The haphazard DJ

Recently I have attended milongas where there does not seem to be any rhyme or reason to the music that is being played.  It is almost as if the DJ stuck a pin in the playlist and decided what would come next. I like to organise my playlist before the milonga and I also like to balance the music and give those who love to dance to milonga and vals more than one chance to enjoy. Everyone does not do this, and some it seems don't have any idea of what they are going to play and 'wing it'. Maybe they think that the DJ who 'reads' the floor does a better job and caters to the dancers more, but unless they really are 'reading' the floor and not socialising and dancing as well as DJing it seems it is a real hit and miss affair. DJs who concentrate on their djing - and there are those in Sydney who do and who put the music together as the night goes on - really do try to match the mood of night with their dancers, though sometimes this can mean they don't play a vals or milonga when dancers expect it.
I also find it difficult to enjoy dancing when the tango starts out with an early Canaro instrumental, goes to Canaro with Maida and finishes with Canaro with something recorded in 1963, for example  - there is no mood.
This is just me wondering really... because at these milongas with the haphazard DJs the floors were well populated and no-one else, apart from those at my table, sat out because they didn't like the music! It is making me wonder just how important the music is? Is it that dancing with friends, or being seen is more important?

Comments

Wow, I am really surprised to hear that obviously in some of the milongas you've attended there were no tanda cycle like TTVTTM or others (T - Tango Tanda, V - Vals Tanda, M - Milonga Tanda), no cortinas and not even a structure of tandas. I really thought, that using tandas & cortinas is by no standard in every traditional milonga all over the world.

I am DJ'ing in Europe on festivals, marathons and regular milongas and I really like to "read" the floor in order to choose the right tanda for that particular moment. You can even read more about me and my DJ'ing at Supersabino's blog: DJ Bärbel Rücker | Tanzbar - Interview by Supersabino.
Many greetings from Copenhagen,
Bärbel Rücker | Tanzbar
Tango SEQ Seq said…
I'm happy to construct a playlist in advance and keep a watch on the floor as the night proceeds. I generally begin with up to 4 Tango brackets (of 3), followed by milonga / vals. After that TTTVM (or MV) with more vals / milonga towards the end to keep the energy up. Slower brackets during the peak hour. Australians seem to respond to tandas of 3, especially if there is a male / female imbalance. If the energy falls I will lift the energy with a few reserve tandas.
It is very beneficial to buy good quality music, not under the counter rubbish from BsAs DJ's and old El bandoneon CD's, and use a quality sound system with plenty of bass, preferably with a good quality 18" sub.
Anonymous said…
The cortina is very important.

Some cortinas really energise the room. I finish one tanda and can't wait to find a partner for the next. And stay till the very last.

Others are so dreary they make me weep into my beer.

I did a lot of weeping the other night, and left early. bleugh.

M.

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