1999 – aujourd'hui (18 ans)
Paris, Île-de-France, France
Gotan Project (Gotan = Tango en verlan) est un groupe de musique électronique mêlant tango et musique électronique.
Composé du français Philippe Cohen Solal (Boys from Brazil), du suisse Christop H. Müller (ancien membre du groupe Touch El Arab), et du guitariste argentin Eduardo Makaroff, le groupe publie en 2001 son premier album La Revancha del tango qui aura un succès planétaire immédiat.
En 2004, ils accompagnent Brigitte Fontaine sur une musique d'Astor Piazzola qui donne son nom au disque de la Reine des Kékés : Rue Saint-Louis en l'île. Cette même année, ils sortent leur deuxième album : Inspiración Espiración, qui est composé de remix et de tangos à goût funky.
En mai 2006, ils sortent leur troisième album, Lunático. Le nom de cet album vient du nom du cheval de course de Carlos Gardel. C'est la raison pour laquelle l'univers graphique de cet album est celui de l'hippodrome de Buenos Aires.
Depuis l'été 2006, Gotan Project est en tournée mondiale. Après des concerts à l'Olympia à Paris, à l'Opéra de Viennes et au Hollywood Bowl de Los Angeles, la tournée se prolonge en ce début d'année 2007 avec une série de concerts en Australie.
Interview Octobre 2008
1/ When did you come up with the idea of making a live album for Gotan Project? When we were touring with Gotan Project, we always had the idea in our mind that someday we would release a live album. We all have memories of live albums from some of our favorite artists, sometimes we would see them on stage and afterwards we wanted to feel the same vibe at home. Also, discovering an artist in the studio that we love, and then seeing their different approach with their sound on stage, and that is exactly what we tried to bring with the double album. In a way it’s very connected, of course, to the two albums, «la revencha del tango» and «lunatico», but it’s really more the approach that we had on stage, where as some things are more extreme, more radical sometimes in terms of production, or just different arrangements, or elements, and of course when everybody is on stage, the energy is different then in the studio, that’s why we thought it could be interesting for people that love our music to have that at home too. (philippe)
2/ Where did you record the shows of "La Revancha" and "Lunático"? The live of « la revancha » was recorded in London at The Forum, I think it was a night in December if I remember well. It was a good time to do it because we were sort of at the end of the tour, so we were really into the music, everybody knew the music well enough to be able to do something on stage even knowing that it was recorded. That being even a bit more stressful then a concert can be, I think it came out as a really, really good live recording. It was quite prepared, contrary to the « Lunatico » live that was recorded at a festival in Switzerland, in the beautiful country of Switzerland, which was at a festival so the conditions at a festival are always different, so I think the energy of the two live concerts are very different. The former one being in a beautiful venue, with a very clean sound, say a more concentrated atmosphere maybe, but the energy at the festival is very different, more high energy, I think you can just hear it you know, that its very different at the festival, with more people also, I dont remember how many people there were, but there was a lot of people at the festival. (christoph)
3/ In what ways does the live versions of "La Revancha" and "Lunático" differ from the studio version? Well, we three, we are studio animals, studio producers, we like very much to work in the studio, but when you play live there are objective and subjective differences. The objectives are the technical things, new arrangements for examples. The subjective difference is that you have to put all of you in each note when you are playing live. You have to be inspired and you have to put all your feeling in only one time, so it’s very, very different, you cannot go back. (eduardo)
I just thought, you know as eduardo said, we are sort of studio guys, we are kind of control freaks in a way. A big difference I think when live, there is less control, which is a nice thing about live and there’s more space for improvisation for everybody, even for ourselves, which is quite interesting for us too. So we play also with what the musicians do, so there is much more space for imrovisation and much less control in general, and I think thats one of the main differences between the studio album and the stage. (christoph)
4/ For people that havent seen Gotan Project live yet, what does the line up for
the "La Revancha" tour and the "Lunático" tour consist of? Which musicians are involved? On the first tour, the « la revancha del tango » tour, we were 7 on stage, Eduardo on guitar, Christoph and me were doing all the electronic weapons and there was of course the symbol of tango, the bandoneon, its like an accordeon but its a bandoneon, there was also accoustic piano, violin and the singer. For the 2nd tour, « lunatico », because the album was a bit different, less clubby but more about song writing, and mostly a new, big element, the string arrangement that we made with Gustavo Beytelmann in Argentina. Beytelmann arranged the strings for the « lunatico » album with the idea to make a tour after that. It worked very well on stage, but to make it work on stage we needed the strings . That’s why we hired a string quartet and the string quartet was the new element. After that, we were about ten on stage but it was fun. The string quartet was made up of beautiful women, so it was fun on tour too. (philippe)
5/ How many shows did you do on the tours of "La Revancha" and "Lunático"? For « la revencha del tango » tour we played more than 200 shows in 2 years. Which means more than 100 shows per year, which is a lot because it was all over the world. So, it means 100 shows a year plus the travel, so we spent almost 2 years on the road. A few years after, when we were on the « lunatico » tour, the tour was a bit shorter, maybe ‘cause we were a bit older, no, I’m joking but it’s because, I think, we wanted to make a bit of a shorter tour but we still played like150 shows, which is a lot.
