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World Music CD Reviews Greater Latin America

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Gotan Project
Inspiración-Espiración
Beggar’s XL

By MARIE ELSIE ST. LÉGER

Published January 25, 2006

Philippe Cohen Solal, one-third of Gotan Project (2001’s La Revancha Del Tango), returns with Inspiración-Espiración, a DJ set comprising a couple of new tracks as well as remix work by GP and other producers. Solal rarely makes a false move here, mining his resources—hip-hop, dub, disco, tango—with admirable cleverness. The set never bores: Tango still forms the musical foundation, but Solal & Co. reach beyond Buenos Aires for material. Chet Baker’s ’50s jazz-cool inspires Gotan Project’s take on “Round About Midnight.” Another winner, the GP original “Confianzas,” features an emotionally restrained reading of Juan Gelman’s poetry (by actress and Almodóvar favorite Cecilia Roth) over a gentle hip-hop beat. Domenica Cura’s “Percussion (Part 1),” recorded by the virtuoso in 1975, provides a rumbling Afro-Caribbean break. One unfortunate inclusion: Al-Shid’s “M.A.T.H.,” containing the worst of rap’s traits: self-loathing (the insistent use of the n word) and misogyny. Rap has better, more intelligent representatives.

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