The music that I love to dance to is the music of the fabulous orchestras of the Golden Age - Biagi, Calo, Canaro, Demare, D’Arienzo, Di Sarli, Troilo...but sadly many of the recordings are very scratchy and clouded by poor copying. Today’s technology allows for remastering and there are now many wonderful ‘clean’ copies of these greats sounding as they would to the Tangueros of the time when they were playing the dance halls of Buenos Aires.
Tinkering with recordings of the Golden Age by increasing the bass or changing the pitch does not improve the musical experience. Rather, as I found on the weekend at a popular milonga, it creates a thumping beat, that drowns the vocals and the melody - and gave me a thumping headache! I wasn’t the only one. When I retreated from the dance floor I found a group huddled in the foyer also escaping the DJ’s attack on the music.
Those who are new to tango (and this DJ is relatively new) sometimes find they need to increase the bass so they can follow…
This year's Milongueando in Buenos Aires in August is the 9th. An encuentro (meeting) rather than a Festival in the sense of great maestros and exotic performances. The organisers Susanna Miller and Maria Plazaola state on their website that "Everyone can dance milonguero-style tango. ...we teach students to enjoy the natural movement of the body and the dialogue that takes place in harmony with one's partner".
One of the teachers at this year's festival is Horacio Julian Prestamo. For those who love the milonguero-style of tango here is a fascinating interview - and a dance performance.
I just love it when I hear a new piece of tango/vals/milonga and I fall in love with it. This happened on the weekend when I heard and danced to the Australian Tango Festival Orchestra's faithful transposition of Miguel Calo's 'Suena'.
Owen Salome of Tangalo and The Australian Tango Festival Orchestra must be given the credit for this.
I have always been a Calo fan and his singers including and Raul Beron and Alberto Podesta are magic. Alberto Podesta performed and recorded more songs with more orchestras than any other tango singer and his recordings with Calo are outstanding.
You can read more about Calo on Keith Elshaw's website (I think it was Keith who told me Calo's was The Greatest Orchestra) and on totango.com
Unfortunately I don't have a recording of the ATFO playing 'Suena' but I did find it on youtube.