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Tango 3.0
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Showing 1-1 of 1 reviews(4 star)show all reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on May 7, 2010
The Paris-based core trio of Philippe Cohen Solal (DJ), Christophe H Mueller (programmer) and Eduardo Makaroff (guitarist) started making traditional Argentinian tango new by finding in its lustiness a correlative with deep, soulful house-music vibes.
With "La Revancha Del Tango" (Tango's Revenge) (2001), their sensual electronica takes on Argentina's famed urban folk sound won widespread acclaim, sold over a million copies and created a revolution in World Music department.
Tango music was given a modern DJ makeover, could have been music for cocktail lounges, car adverts and the sort of chill-out compilation albums.
After a while, their fans begun to get weary of hearing their favourite riffs sampled in jingles and TV commercials and started to be eagerly awaiting a follow up.
"Inspiración/Espiración" (2004) was a collection of 12 remixes by Gotan's French producer/DJ Phillipe Cohen Solal. Using old tango vinyls, new hip-hop 12 inches, poetry readings, jazz samples and also tapes from the first disc, Cohen Solal has mixed an album with the familiar trippy percussion and plangent bandoneón (button accordion) phrases, but with even less reverence for either tango or electronica.
But fans had to wait until mid-2005 to see Philippe and his two aides pulling off something really new and unusual or, indeed, making something like the impact of their dashing debut.
In 2006 Gotan - back-slang for "Tango"- released "Lunático", named after a horse owned by tango legend Carlos Gardel.
Syncopated tango rhythms rub shoulders with subtle house beats, groovy bass lines, sinewy violins and spacey piano, steel guitar and 1970s disco beats and a mock cabaret sound.
There is an authenticity to these pieces which is hard to fake. Cool, groovy and rarely overstated, equally at home either after a night at Pacha, or over a leisurely meal with friends.
Languid clubby tango-tinged grooves for hedonistic clubbers worldwide, with a more tightly managed acoustic sound and more depth and emotion.
With"Tango 3.0", the Paris-based trio step back on the dance floor.
Augmented by skilled instrumentalists, this latest offering showcases how vivacious tango rhythms and tasteful chillout beats mix into a sumptuous whole that - combined with striking, "weeping bandoneón theme embellished by stock cinematic sound effects such as a filtered voice or crowd roar", strings, clarinet, harmonica and guests - lead the listeners into a melancholic, moody reverie.
The root material is the same and the dance themes remain strong and rather relevant, as they were in "La Revancha".
"It can work. It did work. But it feels stodgily clinical here, especially when the last part of the equation sounds suspiciously like an announcement for a holiday show promo of Buenos Aires.
Still, there is something to be admired in the great attention to detail with which Gotan fashion their dubscapes, and the balance struck between dense and airy tonalities is effective. Yet the essential problem is that the constituent parts in the creative process are too often mechanically bolted together and that the programming, above all the basslines, lacks real dynamism". -Kevin Le Gendre
Purists will often say that is better to leave old traditions as they are, untouched by novel ideas. Fortunately, that is not always the case, and music has several examples of re-visited musical styles.
Gotan is probably one of the clearest examples of this, where electronic grooves have been mixed with more traditional interpretations of tango, electronica and jazz, with some outstanding results.
Best tracks: "Tango Square", "La Gloria", "Panamericana" and "Peligo", shocasing the beautiful vocals by Villalonga.
Lunatico
Mar Dulce
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