'the brilliance comes where Piazolla's spirit rises, sides up to remixers like Koop...
Sanjiv Ahluwalia 2003
While the musical world opens to the transfusion of Brazilian music, where bossa nova meets drum 'n' bass and electronics, the musically aware look to Argentina for the next big musical movement. On the Astor Piazzolla Remixed album, tango music has been twisted and turned to a contemporary sound following the groundbreaking work by the Paris based Gotan Project.
Astor Piazzolla's colossal body of work bears the electronic remix treatment very well. Piazzolla was leaps and bounds ahead of his contemporaries, changing tango music and the direction it took several times over experimenting with electronics, jazz, classical and global music. Musically sitting at the same artistic table as Prince, Miles Davis and Mozart (yes that good and diverse) his work was bound to attract the attention of modern artists who wished to break the current musical horizon.
London's 2 Banks of 4 are Demus (ex-Young Disciples) and Rob Gallagher aka Earl Zinger. They mix electronica, folk and poignant lyrics over club beats under a jazz umbrella (they both herald from Londons jazz-dance scene). They first hinted of their love of tango with The Secret Waltz Club, mixing bandeneon melodies with jazz improvisation and rusty street soul. The band continue to innovate and are one of the highlights at the 2003 London Jazz Festival.
If 2 Banks of 4 are music's answer to Real Madrid then 4 Hero are the 1970 Brazilian world cup winning team. Musically light years ahead of the rest of the dance floor, 4 Hero's music spans rave, jungle, techno, jazz, Latin, folk. soul and drum 'n' bass (their 1994 album Parallel Universe remains one of the most innovative and experimental albums of recent years and heralded the drum 'n' bass revolution).
Other remixers include Sweden's Koop, who caused a storm with their last album which married jazz, soul and club music not always an easy combination. John Beltran was a leading light and highly rated, in the Detroit techno scene. Now recording for the San Francisco based Ubiquity label, Beltran has embraced the label's eclectic output and now records a melange of Latin, Brazilian, techno and electronica.
Occasionally the album veers too much towards being radio friendly offering a 'nice' soundtrack to a dinner party or designer bar, and the tango content is questionable. However the album on the whole works very well and the brilliancecomeswhere Piazolla's spirit rises, sides up to remixers like Koop and 2 Banks, throws away his bandoneon and dons headphones and starts programming electronic mastery...he gives them a smile which says.... "this is how I do it".