Marc Capel – Hammond L100 organ, Fender Rhodes piano, Challen piano, Yamaha CS60 and Jen SX1000 synthesizers
"While I was impressed by Planeta Imaginaro’s 2008 release ‘Biomasa’, I am absolutely astonished by ‘Optical Delusions’. There is not point in trying to describe individual pieces (there are 13 of them) as the whole is very much more than the sum of the parts as the music flows like a calming wave on a sunny day. Such linearity and conductivity of ideas is rare in music. Many comparisons are made in the press release and much praise is, rightly, lavished upon this ridiculously gifted band from Barcelona. There are Canterbury influences for sure (I would add Egg to the list with a tip of the hat to Soft Machine’s Mike Ratledge). The music has brass (saxes, trumpet, French horn), some flute, fretless bass, drums and percussion and some wonderful sonic alchemy is teased by composer/ arranger Marc Capel from his Yahama CS60 and Jen SX 1000 synths (piano, Hammond L100 and Fender Rhodes are also used). ‘Optical Delusions’ is, at every level, an outstandingly articulate and creative work of jazz, pure music that, as John Kelman and others have pointed out, feels completely natural to the listener." – Phil Jackson/Acid Dragon
To get an idea of what their third album, Optical Delusions,
has to offer, think of a great rhythm section of keyboards (Hammond
organ, Fender Rhodes piano, acoustic piano, synths), electric bass and
drums, influenced by creative rock bands like The Muffins, Hatfield,
Caravan, National Health.
Be sure to make note of the fact that the keyboardist is a excellent writer and arranger. Now add three jazz musicians on trombone, trumpet and alto, soprano and baritone saxophones, as well as guests on additional saxes, flute and French horn. Give all the musicians great tunes to play and don't forget to throw in a little dollop of weirdness to keep everything just a little bit off the (well) beaten track. This scenario is what you have here.
I would not have expected that the best current exponents of that great Canterbury sound would be a group of musicians from Barcelona, the heart of Spain's Catalan region, but expectations are made to be destroyed and Optical Delusions will utterly destroy you!
Optical Delusions press release
"From this album's earliest jittery unison lines and rocked up beats, this Spanish post fusion band sets the genre clock back to the 70's. Funny thing is, with its ensemble moxie and personal peculiarities, Planeta Imaginario wins expressive points in a style we might have given up for dead or irrelevant. The charm is in the details and the quirks.... It reminds us of what was lacking in much fusion of old: a sense of humour on the cultural playground. Could it be that fusion is ripe for a renaissance? Maybe musical models such as this one-from unexpected corners, globally and stylistically, will hasten a reconsideration of fusion's early demise." – Josef Woodard, Jazziz, July/August 2008
Planeta Imaginario are a terrific 8 piece jazz/rock band who have been in existance since 1999. This is their second album and the first to be released outside of their native Spain. The band features keyboards (Fender Rhodes, Hammond organ, piano and synthesizer), trombone, two saxists on alto and tenor, trumpet, guitar, fretless bass and drums. This is a band who know how to write a great tune and how to arrange that tune in a way to bring out all it has to offer and how to leave room for the individual musicians to contribute to it, both in terms of ensemble work and in their solos! They have a distinctive and attractive Mediterranean sound; you certainly can hear echoes of other jazz/rock bands in their work (Chick Corea's Spanish-tinged fusion works, Gilgamesh, Hatfield and the North and Musica Urbana come easiest to mind), but they really don't sound like anyone else and this is a very exciting release from a great band that we think will be receiving a lot of attention as soon as people hear this album!
"This group has GREAT compositions and arrangements.... This may not explain the much deeper music and originality that i heard in this very fine disc. Even though the previous references are true one can not help to think that this group has gone a step further in the genre as the music they composed and played here is quite theirs. Elements of mediterranean music are also present as well as a fusion (think of 70s jazz rock groups) influences. They come up with their own brew which is a kind of 'positive' and vibrant style of jazz rock with prog elements. All i can say is that's it's been a while since i enjoyed a cd so much. The group has bass, guitar, drums, keys and wind instruments played by mostly unknown (to me) musicians. Recommended to fans of Phil Miller's In Cahoots, Hugh Hopper's Frangloband, Soft Machine, Miles, etc." – M. Hiraldo
"Fine arrangements...of interesting and intelligent compositions, excellently played – these are fine musicians...impressive..." – Chris Cutler
Biomasa press release