Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Thoughts on Music

I've listened to what we in the tango community term nuevo music long before I started dancing tango, in fact I started listening to dance music back when disco was all the rage.

Back in the early 90's, disco re-invented itself by calling itself techo. When I moved here in 1999, I used to scrounge the electronic/techno section at HMV looking for great techno music. Like tango music, not all of it sounds great.

In the '90's, Stephan Pompougnac released his first Hôtel Costes compilation. His third cd included the song "Last Tango in Paris" by the Gotan Project. When I started dancing tango, that connection was enough to push me in two ways. I purchased Gotan Project cds, but also purchased Stephan Pompougnac's compilations and individual cds as well.

That gave me a broad base to choose from when I started to create a playlist. But I discovered music for enjoyment doesn't always translate well to music for danceability. Techno music breaks into two categories: songs with a very regular beat, or songs with a very jazz inspired sound.

In my opinion, the jazz inspired nuevo music doesn't work for dancing tango. No beat or rhythm exists to latch on to. And the other, regular beat should never be confused with tango with its long sweeps and dramatic pauses. But they are perfect for the regularity of the milonga rhythms.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

I'm On

Tonight I dj for the first time. I have my playlist locked and loaded and my iPod (two actually, just in case) charged and ready to go. Right now, I'm listening again, just to make sure that my music choices will create that amazing tango connection we all know when we experience it. And to make sure the cortina only plays 30ish seconds of the song like it is supposed to.

Not only could I create the foundation for an amazing evening, I've also got the potential to wreck an evening for an entire group. And a group with visitors. Okay, breathing now. Reminding myself I can do this. Wow, the pressure.

But hey, if nothing else, I'd dance to this.

Monday, October 05, 2009


Looks like I'm going to take a small step sideways from the dance floor to the dj booth. Well, that might be a huge step. It won't be regular, only the occasional Sunday night for the practica. I have one night worth of music set up. This could be exciting. Or a bit like jumping into the deep end of a swimming pool when you don't know how to swim. My first night will either be October 18th (depending on whether the guest teacher also wants to dj) or October 25th. Cross your fingers and wish me luck.

Or come out and laugh--your choice.