaf classics The Aerosol Grey Machine, Pawn Hearts, H to He and The Least We Can Do Is Wave To Each Other. Little wonder then that Do Not Disturb sounds so bizarre and belligerent at times and so elegiac and anthemic at others.