You are no doubt familiar with the various British invasions that New York City has experienced in music. However, a quieter invasion is underway from France. It started at Terminal 5 on West 56th in 2010 and it looks like it will continue as long as Gotan Project wants it to.
Gotan Project has done the nearly impossible. It has come up with something new in music. Founded by Philippe Cohen Solal, Eduardo Makaroff, and Christoph H. Müller, this group has had the audacity to combine the genres of Tango, Electronica, Nu jazz, Dub, and Trip-hop.
That said, those genres do not come close to describing this band’s sound. The labels may serve critics who like to categorize music, but Gotan Project has created something so genuine it should get its own genre.
It is at once sexy and laid-back, inventive and reliable, and entertaining without trying too hard. Their patience with a riff rivals ambient music, but their moments of sudden sexuality tell you this stuff is not made up. These people are innovators on purpose.
Their Napolean-like march around the world has helped this French group conquer fans throughout Europe, South America and increasingly the United States. It’s as if they tapped into a previously unfed hunger for something smart with heart.
You would be well-advised to latch onto this band now, because this time next year there will be 4,337 bands that copy them. You still have time to tell people at parties that your favorite band is Gotan Project and receive wondering admiration for your hipness.
Directions for your first listen:
- Download or buy a whole album (they have several).
- Hit “play.”
- Do something else. Don’t pay attention, don’t study them, don’t compare them to anything, just breathe.
- After twenty minutes, notice that they are breathing with you.
Once in a while a type of music comes along that is essential, that makes you wonder why no one did it before. Gotan Project is that kind of music. They don’t wear you out with invention, but they don’t bore you with convention.
It’s impossible to imagine a concert of this stuff, so keep an open mind as they play New York City venues in 2013. Your best bet is to take a date from that party where you first mentioned Gotan Project and hope you both get it. Either way, if Gotan Project is playing you will get lucky that night.