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Tango Nuevo

From the dancer's perspective there are few really good contemporary albums. Gotan Project, Carlos Libedinsky, Otros Aires and Electrocutango lead a field full of people trying to make a quick buck from the tango boom. We review their CDs below.

Gotan Project - La Revancha del Tango

Electronic dub music meets tango - the Gotan project's ground-breaking La Revancha del Tango has become a modern classic.

Track list

  1. Queremos paz
  2. Epoca
  3. Chunga's revenge
  4. Triptico
  5. Santa Maria (del buen ayre)
  6. Una música brutal
  7. El capitalismo foraneo
  8. Last tango in Paris
  9. La del ruso
  10. Vuelvo al sur

Gotan Project - Lunático

After a boring re-mix album, the Gotan project's second true album is a triumph! The new release is not just a good album, but is establishes a different mood to its predecessor: more laid-back, more funky, more chilled. This is the Gotan Chillout cd. Standout tracks: the super funky Arrabal, and Paris Texas, Ry Cooder's theme track to the film of the same name. A must.

In case you're wondering, Lunático (Lunatic) was Carlos Gardel's horse.

Track list

1. Amor porteño
2. Notas
3. Diferente
4. Celos
5. Lunático
6. Mi confession
7. Tango canción
8. La viguela
9. Criminal
10. Arrabal
11. Domingo
12. Paris Texas

cover artwork

Carlos Libedinsky - Narcotango

A deep embrace between Tango and the electronic music atmosphere of our time.

At the hour when there are only a few couples left on the dance floor, magic sneaks (or creeps?) into the milonga, and I watch people dancing and experimenting with a new kind of tango dance, when my body is exhausted from dancing for hours and I don't want the night to end, at that hour NARCOTANGO was born. It was then that I could imagine the music that I wanted to dance to, and to see others dance to. At that moment the narcotic power of tango takes over and confirms, once again, that I have entered a universe inside of me that is hard to leave, because like a drug, tango generates an incredible, sensual and powerful addiction
 - Carlos Libedinsky

Track list

  1. vi luz y subí;
  2. plano secuencia;
  3. otra luna;
  4. un paso más allá;
  5. toma y daca;
  6. mi buenos aires queri...;
  7. mejor así;
  8. la tropilla de la zurda;
  9. trancetango;
  10. doble o nada;
  11. ¿qué onda?;
  12. humo

Listen to sound samples at the Narcotango website

Carlos Libedinsky - Narcotango2

The long awaited second volume of Narcotango - some good tracks, but not as compelling as the first volume.

Tango is burning
with passion, coexisting, struggling
and creating new ways of expression
in music and dance, like a delicate heartbeat
intimately tied to its roots, dramatically
and happily seduced by the present.

Tango is ardent
and leaves a strong impression on our senses
in every spot of the world. It is moving to be here to live it.

-Carlos Libedinsky

Track list

1) Esa
2) Dos
3) Tres Son Multitud
4) El Aire En Mis Manos
5) Esta Noche
6) Sarasa
7) Solo Por Hoy
8) El Dia Despues
9) Rescate
10) Gente Que Si

Listen to sound samples at the Narcotango website

Otros Aires

Otros Aires, based in Barcelona, calls itself the first electronic-archaeological tango band. Instead of just sampling the old records, as Gotan did, the band sometimes mix the old records directly with modern electronic music. Where this works, as in Sin Rumbo, a funk version of D'Arienzo's classic La viruta, the results are just amazing.

Despite the high energy fun the rest of the cd is patchy, but you have to have this for the irresistibly cheeky Milonga Sentimental.

Check out their wonderful website

Track list

1. Sin Rumbo (with samples from D'Arienzo's La Viruta of 1936)
2. Percanta (with samples from Gardel's Mi noche triste, the first tango song in history )
3. La Pampa Seca (with samples from Gardel: El Carretero)
4. Barrio de Tango
5. Milonga Sentimental (with samples from Gardel's Milonga Sentimental of 1929)
6. Aquel muchacho bueno (with samples from Gardel's Aquel Muchacho Triste of 1929)
7. Rotos en el Raval
8. De puro curda
9. Amor que se baila (with samples from Gardel's Aquel Muchacho Triste of 1929)
10. En dirección a mi casa (with samples from Gardel's El Carretero of 1922)

Otros Aires Dos

The second volume of Otros Aires is even more experimental than the first. I'm not sure about it to be honest, but it's sure to get people listening to the music with fresh ears and is proving very popular.

Track list

1. Allerdings Otros Aires
2. Otro Puente Alsina
3. Otra noche en "La Viruta"
4. Los vino
5. Niebla del Riachuelo
6. Un baile a beneficio
7. La yumba
8. Junto a las piedras
9. Otra esquina
10. A veces

Electrocutango - Felino

The only non-Argentine cd in this section is the classic Felino from the Norwiegan group Electrocutango. For some time it's been one of the better tango electronica albums - and the hardest to get. Now it’s been reprinted by the Argentine label Random Records and is available wholesale - we have it!

