For La Revancha, Gotan programmers Philippe Cohen Solal and Christoph H. Müller enlisted guitarist Eduardo Makaroff and a crew of his fellow Paris-based Argentine musicians to carry tango across the electronica threshold and into conjugal bliss. This May-December marriage works miraculously well: It turns out that funky, dubbed-out breakbeat arrangements perfectly suit the minor-key instrumentation of the tango. Pianist Gustavo Beytelmann effortlessly rides the snappy, up-tempo rhythm of "Tríptico" and the African percussion of "La del Ruso," while Nini Flores dapples breathy tones on the accordionlike bandoneon around chanteuse Cristina Villalonga's wearied vocals on "Una Música Brutal." Solal and Müller's expert arrangements -- which combine subtly powerful beats and grounded bass lines -- round off each tune.
La Revancha del Tango's success may be due in part to the fact that its key elements are outlaw fodder for generations past. Two decades before the cops started shutting down raves in the '90s, the tango musicians on this album fled Argentina's military junta. As Gotan Project's music crosses stylistic, geographical and temporal boundaries in an effort to yank us Yankees onto the dance floor, we could do a lot worse than accept their invite.