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Taken from Actual News Magazine (Apr 07, 2024)

Philippe Cohen Solal of Gotan Project releases "75010", an album tribute to his Parisian neighborhood

Philippe Cohen Solal lives in one of the most cosmopolitan districts of Paris, the 10th arrondissement. In his new album, which brings together many guest voices, he wanted to make it the soundtrack.

by Actual News Magazine

Coverart by Ya Basta. (JOEL SAGET / AFP)
The musician and producer Philippe Cohen Solal, in Paris, April 2, 2024. And the cover of his new album "75010" published by Ya Basta. (JOEL SAGET / AFP)

Producer, DJ, pioneer, composer for cinema... One of the co-founders of the Gotan Project trio, Philippe Cohen Solal, has lived a thousand lives without ever leaving the mixed-race district of Paris, that of the 10th arrondissement, which has nourished his inspiration and irrigates his new opus called 75010 (Ya Basta Records).

"It's not always necessary to record the whole world, it's there my whole world. I wanted to make the soundtrack for the 10th", summarizes the sixty-year-old of Dutch-Tunisian origin, from a cafe in this popular district of the Right Bank.

An album where the guests jostle

This neighborhood is a small precipitate of globalization where African hairdressers, Indian restaurants, Turkish barbers and Parisian bohemians mix. It is this patchwork that his new opus celebrates, through a wandering where we meet Charlelie Couture, a singer-rapper (Jodie Coste), Turkish rappers (Uzay), the Kurdish musician Rusan Filiztek, the actress Judith Chemla and opera singer of Iranian origin Ariana Vafadari.

"Great theories in the salons, in the air a scent of Revolution, yet the same ones who speak of equality and justice, defend profits and speculation", says (more than he sings) CharlElie Couture on Here, it's like that and his melancholy trumpet.

It is in his studio nestled a stone's throw from New Morning that Philippe Cohen Solal produced this album. The same place where he recorded one of the world sound anthems of the 2000s with Gotan Project. Published in 2001, The Revenge of Tango swept across the globe mixing electro and Argentinian music. More than ten years of touring and three albums have forever marked this sound archivist, who owns 17,000 records.

"It was an explosion. You hear your music all over the world even though it was all done at home", he says. "You walk on water. But that's where the egos start to rise". The trio will eventually break up with losses and fracas and related legal fees.

Lover of "musical slaps"

Before Hurricane Gotan, this autodidact resistant to authority had been a punk in Jerusalem in his adolescence, a radio host, musical supervisor of films by Lars Von Trier and Krzysztof Kieslowski or artistic director at Polydor, a job he "hated"."You had to listen to everything just to identify the commercial potential, that's not my thing", he said. He himself thought that Gotan Project, which has sold more than 3 million albums, was going to do "a flop".

Cohen Solal does not lack flair but music is, above all, a business for him.slaps"artistic, successively delivered by punk, the jazz-rock of the Mahavishnu Orchestra, ska, trap and techno.

Another one "slap" seized him at the end of the 80s. In the Halles district, he was attracted by a street guitarist who took up Starfish and Coffee by Prince. "I find it incredible": Cohen Solal has just discovered Keziah Jones. Through persistence, he landed him his first contract and the two artists have never left each other. Last year they published Class of 89 to celebrate their friendship.




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