Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Neo Tango

Tango development has not stopped here. The following examples are not filed under "Tango Nuevo" since such classification is usually done with hindsight rather than when still undergoing development... These recent trends can be described as "electro tango" or "tango fusion", where the electronic influences are available in multiple ranges: from very subtle to rather dominant.

Tanghetto and Carlos Libedinsky are good examples of the subtle use of electronic elements. The music still has its tango feeling, the complex rhythmic and melodious entanglement that makes tango so unique. Gotan Project is a group based in Paris, consisting of musicians Philippe Cohen Solal, Edouardo Makaroff and Christoph H Muller. They formed in 1999. Their first release was "Vuelvo al Sur/El capitalismo foráneo" in 2000, followed by the album La Revancha del Tango and in 2004, Inspiración-Espiración. Its sound features electronic elements like samples, beats and sounds on top of a tango groove. Tango dancers around the world enjoy dancing to this music, although many more traditional dancers regard it as a definite break in style and tradition. Still, the rhythmic elements in Gotan Project's music are more complex than in some of the other "electro tango" songs that were created afterwards. Gotan Project is currently (June 2004) back in the studio creating a new album. Out-takes were aired on Gilles Peterson's show "Worldwide" aired on BBC one in May 2004.

The collection album Bajofondo Tango Club (Underground tango club) and its follower "Supervielle" is another recent example which has a much more electro feeling than Gotan. Its beats are more regular, more dominant. The rhythms are less complex — but the tango feeling is still there. Other examples can be found on the CDs Tango?, Hybrid Tango, Tangophobia Vol. 1, Tango Crash (with a major jazz influence), NuTango. Tango Fusion Club Vol. 1 by the creator of the milonga called "Tango Fusion Club" in Munich, Germany, "Felino" by the Norwegian group "Electrocutango" and "Electronic Tango", a various artists' CD.

Kevin Johansen is another new tango artist who has a number of songs that combine folkloric and pop music with a milonga rhythm in such a way that it is barely unrecognizable until trying to dance tango to the music.

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