Gotan Project - La Revancha Del Tango
Label: XL Recordings – XLLP 148
Format: 2 × Vinyl, LP, Album, Gatefold
Released: Nov 2001
Style: Latin, Downtempo
A1 Queremos Paz 5:15
A2 Época 4:27
A3 Chunga's Revenge
Written-By – Frank Zappa 5:01
B1 Tríptico 8:26
B2 Santa Maria (Del Buen Ayre) 5:57
C1 Una Musical Brutal 4:11
C2 El Capitalismo Foraneo
Written-By – Avelino Flores 6:12
C3 Last Tango In Paris
Written-By – Gato Barbieri 5:50
D1 La Del Ruso 6:22
D2 Vuelvo Al Sur
Written-By – Astor Piazzolla, Fernando E. Solanas 6:59
Acoustic Guitar – Eduardo Makaroff
Artwork, Photography By – Prisca Lobjoy
Bandoneon – Nini Flores
Double Bass – Fabrizio Fenoglietto
Drum Programming [Beats], Bass, Keyboards – Christoph H. Müller
Keyboards, Bass, Effects [Sounds & Dub Fx] – Philippe Cohen Solal
Mc – Willy Crook
Percussion – Edi Tomassi
Producer – Christoph H. Müller, Eduardo Makaroff, Philippe Cohen Solal
Violin – Line Kruse
Vocals – Cristina Vilallonga
Written-By – Christoph H. Müller (tracks: A1, A2, B1 to C2, D1), Eduardo Makaroff (tracks: A1, A2, B1 to C1, D1), Philippe Cohen Solal (tracks: A1, A2, B1 to C2, D1)
In Argentina (and else where), there is always a debate on whether a new composition should be considered tango. Many of the songs from "the Golden Age of Tango" created their own shares of controversy when they first came out in the first half of the 20th century. Of course, then there was Astor Piazzolla, whose music to this day still manages to upset certain self-proclaimed purists.
The Gotan Project attempts to amalgamate tango with other contemporary musical elements. There were negative reviews, both on and off lines, that claimed that it was sacrilegious and ultimately not tango. I would like these people to listen again carefully, because I could point to segments where the reference to classic tango is very obvious.
For example, on track 5 ("Santa Maria"), if you pay close attention and use a little imagination, the opening sounds just like "La Yumba" by Osvaldo Pugliese (more similar to the 1952 version; the 1946 version sounds too weak in most recordings.) And on track 6 (Una Musica Brutal), part of the rubato from the middle section came almost directly from "Quejas de bandoneon" by Anibal Troilo.
And the last track "vuelvo al sur" was truly interesting. Most of us in the tango world are probably familiar with the version sung by Roberto Goyeneche (from the 1987? film "Sur"). His scratchy voice in conjunction with Piazzolla's bandoneon made this song one of the darkest, heaviest, and the most haunting tangos I know of. The Gotan Project version is not as dense, but the contemporary rhythms seem to add an urban destitute and desolateness that are ironically appropriate, considering the current situation in Buenos Aires.
Some of the other original compositions are very interesting too. Overall, most of the tracks carry the quintessential "tango feeling" that connects this album to the century-old lineage of tango music. I applaud them for their courage to bring in new elements to tango. I think there is a fundamental question for tango music aficionados today: there are many excellent tango music groups that imitate the styles of the classic "orquestas tipicas". The most popular subjects of imitation are Osvaldo Pugliese, Juan D'arienzo, and Carlos Di Sarli. These three orchestras produced more than 1,000 recordings, many of which are considered "Gold Standards" for the particular songs. Do we still want some "new" recordings that may sound like an cheap imitation to the Gold Standards? When we buy a new tango LP next time, do we still want yet another rendition of "La cumparsita" or "El choclo"?
I am writing here as someone who had fallen in love with tango from the Golden Age and had spent quite a bit of time reading about it and listening to endless hours of Pugliese and Troilo. Here in New York, we are fortunate enough to have two regular tango groups that perform in milongas and I adore both of them dearly. I love the tango from the 1940s and 50s but from I learn from its history, it is vital for tango to renovate itself every generation to sustain its existence 50 years after its Golden Age. Whether you like the music or not, I believe that the Gotan Project had at least made that courageous attempt.
Gotan Project - La Revancha Del Tango
Gotan Project - Santa Maria (Del Buen Ayre)
Scene from the film Shall We Dance?
GOTAN PROJECT- Epoca tango
Gotan Project - Tríptico
Gotan Project - El Capitalismo Foraneo