Friday, October 13, 2006

Tango Trends don't stop

Electroacústica Tanguera Orchestra

he story of "Electrolatino tango" or "tango electrofusion": In 1997 Latin Rock pioneer Gustavo Santaolalla created Surco, the first Latin regional label dedicated to Hispanic Alternative music and the home of Molotov, Juanes, Orishas, Bersuit, El Otro Yo, La Vela Puerca, Arbol, and Erica Garcia.

Millions of tangobeats later, Surco takes its next step by launching Vibra, a new division which taps into the world of Electronica while never loosing touch with its Latin identity. Vibra's first in a string of Electrolatino releases is BTC: Bajofondo Tangoclub - a collective of artists and musicians who team up to create an array of music based on the fusion of diverse electronic genres (house, trance, trip hop, dub, drum n' bass, etc) with the traditional sounds of Tango.

Click here for BTC-audio
Click here for Video Bajofondo Performance Clips

The collection brings together some of South America's top names in both the electronic and tango world creating an eclectic blend that represents a contemporary view of urban life in the "Rio de la Plata". Without having been released yet, Bajofondo Tango Club is already causing a stir in Argentina's underground and is the newest vehicle for Santaolalla to demonstrate his creativity as an artist and producer.

Gustavo Santaolalla (Producer, Mezcla, Keyboards, Programming, Vocals, Guitar, Percussion)
Gustavo Santaolalla's professional music career started in 1967 at the age of 16, when he founded the group Arco Iris making history as the pioneer in the fusion of rock and Latin American folk. He has since become the most important name in Latin Alternative music having won Grammys for his work with Cafe Tacuba and Juanes and has also produced critical and commercial successes for million-selling Mexican group Molotov, as well as Julieta Venegas, Maldita Vencindad, Caifanes, Leon Gieco, Los Prisioneros and Divididos among others. In 1997, he founded Surco and has also played a major role in producing music for his label's roster of artists including Bersuit, Erica Garcia, Arbol and La Vela Puerca among others. Most recently, Gustavo has entered into the world of film music by scoring the music for the Oscar nominated film Amores Perros and producing it's soundtrack, and will once again team up with Amores Perros producer Alejandro Gonzales Inarritu to work on his upcoming film. Proving once again that he is not only a master in the world of rock, Santaolalla just completed production of the new release "Nuevo" for the classical string quartet Kronos which pays homage to the rich musical styles of Mexico.

Luciano Supervielle (Keyboards)
Today Supervielle is most recognized for being the keyboard player for singer-songwriter Jorge Drexler. He is the youngest member of Bajofondo Tango Club.
Supervielle started his professional career in his native country, Uruguay with the hip hop group Platano Macho. The plantain or platano macho is a banana, musa paradisiaca, which is eaten cooked rather than raw. Plantain are eaten in most tropical countries, including Mexico. Mariquitas are lightly salted, sweeter-than-bananas plantain chips.
Supervielle: From my 16 years, I interfered with the language of the electronics. It had keyboards that were allowing to compose music for layers: it was putting a battery line, one of down and above of it it had space to orchestrate. It is super important in my music, because though he is born of the piano, this instrument does not have a participation soloist, but it is one more element one orchestration. To the work with samples often it removes itself value because it uses material that was already done earlier by another person, but it forces to do a very important work of sound combination, which is something very nearby to the orchestration.
Was he interested in the tango before being summoned for Bajofondo Tango Club?
- not in a direct way. I always liked much the tango of Piazzolla, that he is other of the musicians who more influenced me, both for the rhythmic thing and for the melodic thing. Obviously, when we started being employed at this project there was a specific approach towards the tango that made me discover the style. I was never tanguero, I never did tango, and when we met in Bajofondo the premise of mixing it with our electronic language, it made me investigate it and to know more the style.
- this approach almost of laboratory: does not it leave it out of many elements of the tango?
- the fact is that I do hip hop. The things that serve me as the tango are those that I can associate with my genre. As in all work of experimentation, there are things that stay of side. But the tango and the hip hop share a dance origin, then there are many things that one knows that it can associate. Anyhow, if I do a contribution to some evolution it is to that of the hip hop or of the electronic music, not to that of the tango. The new tango is going to arise from a type that is tanguero, that it dedicates ten hours per day to doing tango. And if it approaches the electronic music, it will do it from the tango. I am of another side.

Gotan Project
Tango remixed to its African origins: the percussion.

Gotan Project was born thanks to Domingo Cura and Astor Piazzola, teachers of the tango that have inspired the founders of this group to revolutionize that Argentine sound, to modernize it and to create something totally new and that already has sold more than 850.000 recorddisks, starting with the single "El capitalismo foráneo". Its first album "The revenge of the tango / La revancha del tango", is an unique, delicious, and elegant work from the París-trío Philippe Cohen Solal, Christoph Müller and Eduardo Makaroff's bandoneón argentino and guitar.

