Gotan Project is a musical group based in Paris, consisting of musicians Eduardo Makaroff (Argentine), Philippe Cohen Solal (French) and Christoph H. Müller (Swiss, former member of Touch El Arab).
Gotan Project formed in 1998. Their first release was "Vuelvo Al Sur/El Capitalismo Foráneo" in 2000, followed by the album La Revancha del Tango in 2001. Their music involves tango, but also uses elements such as samples, beats, and breaks.
Live material was also broadcast on Gilles Peterson's world music show Worldwide on BBC Radio 1 in May 2004. Philippe Cohen Solal has also released a DJ set: Inspiración Espiración - A Gotan Project DJ Set Selected & Mixed by Philippe Cohen Solal (2004). This album is a compilation of classic tangos from the likes of Aníbal Troilo, Ástor Piazzolla and Gotan Project remixes. The album also includes a bonus CD with the track "La Cruz del Sur" - which was meant to be included on La Revancha del Tango, but did not make the cut in 2001.
Before Gotan Project:
Eduardo Makaroff arrived in France in the early 90s to develop Argentine tango music, he performed with his band "Mano a Mano".
Christoph Müller and Philippe Cohen Solal formed a duo called Boyz from Brazil.
The name of the trio is a play on the name of a famous tango compilation album that featured several American classical musicians who came together to record a tango album, originally released in 1982. This album, called the Tango Project, includes a rendition of Carlos Gardel's and Alfredo Le Pera's "Por Una Cabeza" which had been featured in movies such as Schindler's List, Scent of a Woman and True Lies.
Following the renewed success of the "Tango Project" album, the modern trio then decided to give themselves a name that paid tribute to the "Tango Project", this time using a form of word play called "vesre" that is very common in Lunfardo, an argot of Rioplatense Spanish. This wordplay involves, in the simplest cases, moving the last syllable to the beginning of the word ("vesre" itself is "reves"--the Spanish word for "reverse"--with the second syllable in first). Thus, the word Tango becomes Gotan, the name the trio have chosen for their project in reference to the hugely successful Tango Project album which helped popularize tango music once again.
Use in Popular Culture:
The song "Santa Maria (del Buen Ayre)" from the La Revancha del Tango album was featured as the music for the main dance sequence in the 2004 movie Shall We Dance?, with Jennifer Lopez and Richard Gere. American gymnast Alicia Sacramone used an excerpt of the piece for her floor routine in international competition, including the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, while teammate Samantha Peszek set her routine to their rendition of "Whatever Lola Wants". Their music has been featured in American television shows Nip/Tuck, Sex and the City, Brothers & Sisters and Chuck, as well as the 2003 Swedish documentary on consumerism, Surplus, and the 2004 documentary on worker-led factory occupation in Argentina, The Take. In 2004, they recorded a little-known Piazzolla piece with Brigitte Fontaine: "Rue Saint-louis-en-l'île." In late 2006 the track "Epoca" from the La Revancha del Tango album was featured in The Truth About Charlie and also UK television advertisements for Boots, directed by David LaChapelle. Epoca has also featured in commercials for Finish dishwashing detergent in the United States and Australia, and for the Portuguese Fox Broadcasting Company series commercials. Their music has also been featured on several episodes of the UK hit TV show, Top Gear. "Epoca" is currently used in the Finish Jet Dry dish detergent ad background.
In 2004, another track from the album "La Revancha del Tango" was featured in a motion picture, this time in the movie "Ocean's Twelve". The song "El Capitalismo Foraneo" starts playing at the end of the scene where Catherine Zeta-Jones' character interrogates "Matsui", played by Robbie Coltrane.
In 2010, "Santa Maria (del Buen Ayre)" was again featured in a motion picture: Knight and Day, an action comedy film starring Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz.
In April 2012, the band appeared for the first time on US network television on Dancing With The Stars, taking part in the "Results Show".