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'Lunatico': Tango for a New Generation

The Gotan Project performs, with the bandoneon taking center stage.
Prisca Lobjoy
The Gotan Project performs, with the bandoneon taking center stage.

By the 1960s, the tango -- born of a union of sin and salvation in Buenos Aires early in the 20th century -- had become something of a ballroom relic.

Now the sound of the tango is enticing a new generation, thanks in part to the musicians of the Gotan Project.

The group's latest CD, Lunatico, takes up from where the group left off in their debut CD three years ago, La Revancha Del Tango.

Tango was never a respectable music, perhaps because of its mixed heritage and bordello beginnings. Its signature instrument, the accordion-like bandoneon, was created in Germany as a cheap alternative to the church organ.

But when it reached the brothels of the Argentine capital, its character was quickly redefined.

Music created by the instrument flavored a decadent after-hours lifestyle. The erotically charged dance inflamed the ire of prudes worldwide, yet it flourished and became a staple in ballrooms everywhere.

The three core members of Gotan Project -- Phillipe Cohen Solal and Christoph Muller from France, and Eduardo Makaroff from Argentina -- are self-proclaimed tango addicts with a deep respect for the music's heritage.

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Derek Rath