'..this is a cool, calculated, sexy suspenders-and-stocking filler.'
Carlos Musgo 2004
The sun was already setting on Clubland when Gotan Project released their debut La Revancha del Tango in 2001. Nonetheless, this Paris-based trio's lascivious, loungey takes on Argentina's famed urban folk sound won widespread acclaim, sold over a million copies and created a minor revolution in World Music spheres. It remains to be seen whether electro-tango is a blip or a school of thought, though, and fans, beginning to get weary of hearing their favourite riffs sampled in jingles and TV commercials, are eagerly awaiting a follow up.
Inspiración/Espiración is 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.
Joyously random, space is found here for the Anti-Pop Consortium, Chet Baker, tango legend Aníbal Troilo and the Peace Orchestra. Throughout, tango's chilled swing is never allowed to disappear completely, though a pounding club beat begins to dominate as the sequence moves towards a pacy conclusion with Pepe Braddock's remix of the single "Santa María (del Buen Ayres)".
Likely to upset the same people who rejected the debut as a mere fashion statement, Gotan's production values can't be faulted - theirs is always considered sound with lots of depth in the mix. A bonus CD comes with an outtake from the Revancha... sessions and a video by their regular image-maker Prisca Lobjoy, which will no doubt please aficionados who've been along to the band's visually exciting live shows. Most people, though, will have to wait until mid-2005 to see if Philippe and his two aides can pull off anything really new and unusual or, indeed, make anything like the impact of their dashing debut. Meanwhile, this is a cool, calculated, sexy suspenders-and-stocking filler.