6/ Where did you play (maybe just name the biggest cities, continents)? You can go on the gotanproject.com website for that information because we have played in Europe, Asia, in America, South America too……maybe we have to say where we didn’t play. We didn’t play in Africa. (eduardo)
Please don’t forget our Australian and New Zealand fans. (christoph)
Globally, if we can name some big cities where we played ; Moscow, St. Petersburg, Tokyo, Sydney, Melbourne, I dont know, L.A., New York, Miami, Seatle, Chicago, Detroit, I dont know, everywhere. (philippe)
Beirut, Tel Aviv, Istambul, Buenes Aires, Rio De Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Turquie, Scandinavia. England of course, Germany of course. Spain, Portugal, also even Paris, can you image that ? (all three gotans)
7/ What is the most memorable live show you have done on the "La Revancha" and the "Lunático" tour?
Why were they so memorable? Well, the first one that came to my mind was the Hollywood Bowl in Hollywood. It was an amazing concert and an amazing place to play. There were about 18,OOO people and there was also a great line up. I think we played with Matthew Herbert and Zero7, and it was full, it’s a magic place. It’s a place where so many great musicians have played, The Beatles and I think even Stravinsky. So, to play in such a place in a musicians career is unique, and you’ll always remember that. (christoph)
For me, it’s hard to remember just one or to pick just one, and say this is the one because I’ve got few strong memories. Like in America also, in San Fransisco when we played The Philmore, which is such a legendary place, when you see all the people who have played before you, you just shake, you’re scared but it was an unbelievable experience. Also, I was really thrilled to play in Amsterdam at the Paradisio, which is very important for me because my mother is dutch. I spent all my teenage years going to this church which became a place for concerts, a beautiful church, now a beautiful venue. To play there, after spending all my childhood going there and in front of my family was really strong. Also, of course Olympia, incredible place in Paris, so many, hard to say. (philippe)
I have a very nice souvenire also from Buenos Aires, also because my parents were there. The first time we played, inthe first tour, we played a theatre in London, I remember that as a great thing for me. (eduardo)
8/ What makes the "Gotan Live" album special? Maybe what makes the Gotan live album so special, except for the fact that it’s live, is that there’s also music that’s not on any records. So there’s unreleased stuff, either our own material or we cover other artists on stage, some other tracks, and I think that’s part of what makes it also very special. We also use quite a lot of quotes. So that’s, all the stuff to discover when listening to that. (christoph)
On each cd you have a bonus track, which we are really happy that we recorded and really proud that we did it because, you know Gotan Project brings something from the past and tries to bring it to the present, in a way, in a kind of futuristic way. This time, for the bonus track, we decided to take something from our new tracks and bring it back to the past. So, we decided to cover ourselves, to record « santa maria », our hit, if we have one, and « differente » which is another hit from Gotan Project, and it was arranged again by Gustavo Beytelmann in a very old style way, like a tango orchestra in the 50s. It sounds a bit like the 50s tango from Argentina and it’s perfect for the people who dance tango because it’s exactly what the people are dancing to in the milongas, tango night. In a way, it’s a bit dedicated to all the people who are dancing tango all over the world. (philippe)
9/ On the Live-DVD which was released in 2007 we could see that Gotan Project
is working with many visual elements, could you explain what´s the special relationship
of Gotan Project with visuals? From the very begining of Gotan Project and even before, with Christoph, we were doing the Boys from Brazil, and from the begining of Ya Basta !, there was a strong connection with an artist named Prisca Lobjoy. With Gotan Project, the work we have done, our approach was to propose a kind of different vision on tango music, try to avoid all the clichés that you can find musically or visually, and we try to bring something new, a new form in a way, but keeping the essence of tango, you know, keeping the spirit of this music. Prisca visually, she did the same, she extract the essence of tango, the feeling you have in this music and changed the form and avoiding the clichés. From the very begining, when we started to go on stage, it was very obvious that we would do something more then a simple concert. It was important to do a show, a kind of multi-media show, where music and video are totally connected. We try to bring the audience a sort of musical, visual…..like a sensitive trip. You know, when the people are coming to see Gotan project on stage, they enter for two hours on a sort of trip, going from Paris to Buenes Aires, back and forth, and it’s musically and visually that we express that. (philippe)
