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.