With twelve of the fourteen tracks original compositions by group founder Sverre Indris Joner, this is one of the most creative offerings of recent times.

Track list

1) Felino
2) Victoriosa
3) Rivadavia
4) Electroqtango
5) 12 Tango
6) Regina
7) El llorón
8) Renacere
9) Misterienzo
10) Sin Piel
11) Astorlokefu
12) A fuego violento
13) Retrolanga
14) Mi viejo dolor


Julia Zenko (8,10)

Electrocutango - Adrenalina

Track list

  1. Vanguardia vieja
  2. Lejania
  3. Adrenalina
  4. Agua mansa
  5. Cambalache
  6. Tangle
  7. Cybertango
  8. Vencermeos
  9. El tango del gringo
  10. Milonga carioca
  11. Corralera
  12. Recostado en la vidriera
  13. Pugliando
  14. Yo soy María

Bajofondo Tango Club

In 2002, Bajofondo Tango Club burst onto the scene with this ground-breaking album. Made up of eight musicians, the group - initially a studio project only - is essentially the seemingly unlikely combination of the Argentine Gustavo Santaolla, famous for his film scores (Motorcycle Diaries) with the Uruguayian rock musician and producer Juan Campodónico.

The project they developed has been called tango meets electronica, but hear what Gustavo Santaolla has to say about their music:

We don’t like the label of electronica tango, because we don’t consider what we do to be either tango nor electronica. We believe we do music of the Rio de la Plata, and if you want to create a music that represents today’s sound of places like Buenos Aires and Montevideo – at least in our view - obviously genres such as tango, murga, milonga and candombe are going to be present, because they are part of the genetic-musical map of that part of the world. But the 40 years history of Argentine and Uruguayan rock, hip hop and electronica also are part of that map and the history of that place.

Fascinating stuff, but not tango, and not even trying to be tango. Read more at the band's myspace website.

There's no doubting the success and influence of this album which has sold more than 300,000 copies world-wide. Standout track: Mi corazón, the remixing of the gravelly voiced tango legend Roberto Goyeneche singing this verse from the Troilo classic La última curda:

Mi corazón me lleva / bajofondo / dónde el barro se subleva...
My hear is dragging me / down to the bottom / where the mud bubbles up...

Track list

  1. Montserrat
  2. En mí/Soledad
  3. Tangueros
  4. Mi corazón
  5. Maroma - Emilio Kauderer
  6. Perfume - Luciano Supervielle
  7. Vacío - Didi Gutman
  8. Esperándote - Moviola
  9. Naranjo en Flor
  10. Bruma - Moviola
  11. Exodo II
  12. Duro y parejo - Moviola
  13. Forma - Luciano Supervielle
  14. Sonido de la Milonga
  15. Av. de Mayo
  16. Ese Cielo Azul [*] - Luciano Supervielle

Bajofondo Remixed

Bajofondo's second album is an album of remixes from the "Bajofondo Tango Club" and "Supervielle" albums. With the mixing such a large part of each track, this feels like a new album and it's their funkiest yet but with most of the tracks going on for over five minutes, the novelty of each track tends to wear off before you've reached the end. More electronica than tango.

Track list

1. Perfume
2. Pulso
3. Monsterrat
4. Leonel el feo
5. Perfume
6. Pulso
7. Decollage
8. Miles de pasajeros
9. Mateo y cabrera
10. Mi corazón
11. Miles de pasajeros
12. Los tangueros

Bajofondo Tango Club - Mar Dulce

Bajofondo Tango Club try hard not to repeat themselves on their new album Mar Dulce. The album, recorded "live" in the studio, is more laid back feel than their previous outings and the long list of guests (see below) is more international than before: witness names such as including Elvis Costello and Nelly Furtado. Best track: the almost meditative Borges y Paraguay. This album is worth listening to, but is by no means a classic of the genre.

Check out also Omar's remix of Pa' Bailar on the Bajofondo website from the recent cd single of the same name - it's much better than the one on the album.

Track list

1. Grand Guignol
2. Cristal
3. Ya No Duele - Bajofondo Tango Club & Santullo
4. Hoy - Bajofondo Tango Club & Juan Subira
5. Pa' Bailar - Bajofondo Tango Club & Ryota Komatsu
6. Pulmon
7. Fairly Right - Bajofondo Tango Club & Elvis Costello
8. El Mareo - Bajofondo Tango Club & Gustavo Cerati
9. El Anden - Bajofondo Tango Club & Mala Rodriguez
10. Infiltrado
11. Borges Y Paraguay
12. Tuve Sol
13. No Pregunto Cuantos Son
14. Slippery Sidewalks - Bajofondo Tango Club & Nelly Furtado
15. Zitarrosa
16. Chiquilines - Bajofondo Tango Club & Lagrima Rios

© Michael Lavocah / 2000-2018