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Planeta Imaginario (Spain) - 2004 - "Que Me Dice?"
TRACK LIST: 1. La Creacion de un Mundo Nuevo 1:13 2. Preludio Rapsodia 2:34 3. Intimo Ritmo-1 8:00 4. El Despertrar de la Siesta de un Fauno 6:14 5. Que Me Dices 6:02 6. Requiem Blues 3:38 7. El Crucigrama 5:52 8. Intimo Ritmo-2 6:52 9. De un Mundo Nuevo la Creacion 1:14 All tracks: by Capel, except: 1 & 9: Capel / Zanartu, 6: Capel / Delgado, & 7: Capel / Delgado / Alberdi. LINE-UP: Marc Capel - organ, piano, & synthesizers Lucas Delgado - electric bass Eneko Alberdi - electric guitar Guillermo Villa - trumpet The-Hien Trihn - trombone Herman Bauereker - saxophones Vasco Trilla - drums With: Marc Lloberas - pan-flute Estella Broto - pan-flute Pau Zanartu - electronics Produced by Planeta Imaginario. Engineered by Lloberas.
Prolusion. "Que Me Dices?" is the debut by Spain's PLANETA IMAGINARIO. To all appearances, this is a group of young musicians. The album was released through their native recording company Margen Records, though there are not only Spanish artists in the label's family. Next time I will review the latest album by the Belgian outfit Hardscore, which is also one of Margen's recent releases.
Synopsis. As far as I remember, this is the first time I've heard RIO-related music from a Spanish band. While I know for sure, i.e. not through hearsay, that RIO is one of the most beloved genres of those of their former countrymen who were born to be musicians in the countries of Central and South America. But well, it doesn't matter, and what is really important is that it's probably impossible to perform a bad RIO, as only profoundly thinking and truly masterful musicians would venture into realms of the genre. Both of the 'boundary' (and shortest) tracks on the album are not only titled similarly, but are also almost not unlike from each other in sound. Consisting exclusively of slow symphonic passages of synthesizer and effects, these are just an intro to the album and the outro, respectively. In any case, they can hardly be regarded as independent compositions, as they aren't even separated by pause from their neighbors in the track list. There is nothing really sad or at least pronouncedly dramatic on Requiem Blues (4), and there is no Blues, at all. There is a rather long episode featuring only passages of an acoustic piano (unavailable on the others), but overall, the music here, as well as on any of the tracks from 2 to 6, is a combination of both of the classic and jazzy kinds of RIO and Jazz-Fusion with some quantity of symphonic textures, which, though, can be found only among those provided by keyboards. There are many soloing instruments: piano, organ, synthesizer, various brass, electric and bass guitars, interchanging each other at the forefront of arrangements and jamming together as well. While the parts of most instruments are usually typical for both Jazz-Fusion and RIO, those of brass are often purely improvisational in character. The alternation of intensive, highly eclectic arrangements and quieter ones is the essential part of the music, but all the events develop constantly and there is no place for repeats on the album. El Crucigrama (7) is the only number where elements of Symphonic Progressive are immediately recognizable. In fact, however, this is the most polymorphous and, at the same time, the most solidly structured composition on the recording. It represents a complex, yet, very cohesive blend of Symphonic Art-Rock, Jazz-Fusion, Prog-Metal, and classic RIO and is a fantastically impressive stuff. The remaining piece Intimo Ritmo-2 (8) is nothing else but a classic Jazz-Fusion just veered to Swing's territory, previously settled by Weather Report, Modern Jazz Quartet, and the like. Due to the pronouncedly jazzy specificity of the track, it was a wise decision to place it at the end of the album, and not somewhere in the middle. Otherwise this masterpiece would've been deprived of that excellent stylistically compositional balance, which makes it sounding so coherent.
Conclusion. The band performs music of a highest progressive quality. Naturally, being extremely complex, it needs many listens to be comprehended. Not everyone's cup of tea, this album, however, might please most open-minded connoisseurs of music, especially those experienced, covering all the progressive genres. In all, Planeta Imaginario's "Que Me Dices?" is an exceptionally strong and successful debut, at least from a creative standpoint.
VM: August 4, 2004
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