The folk tango of Buenos Aires is remixed, the oldest one, with a very modern sound. But this new sound does not come from hands of Argentines exactly –although yes musicians of that country interpret it–, but their creators they bring it us, wise experts of this style, the French-Dee jay Philippe Cohen Solal, the Swiss musician Christoph Müller and Eduardo Makaroff. New is the CD "Inspiration, Expiration, DJ Set - Inspiración, Expiración", in which an interpretation of the actress is included Argentina Cecilia Roth, that recites a poem of Juan Gelman and recalls to the voice of Adriana Varela.

El alma: The soul of Gotan Project, or the soul of Philippe, that is the one that has mixed this new delivery, offers a music of the tango, but mixed, for the first time, with present sounds, as counts me, later, in a telephone interview since its study of Paris swims more to return from our country: "Dj Set” is a collection of songs, of remakes of our first work carried out Peter Kruder, Calexico, or the musician Pepe Bradock. It wanted to meet to all the teachers of the tango that have inspired us: Piazzola, Sunday, the folk, and the music that are connected with our sound; the tecno, the hip-hop, the jazz and the house. But I have wanted to carry them radically toward the direction that we take.

The tango that we make is the true "Electrauthentica", to the offspring, tango that has its origins in Africa and that shows in the percussion. What happens is that later each migration was including other instruments, like the bandoneón, that came from Germany, or the violin, that proceeded of the Europe of the east.

There are many white influences that were mixed with the black music of the original. For us work, tango was something a lot more surprising to do and, above all, more difficult. Philippe: Was interesting to work with somewhat unexpected, to modernize. I loved Piazzola, the urban tango confronts you, the electronic music and the folk music Argentina, the percussion. "Without knowing it we have carried the tango to its origins".

Tango, a touchstone for Argentine national identity, has roots in Afroargentine danceforms like candombe, milonga, and cañiegue. Canyengue dance is almost without figures, freely from choreographic planning, but with fast play of the feet, with elastic legs moving at the drumbeat. A dance in which rhythm is everything. The tangueros with "Sangre Negra" or the "negros porteños" were coming for the most part from the Congo and Angola. In 1693 the first reference appeared on the slavery in the Río de la Plata (el tráfico de negros para venderlos como esclavos). In 1810 nearly 30% of the Buenos Aires population had black ancestry. The first Argentine president, Bernardino Rivadavia, was of African descent. Concerning Argentina’s black cultural legacy, Jorge Fortes and Diego Ceballos' documentary "Afroargentines", exposes the whitewashing of the Argentine self-image. So, the African rhythms who gave birth to the tango were suppressed and ‘refined’ by Western Europeans. The racial closeness of the first black tangodancers was replaced with the more rigid form.

The stiff torsos of the black dances became stiffer, the swaying hips (‘quebradas’) and the sharp interruptions of the dancing marches (‘cortes’) lost their joyful fluidity and became grave, and so did the faces, concentrated in displaying footwork (‘figuras’) for an marginalized attentive audience. Forced to compete with the immigrant for jobs, women, social status in a system that seemed to favour only the foreigner, the urban creole took out his frustration and bitterness against the immigrant and the elite in a challenging ‘duello criollo’, the tango Argentino. In these ‘tango duelos’ with acrobatic figures, the object was to show up the immigrant and the upper class.

"Nuestro Tango" became deep and serious in the early twentieth century and transformed itself into an intensely physical dance that evoked the unspeakable wounds in the subconscious mind. Ernesto Santos Discépolo summed up the tango as “un pensamiento triste que se puede bailar”.
Born from a crash of cultures, tango comes up to the surface as cultural medium for expressing messages in which the people can identify, so slowly giving profile or constructing a profile type of Argentinean identity.

Gotan Project signifies tango, but in reverse; a dialect that share French and Argentine and that arises of investing terms al to speak. Philippe will travel to Nashville, where prepares a project alone. To ends of 2005 there will be finished their second compact disc with Gotan, to good insurance that will surprise us in the house of electro tango, with precise beats per minute and realtime images manipulation .

Click here for Gotan videoclip (ram realplayer)

Gotan Project is to appear for the first time in Argentina before the end of 2005, announced Eduardo Makaroff, founder of the trio:"we never were in Argentina, I would like much to do it because in 2006 we will make a new disc and we will change the spectacle". After 210 live concerts Makaroff decided to take a pause in 2005. "It is a pause that is not pause, because we want to go to Argentina and Latin America and China in July". About the Argentinean musician Carlos Cáceres, "Cáceres rescues the African origins del tango, whose heiress can be murga. This disc is a identitaria affirmation, because not only in Uruguay there have been black candomberos and murgueros, murga is patrimony of the two coasts of the River of the Silver ", affirmed Makaroff. For Makaroff, the new seal "is the channel for the new creators of tango and Argentine music. The tango is a matter that is continues being unexplored like language , is comparable to the jazz and Brazilian music ". The musician also advanced that Cáceres will participate in the next production of Gotan Project, that will leave on sale in January of 2006.

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