On this blog's first post, when I reviewed Bajofondo's "Mar Dulce" I bluntly declared that the whole electronic tango fad was over. It's been over two years since that statement and I stick with it. Not that I dislike it, or anything, and yes, I think there's still a lot to be explored in tango music; it's just that it lost its novelty factor and the whole let's-grab-an-old-third-world-music-genre-let's-sample-it-and-add-some-downtempo-electronic-breaks-to-it is just too 2001.
I admit it, back then I was the first one to jump in excitement every time a new electro-bossa nova, electro-flamenco, electro-bhangra, electro-whatever came out; and being Argentinean, when I first heard Gotan Project's La Revancha Del Tango it totally blew my mind and it became my favorite album for a couple of years (I even bought it twice, in CD and vinyl, and I can count with the fingers of one hand the albums that deserved such a privilege). Then in 2006 they returned with Lunático where I was actually indirectly involved because I personally hooked them up with the rappers from Koxmoz for that amazing collaboration that became the album's second single. I loved it. But right at the same time Lunático was coming out, the market was getting flooded with an infinite avalanche of clones, many of them wack. Soon it was saturated and I said it, this is over.
Honestly, if you asked me back in 2008 I would've bet that Gotan Project was never gonna come back for a third album. The last time I talked to Gotan's Eduardo Makaroff while having sushi in Downtown SF during their tour he even wasn't sure of the future of the group. I left thinking about the stagnation of tango's evolution, the attack of the clones and the wishes of Gotan members I assume would have to break off the formula and experiment beyond the restrictions imposed by the group's name. I thought that with Lunático they had reached a peak and from there on it'd definitely be downhill, it'd be better to call the quits before that, before they became another clone... of themselves.
But Gotan Project is back, they decided to give it a third try and got me totally by surprise with another impecable opus with the great quality they got us used to, but at the same time, repeating pretty much a lot of the stuff they have already done before. Don't get me wrong, I still love them, and I really enjoyed listening to this, but does it add anything to the evolution of new tango that they unleashed with La Revancha? Not really. In fact, I even think Lunático was more progressive. This new 3.0 sounds to me more like 1.0 because it goes back to many of the formulas used in their debut, that since then had turned into genre cliches.
I get it that tango is in essence a nostalgic music style. But is it right that this gives me the feeling of nostalgia for 2001?
GOTAN PROJECT - La Gloria from Ya Basta records on Vimeo.