Squawk Radio

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Liz on the Perfect Music for Your Next Sexy Dance Event

If you saw the movie “Shall We Dance?” then you’ve already heard Gotan Project. Their song, “Santa Maria (Del Buen Ayre)” is the incredibly sexy number to which Richard Gere and Jennifer Lopez dance when she’s helping him practice for the big dance competition. The song has this sensual, European/Latin, 1930s feel to it, right down to the old-fashioned radio vocals. After hearing that song in the movie, I immediately consulted iTunes to find out who recorded it. Ultimately, in addition to buying the soundtrack for “Shall We Dance?” I bought “La Revancha del Tango,” the Gotan Project CD which contains “Santa Maria.”

The reason the music sounds so European/Latin is because the three members of Gotan Project are natives of France, Switzerland and Argentina. You may have noticed that Gotan is “tango” with its syllables switched, and that’s where the group found its musical roots. Though they’ve updated the sound with elements of electronica (and even hip-hop influences, to a lesser extent), they’ve somehow also kept this very authentic, traditional feel to the music. Barcelona-based vocalist Cristina Vilallonga only enhances that with her provocative, smoky jazz-club voice. (Though many of the songs are instrumental.) The group records both original tunes and covers of traditional tangos. And all of it is just wonderful.

If you want sexy music, this is it, baby. Maybe its the whole Latin/Parisian feel, or maybe it’s the slower tempo, or maybe it’s the 1930s thing, or maybe it’s the fact that the songs are longer in length than much of what’s out there. (“Triptico,” for example, is over eight minutes long.) But when you put Gotan Project on the CD player, essentially what you’re doing is sliding on a slinky dress, strapping on sexy high heels, and tucking a hothouse flower behind your ear. Then you’re headed off to the nearest dance hall to meet a dark-haired, dark-eyed man in a perfect tux--probably named Eduardo or Raoul. Next thing you know, you’re in his arms, bent backward in a perfectly executed tango dip. And suddenly, the room and the music--among other things--are getting very, very warm...

If you visit gotanproject.com, you’ll get an EXCELLENT feel for the group’s work, along with the opportunity to view a video of the song “Diferente” from their latest CD, “Lunatico,” which just hit stores this month. The music and visuals mesh beautifully and illustrate perfectly what Gotan Project does best. Speaking for myself, I’m headed out this week to buy it. I could use a little sexy dancing in a slinky dress with a guy named Raoul. But then, couldn't we all?

Elizabeth Bevarly, 12:00 PM