Ive always liked bands that experiment with images as well as the music, my background is more electronic music, and most of those people experimented also with visuals to try to create a strong image, different. Especially, I think at the time the idea was to have a difference with rock bands, who were just on stage playing music and shaking long hair. They came also from an art background, people like Talking Heads, or the idea to bring other art forms also into the music and thats when Prisca came in perfectly because she has a contemporary art background and so this was just a great combination. (christoph)
10/ Who created the visuals? The videos are made, created, and directed by Prisca Lobjoy. As Christoph said, she is coming from contemporary art, and she was a painter, a video graphist, a photographer. She also did the video for « differente » and she did our photographs on tour, particularly in Australia and New Zealand, and some other countries. She made a book of photographs which show Gotan Project more backstage because we are, I dont know if we are shy, or too humble, no, I think, we are more, we like the mystery you know and we always wanted to bring a sort of mystery to Gotan Project. That’s why at the beginging of the first tour we were hidden behind a screen, a mysterious live show. We never put our face on the sleave cover. It’s the first time we are more shown on this photo book, so Prisca was the perfect person to do that. (philippe)
She’s a very good person. (eduardo)
11/ And how are the visuals developed? Is the music first and then the visuals are created? The visuals are developped on the music. It makes sence, the images are not especially sinked to the music, its not like a video clip. Its much more poetic, you could put the images on any point of the track, it would work. It works a lot on the imagination of people, how they connect music and images in their brain, it is quite magical. Anyone who has ever tried to put different music on the same images know the different impact it has. She does it afterwards but does not cut it on the music, in a way its much more open, more mysterious, and more poetic. (christoph)
12/ What is the "Gotan Object" all about? As it says on the box, it is the world of Gotan Project in a box, so what is the world of Gotan Project? It’s about music, visuals of course, and because we are in a moment where the music is changing, not the music, but the medium is changing. We lost the vinyl, we are losing the cd and now it’s about mp3 and everything like that. We wanted to bring back, in a way, to the roots of the last century. That’s why we have some traditional mediums, like a book, a very old medium but we have also 7 inch vinyl, where you can listen to the 50s version of Gotan Project, also an exclusive poster, like a kind of puzzle, a funny poster, and a DVD, of course, a dvd that Prisca created. It’s the DVD of some tracks that you can see on stage, on stage you have visuals on screen and it is extremly artsy and creative. I’m sure the fans will be very, very happy to have it at home, because it’s a dvd you can even use if you have a party with friends, you can have it on the screen, it can be really nice, even if you play another music, of course you can play it with our music but it can be like, sort of a moving painting. So, yeah, it’s about that, music and visuals, and it’s exactly the world of Gotan Project. (philippe)
13/ What are Gotan Projects further plans? Will there be a new album? Our plans for now is to go on tour, this exclusive tour. We play a few capitals only, not more then 15 shows. We play in Berlin, in Amsterdam, also Paris, London, Rome, Barcelona, Lisbon, some other cities, so it’s gonna be fun. We’re going to present the new kind of show where we are mixing the two, « la revend el tango » and « lunatico » cinematography and tracks. So it’s going to be a two hour show with some surprises, it’s going be very interesting, I think, for the people who know Gotan Project on stage but also interesting for the people who never saw Gotan Project. After, we are going to take some holidays, then we’re going to start in January to record the new album, mostly to compose and produce, and we have a lot of work to do but we are very excited to do that. It’s been now a long time since we came back in the studio to create an album. Last time, was a funny experience, we did it between Paris and Buenes Aires. This time its going to be in Paris and maybe Buenes Aires or maybe somewhere else, I don’t know. We talk a lot about that, we are really bringing ideas together and its exactly how we always work. It’s kind of a special chemistry between the three people and after, all the musicians involved in that, this is the plan. (philippe)
Sans oublier la sortie du nouvel album : Tango 3.0 et l'annonce d'une nouvelle tournée 2010 à travers l'Europe. Avec comme point de passage qui s'annonce déjà culte: le Sziget Festival !
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