Gotan Project ‘Live’ 2CD (Ya Basta) 4/5

Gotan Project’s live recordings are something of a cause celebre (for essential viewing see their previous live DVD which is an ideal accompaniment)and the combination of acoustic instrumentation and electronic beats have resulted in a cult fan base and a welcome re-invigoration of the classic tango sound that is already enjoying a renaissance in its native Argentina. This new offering captures two separate live performances from distinct tours, one resulting the first album during a concert in London in 2003, and the second from a more recent live gig in Switzerland, 2007, focusing on the ‘Lunatico’ album. In luxurious digipak format with gatefold sleeve, the recordings are every bit at stylish as the ever inventive packaging. With only one noteable change in the line up for the latest tour, this being a new pianist Lalo Zanelli, the sound is remarkably good for a live session and consistently strong throughout. There are no less than three separate versions of their signature tune ‘Santa Maria(Del Buen Ayre) and two versions of the latest dancefloor hit ‘Diferente’ with a faithful rendition of ‘Triptico’. As an introduction to the group’s distinctive sound, this is exemplary music.

Tim Stenhouse