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In November 2005, just minutes before THE GOTAN PROJECT were due

onstage at the Gran Rex theater in central Buenos Aires, Argentina,

band guitarist and native Argentine Eduardo Makaroff, summed it all

up in one key quote: "The lyrics of many of the famous tango

songwriters would always talk about going back to this city, and so

we're returning to the South and to the place that's in our hearts."

Seven months previous, Eduardo and fellow Gotan producers, Parisian

Philippe Cohen Solal and Swiss-born Christoph H. Müller, had flown

from their homes in Paris to record the new album, Lunático, in

Buenos Aires' prestigious Studio ION - the famed venue where tango

greats such as Astor Piazzolla had once laid down their aural magic to

vast reel-to-reel tape machines.

Sitting in on the sessions with them were a host of local session

musicians: a complete string section, two emcees, one trombonist, and

Argentine piano legend and long-time Gotan collaborator Gustavo

Beytelmann, conducting much of the musical goings on.

Five years on from breaking new ground in tango and electronica with

their debut, La Revancha del Tango, now having sold in excess of a

million copies worldwide, and shows from Tel Aviv to Tokyo and anywhere in

between, the band now had to concentrate on the small matter of developing the

public's longstanding love affair with

tango.

"We really wanted to explore both tango and folkloric music from

Argentina a lot further than we had before," says Philippe. "That's

why many of the tracks are really classically tango-orientated, very

traditional patterns that people like (Anibal) Troilo would use."

The resulting material from those sessions was quite possibly

their most accomplished work yet. Not wanting to replicate any of

what La Revancha had originally achieved musically, Philippe,

Christoph, and Eduardo subsequently flew back to Paris two weeks later

to begin the second leg of work on Lunático - named, quite

appropriately, after tango hero Carlos Gardel's champion racehorse of

the 1930s.

Fellow collaborators Argentine bandoneónist Nini Flores and

Barcelona-based vocalist Cristina Vilallonga joined up with them at

their Substudioz back in the French capital and thus began the

completion, hidden under top secrecy, of Lunático.

With a decidedly stronger emphasis on the more organic roots of tango,

almost to a classical level, Lunático has taken one step backwards

in order to move two steps forward in what not only the Gotan Project,

but also many of Argentina's top tango musicians see as the

progression of their beloved music's ever-evolving lifespan.

"Recording this album was a more natural process for us all," Philippe

adds, "as we wanted to continue the tango experience and in ten years'

time hopefully we'll still feel the same."

07/06

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