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Gotan Project – La Revancha del Tango (2001)

June 5, 2014

[Album 319/1001]

On any list of ‘top 5 current TV characters,’ surely the name Ron Swanson must be included.

His dead-pan delivery on Parks & Recreation is hilarious, his moustache is legendary, his quotes are full of wit & wisdom.

A personal favourite, conveniently displayed in meme form:

never-half-ass-two-things-whole-ass-one-thing

I usually agree with the Pawnee Parks & Rec Director (and Nick Offerman, the actor who portrays him, though it’s sometimes tough to tell where the real person ends and the character begins!).

Listening to Gotan Project is one of the few times I disagree.220px-Gotanrevancha

For maximum enjoyment of La Revancha del Tango, I’d suggest listening half-ass while doing something else with the remainder of said ass.

For me, that’s not necessarily a knock against the album, it’s just a question of context.

Think of the dance from the album name, the tango.  It is a dance: the dancers don’t sit around listening intently to every note, they move with a partner to the music.

Ditto the other genre heard here, electronica.  I haven’t been frequenting many clubs recently (the schedule with a 2-month old doesn’t really lend itself to ‘clubbing’), but I don’t remember too many people standing around, quietly dissecting the instrumentation of a given song.  When In Da Club (thanks 50, rather fiddy, Cent), people dance.

There’s plenty of danceable material to work with here.  The combination of tango + electronica also gives it a unique feel.  It’s a pairing I didn’t expect would work so well and I’m pleased to report that for the past week, it’s been transforming our home kitchen into a lounge atmosphere!

The diminishing marginal returns provide another reason that this album works well in a supporting role: since I admittedly wasn’t dancing up a storm while listening, when listening attentively, I found the tango/electronica novelty peaked early.

A peak not unlike a Malcolm Gladwell book: he generally makes a clever argument early on, comparing seemingly unrelated things, but then proceeds to hammer the message home for 300+ pages.

Some may appreciate such repetition; I find once you’ve convinced me that you’re on to something, quit while you’re ahead.

So I will try to take my own advice and wrap it up before the novelty of my unlikely and (self-declared) clever pairing of Ron Swanson & Gotan Project wears thin.

Perhaps if Parks & Recreation focused exclusively on Ron Swanson, the character wouldn’t be as effective.  As a supporting player however, he shines.

As does Gotan Project, supporting dinners & dances with style since 2001.

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From → 2000s

12 Comments
  1. Who knew anyone would ever think of pairing Ron Swanson and Gotan Project in any context! I’m impressed. ;). Lounge music must indeed be meant to create an atmosphere first, indeed. The accordeon and the elegant vocals really give Gotan’s music a special sound though compared to usual electronic lounge music. BTW, do you remember the domination of Saint-Germain in the early 2000s? It used to play in EVERY restaurant, in Montréal at least: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r7YZqD7dZcQ

    • Thanks Jo!
      I didn’t recognize the name Saint-Germain at first, but after playing the link, that’s definitely familiar.

      Agreed about the accordion – after the first listen, I thought I’d be blogging mostly about its role on the album. But then I couldn’t get Ron Swanson out of my head so he ended up taking over the post instead!

      Thanks again for suggesting Gotan Project as a “G” worth exploring

  2. This is a great album! Not listened to it in a long while mind. If I have to pick any GP album my go-to one is always Lunático for some reason. Probably because it’s the first one I heard so have more of an emotional attachment to it 🙂

    • I can totally relate with most groups – even if other albums in the discography may be stronger overall, it’s tough to beat whatever your gateway album to that group was!

    • Just enjoyed your about page John – I agree, Librarians can be plenty metal!

      • Thank you sir! Still surprising that the stereotype for librarians (spinsters, always shushing you…) is alive and well in 2014 😉

      • My sister’s a librarian so I’m well aware of their many other talents beyond requesting quiet!

      • 😀 Excellent! Does she also have an extensive bookmark collection? I assumed it was a librarian thing but I’ve lately been advised that it’s just a “me thing”.

      • I would be surprised if she had a shortage of bookmarks!

  3. I’d like a review of the work of Swanson’s jazz saxophone alter-ego Duke Silver

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Astor Piazzolla & Gary Burton – The New Tango (1987) | 1001albumsin10years

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