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Awards for World Music 2008
Bajofondo Tango Club
BAJOFONDO TANGO CLUB (Argentina/Uruguay)
Bajafondo Tango Club Album Cover
'We've been playing this music for four or five years and we still don't know what it is. But we're in no rush to find out!' declared Gustavo Santaolalla of Bajofondo during their recent storming gig at London's iconic Roundhouse. What began as an experimental studio project between this multiple Oscar and Grammy-winning Argentinean musician/producer and Uruguayan programmer/producer Juan Campodónico soon grew into a real band.

With key members pursuing diverse solo careers between Buenos Aires, Montevideo, LA and Europe, Bajofondo usually only get together while touring. But judging by their thrillingly edgy live shows it's a very successful strategy.

Their work springs from a strong mutual desire to reflect a sense of place, focussed on the traditional and contemporary music heard on both sides of the Río de la Plata, the enormous tidal river that separates Uruguay and Argentina. Thus, while local indigenous styles like tango, milonga, and candombe all feature, Bajofondo also embrace the hip hop, rock and electronica that are popular there. While initially seen as leading lights (along with Gotan Project) of the electrotango movement, they're keen to stress that this label is now too simplistic for the kaleidoscope of styles they use; hence also the recent shortening of their name from Bajofondo Tango Club'.

Their eponymous debut album appeared in 2002 and has now sold over 300,000 copies worldwide. Three years later, their keyboardist Luciano Supervielle released his debut Supervielle, which was effectively Bajofondo¹s second album, since it featured many of the same shifting collective of artists.

Later in 2005, Bajofondo Remixed included pieces from both albums remixed by European, Argentinean and Uruguayan DJs.

The group's second Radio 3 nomination has been spurred by 2007's Mar Dulce (sweet sea,­ a reference to the Río de la Plata). Reflecting the group's evolution, it's their first proper live-in-the-studio recording ­ albeit made in six far-flung locations. Joining Bajofondo's programmed beats, keyboards, bandoneón, and violin is a live string section and an ever more cosmopolitan roster of guests. Along with Argentinean rockers Santullo and Juan Subirá, Spanish rapper Mala Rodriguez and the late Uruguayan folklorists Alfredo Zitarossa and Lágrima Ríos, there are even vocals in English by Elvis Costello and Nelly Furtado. It's a globalised world we're living in.

Jon Lusk.


Read other people's comments then Tell us what you think:

Maggy , London
Bajofondo are so talented individually and unbeatable when they perform together. See them live if you get the chance - the recent Festival Hall concert audience was euphoric - every appearance gets a more ecstatic reception!


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