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Peter Banks

Reduction

Review by Gary Hill

This is the third (and final) album included in the new box set from Peter Banks titled "The Self-Contained Trilogy." This instrumental album is classy. I've reviewed it both as an individual disc and as part of that box set, using this same review. Like the other discs in the trilogy, this one uses sound bites, but probably not to the same degree as the other two did. This one leans more toward the mellow and fusion end of the spectrum perhaps. It's also the shortest of the three, but that's not a bad thing. All in all, this is a solid instrumental album that stands as a lasting tribute to Banks' art.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2018  Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Diminuendo in Bloom
There is an introduction to a live audience of the Peter Banks band. Then some weird effects and electronics take over from there. It's nearly a minute in before any real music shows up. Even then it's sort of atmospheric and textural. Odd sound bites and other things are in the mix. The full effect is sort of a Synergy does Pink Floyd kind of thing. This runs into the next cut.
Tone Down

Coming out of the previous one, the music elements start to grow outward with a bit of a King Crimson turned funky approach. Still, it's rather understated in a lot of ways. This gets pretty fusion like as it continues. The intensity really builds, and there is some exceptional guitar work here.

The Age of Distortion

Coming out of the previous number, this has a killer funky groove to it. It's another killer fusion jam. There is a surf-guitar section as it approaches the mid-track point. It works back out to more of the powered up fusion sounds. It eventually drops back down for a bit of a noisy closing bit.

Fade to Blue

This comes in mellower and quite intricate and pretty. It grows outward by building upon that musical concept.

Fathat

Here we have a killer rocking tune. This has some of that surf sound in the mix, too. It's a cool number with good energy and classy jamming. It definitely has a retro texture to it in a lot of ways.

As Night Falls...

Textural sounds bring this into being, and it gradually rises from there.

Consolation in Isolation
This in some ways feels like an extension of the previous cut. It's quite intricate and very mellow.
Dirty Little Secret
A smoking hot rocker, this thing is so cool. Banks' guitar work is (of course) impeccable. He is screaming hot.
As Ever
This is mellow, intricate and pretty. It ends with bird sounds after the announcement that, "I'm going to let the bird out."
Pirate's Pleasure
There is a techno kind of groove to this in some ways. The tune gets into more of a rock meets fusion jam from there. There is some particularly cool guitar soloing on this number.
Rosa Nova
I love the mellow musical motif that makes up the first part of this classy number. Banks' guitar work is of course precisely on-point. This is over nine-minutes long, though, so it works forward. It works out to some pretty intense and exploratory fusion after a time. It gets back into the mellow zone before it ends.

 

 
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