Album Review: Plaza Francia Orchestra – Plaza Francia Orchestra [Because Music; September 2018]

Plaza Francia presents Plaza Francia Orchestra on the Because Music label, September 2018.

Born of the critically acclaimed success story that is Gotan Project, Eduardo Makaroff and Christoph H. Muller volunteer themselves for this inventive new venture. Following a succession of previous masterful albums, La Revancha del Tango, Lunatico and Tango 3.0 complete with electro-throbbing remixes upon tasteful genre and cultural integrations, Gotan is, therefore, a challenging outfit to follow.

The opening track, ‘Dedos de Oro’, is a thoroughly masterful introduction to the album. The distinct Latin derivatives passionately declare themselves upon this piece. Following tracks are inconsistent; the amalgamation of genres are gutsy although somewhat poor, with an approach to production involving a 1980s disco popping drum machine that disrupts a flawless orchestral overhaul, comprised with a multitude of accomplished instrumentalists within the Argentinian strain. This unfortunate snag in arrangement feels plastic, insufficient, and offensive to the senses in contrast with Gotan’s electro-Latin success. Arrebato’ and ‘Te Prohibo’ both possess these distinctions, a distasteful juxtapose of genre, and an ill-fitted layering of time and innovation.

Despite the risks and pitfalls in production and arrangements levied upon these tracks, the prominent sounds of the bandoneon small button accordion, representative of the Latin tradition, elegantly sustain the spirit of Tango, and with a suggestive overtone, this Paris based ensemble are applauded for their ability to specifically facilitate furious dancing alongside a love of movement and desire. And what’s more, the album is blessed with arousing vocal arrangements that are symbolic of its genre, with a background of inherent historical importance within popular music, and is vaguely reminiscent of an exotic post-coital embrace.