Gotan Project — Inspiración-Espiración

Gotan Project’s La Revancha Del Tango came out in 2001, with a small fanfare of publicity about its blend of Argentinian tango and dub-lite hip-hop beats. It was a little too conservative to be as innovative as billed, but that made it a natural match for the downtempo coffee-table market. After a thorough amount of licensing it was everywhere, as viewers of the BBC’s slickly stylized crime series Hustle can attest. We’re not talking about Moby levels of saturation marketing, but there was a certain point at which it seemed to become part of London’s collective mental furniture.

Inspiración-Espiración is a mix by Philippe Cohen Solal, one of the three French musicians-DJs at the heart of Gotan Project (along with a number of Argentinean musicians in Paris). On one level, it’s more of the same, with the new Gotan tracks and assorted tangos fitting the mould. The reworking of Chet Baker’s “Round About Midnight” remains tidy and tasteful, eschewing even the bendy crispness of the Sarah Vaughan remix that they contributed to the Verve Remixed series.

But it does include a handful of remixes that were on some editions of La Revancha Del Tango. Those by Pepe and Bradock and Peter Kruder (in solo and Peace Orchestra guise) club things up a bit; Antipop Consortium’s “El Capitalismo Foraneo” and Al-Shid’s “M.A.T.H.” (produced by J-Zone around a classical sample) put some edge on the mix. But there’s not much to disrupt the easily-accessible vibe. If you liked the tastefulness and sedate pace of La Revancha Del Tango, there’s probably something here for you.

Gotan Project, Inspiración-Espiración

(XL, 2004)