Rocket Science it ain’t

I have just been to an afternoon tango tea dance. I must say I thoroughly enjoyed it. I took some more women with me to help boost the numbers.
It did involve over an hours drive each way, but it was worth it. I only travelled this far because I knew the DJ, he plays a great mix of golden age music. He also manages to dig out some stuff that I have never heard before. Everyone seemed to enjoy it. Of course there were those there who don’t appreciate great tango and would dance to anything, so they would have enjoyed it anyway. However those of us with a taste of Buenos Aires in our blood loved every minute and I for one will seek out any venues where he is playing.
As my title suggests though, to play great music is not that difficult. Some have even said of me, that I play great music, and I never professed to be genius. You do not need to be an impresario or possessed of some great talent. What you do need though is work nd time. Playlists like this do not come by just grabbing a load of titles and slinging them in your computer.
You have to spend time listening to the music, listening to great tandas, and listening to the advice of other DJs. Then, and only then, spend hour after hour compiling your own tandas.
For those who do not bother with this effort, there is always the get out clause “There is only so much traditional tango you can play, so we play alternative”. John Tan, I think proved this wrong once and for all with a four and a half hour set, including many tunes not heard at other local milongas.
His set was truly great, and I agree difficult to match, but how about trying. Instead of throwing a load of rubbish tracks, sticking on a bit of Gotan (for the traditionalists LOL) or just saying “Good dancers can dance to anything” try listening to the good DJs and see how many pack their floors.
Then ditch the alternative rubbish and play Argentine Tango as it is meant to be, as it is played in Argentina and keep us old misery’s happy and give me something worth travelling for.

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4 Comments

Filed under milonga, Tango

4 responses to “Rocket Science it ain’t

  1. tangobob

    Big difference between the ability and desire. If I want to dance disco, then that is where I will go. If I go to a milonga I want, nay expect, the very best tangos. Thanks again for your comments Janis.

  2. tangobob

    Very true, but for we mere mortals, who have not grown up with the music, it is still a graft. Pleasurable work, maybe, but time consuming just the same.

  3. Well said, Bob. DJing is far easier that one often lead to believe, especially by the guides to DJing one finds on the internet.

    What you do need though is work and time. … Then, and only then, spend hour after hour compiling your own tandas.

    Actually that hard work is unnecessary once a DJ sufficiently knows the music – he/she simply improvises the tandas on the night,. Just as one improvises the dance.

  4. Good dancers can dance to anything, however, good tango dancers want the best of the orchestras’ recordings. We have the golden age recordings of jazz to appreciate, and the same goes for tango. Great music never goes out of style.

    It’s always worth an hour drive to dance to good music. It’s not worth walking across the street to hear rubbish.

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