Peter Hammill, the Van der Graaf Generator frontman whose tart tenor slices to the bone, has long pursued a parallel solo career, releasing more than 30 LPs since 1971. Had he done nothing more to end 2014 than add a new album to his tally, that alone would be newsworthy. Instead, Hammill, at 66, has assembled one of his most ambitious, provocative projects to date. You can buy the 10 moody songs at the core of “… all that might have been …” as a discreet disc or download. But the three-CD configuration includes his “Ciné” version of the album, where he cuts and splices the songs into a continuous, audio-only film noir. Jumping among episodes like premonitions and flashbacks, the disc proposes an enigmatic mystery awash in urban grit, menace, and Japanese intrigue, with cinematography rendered in jagged guitar, gauzy synths, and cat-tread drums. Disc two has the unaltered songs; disc three is a scratch-tape soundtrack, spinning Hammill’s instrumental cues into eerie tone poems.
ESSENTIAL “Until”Steve Smith can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @nightafternight.