The 3CD The Self-Contained Trilogy is out 2 March 2018. I was kindly sent a preview. This is a straight re-release of the three '90s solo albums – Instinct, Self-Contained and Reduction – to bring the material back into print, again at a budget price. If you've already got all three, there is nothing you need here. If you have two, one or (and be ashamed!) none of these, this is a convenient and cheap way of completing your collection.
If you don't know this material, you have missed out on some of Peter
Banks' best work. The three showcase an extraordinary guitarist, both
someone just about recognisable from Yes or Flash days, but also a
musician who has come a long way from those years, making intricate and
lyrical guitar music. All three are instrumental guitar albums. They are
distinctive works – I can't think of releases by other artists that are
quite the same – and offer a broad musical palette even though largely
played on electric guitar.
The music is full of riffs and ideas, but these are pieced into larger
musical journeys. I thought of Jon Anderson's comments on how we wants
to present his music as a journey (as we heard before both the Anderson
Ponty tour and the Anderson Rabin Wakeman tour), something he has never
quite realised across various projects live. I wonder whether what Banks
delivers on these albums is what Anderson had in mind?
There is some influence from the different collaborators – Gerald Goff
initially, Gerard Johnson later – but the albums are all Banks' vision.
If you had asked me, looking back on these albums, which was the best, I
would have said Instinct. Re-visiting the material, I have changed my
position. Instinct stands out because it was the first, its music
exploding on the scene after years when Banks had been forgotten,
surprising many. There is an exuberance, as if Banks has been uncaged.
Yet, while all three are broadly similar in style, Banks then developed and refined his approach on Self-Contained and Reduction,
so I think the best music lies on these. It is also on these later
albums that Banks emerges as a collagist, splicing together and
contrasting the music and found samples.
To buy The Self-Contained Trilogy, http://geni.us/PBME2