Friday, January 1, 2016

Welcome to "TOTW"

Welcome to "Tanda of the Week"!  A tanda of tango music will be uploaded on the blog once a week for your listening and dancing pleasure. This blog was created to educate dancers about tango and the orchestras of the golden era and beyond, as well as to share tandas and create discussion between dancers and dj's about good tango to dance to. This is a non-profit tango blog but if you wish you can support the blog by donations on Paypal.

Most of the tandas on the blog are by Dj Antti Suniala but tandas from guest dj's are welcome too! Below you will find a list of the most important orchestras featured on TOTW and a link to the tandas to listen to from each orchestra. For more information about the orchestras you can study the articles on the Todo Tango website. On www.tango.info you can find very useful listings of recordings from all the orchestras. Welcome and I hope you enjoy the blog!

For DJ gigs and workshops please contact me at dj@anttisuniala.com
Also have a look at my promotional DJ profile and my tour dates!

- DJ Antti Suniala


Biagi, Rodolfo - TOTW - Todo Tango - tango.info - TangoTunes - iTunes Store
Calo, Miguel - TOTW - Todo Tango tango.info - iTunes Store
Canaro, Francisco - TOTW - Todo Tango - tango.info - iTunes Store
D'Agostino, Ángel - TOTW - Todo Tangotango.info - TangoTunes - iTunes Store
D'Arienzo, Juan - TOTW - Todo Tango tango.info - TangoTunes - iTunes Store
De Angelis, Alfredo - TOTW - Todo Tango - tango.info - iTunes Store
Demare, Lucio - TOTW - Todo Tangotango.info - iTunes Store
Di Sarli, Carlos - TOTW - Todo Tangotango.info - TangoTunes - iTunes Store
Donato, Edgardo - TOTW - Todo Tangotango.info - iTunes Store
Fresedo
, Osvaldo - TOTW - Todo Tangotango.info - iTunes Store
Laurenz, Pedro - TOTW - Todo Tangotango.info - iTunes Store
Lomuto, Francisco - TOTW - Todo Tangotango.info - iTunes Store
Orquesta Tipica Victor - TOTW - Todo Tangotango.info - iTunes Store
Pugliese, Osvaldo - TOTW - Todo Tangotango.info - iTunes Store
Rodriguez, Enrique - TOTW - Todo Tangotango.info - iTunes Store
Tanturi, Ricardo - TOTW - Todo Tangotango.info - TangoTunes - iTunes Store
Troilo, Anibal - TOTW - Todo Tangotango.info - TangoTunes - iTunes Store
Varela, Héctor - TOTW - Todo Tango - tango.info - TangoTunes - iTunes Store 

Tandas by category:

Favorite tandas by Dj Antti Suniala - All the favorites on Spotify
Tandas by guest DJ's

Tango - Vals - Milonga tandas

1920's - 1930's - 1940's - 1950's tango music

Tandas with vocals
Instrumental tandas
Tandas with both instrumentals and vocal songs


Individual tandas available on Spotify are marked with the Spotify logo. Click here for the full playlist of all tandas on Spotify.

Tanda of the Week is now also available in Deezer.com. The individual tandas available on Deezer are marked with the Deezer logo. Click here for the Tanda of the Week on Deezer profile.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Tanda of the Week 27/2015 - Pedro Laurenz / Carlos Bermudéz - DJ Antti Suniala

https://www.facebook.com/groups/laendorfina/865040383549381

I will be playing at the La Endorfina marathon in Poland on the 17.10.2015. Registration has started!

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1. Pedro Laurenz / Carlos Bermúdez - "La madrugada" 1944
2. Pedro Laurenz / Carlos Bermúdez - "Nada más que un corazón" 1944
3. Pedro Laurenz / Carlos Bermúdez - "Más solo que nunca" 1944
4. Pedro Laurenz / Carlos Bermúdez - "Me están sobrando las penas" 1944

https://open.spotify.com/user/anttiveikko/playlist/0YtWOj13ldMXgKPyNzI5jxhttp://www.deezer.com/playlist/1288141095Even though the orchestra of Pedro Laurenz recorded relatively little compared to the biggest names of tango, there are still many great songs to choose from. There are also clear differences between different time periods (the uptempo 1937-1941 and the lower tempo 1942+) as well as between the singers of the orchestra, of which of course the real and possibly only star was Alberto Podestá.

However the singer Carlos Bermúdez seems like a perfect match in the orchestra of Laurenz. Take for example the amazing "Me están sobrando las penas" and all it's fine details and sophisticated complexity completed by the vocals of Bermúdez.

These songs might require the late night hours and dimmed lights and dancers willing to go deep into this special mood but the challenge brings great rewards!

Enjoy!

Laurenz, Pedro - TOTW - Todo Tangotango.info - iTunes Store


Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Tanda of the Week 26/2015 - Carlos Di Sarli, Jorge Durán 1946

http://tangonorteno.se/mltf-2015/

I will be DJ'ing this weekend in Sweden for the Midnight Light Tango Festival in Umeå!

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1. Carlos Di Sarli / Jorge Durán - "Duelo criollo" 1946
2. Carlos Di Sarli / Jorge Durán - "Para qué te quiero tanto" 1946
3. Carlos Di Sarli / Jorge Durán - "Mañana no estarás" 1946
4. Carlos Di Sarli / Jorge Durán - "No esperaba verte más" 1946


https://open.spotify.com/user/anttiveikko/playlist/03bOhVOYB4FtsiYZJnAZotI was dancing to a tanda of Di Sarli/Durán at the TangoSauna Marathon and pointed out to my partner how a few of the songs finish a bit too early... how the structure of the song is not perfect. Let me explain....
http://www.deezer.com/playlist/1281584595
The very classic, common, ideal and almost ultimate structure for a tango can be heard especially in many songs from the earlier 1940's. It's a very balanced structure with a clear progression and ending. Listen to "Vamos!" (Spotify - Deezer) by Carlos Di Sarli with Alberto Podesta and follow the picture below.


The colored blocks mark parts of the composition - main part 1 and 2 - chorus part 1 and 2... Listen carefully for the melody and how the orchestra plays. Within the first minute you will hear basically everything that the orchestra plays in the song as it is repeated again although now with the singer joining in. You will notice that - for example - all the orange blocks (at 0:31, 1:35 and 2:08) representing the first chorus part are all identical although the second one has the vocals. Why I call it the chorus part is for the fact that it is repeated again in the very ending after the vocal part at 2:08... first half instrumental (orange) and second half vocal (red).

This is a very common structure. Sometimes the last two chorus blocks would be both instrumental. Sometimes there's more variation in how the orchestra plays the part but the "blocks" are arranged the same. Understanding this gives us a lot of tools to understand the common structures of tango songs and predict what's ahead, even if we didn't know the song that well.

So basically in this style of arrangement the chorus is played three times - first instrumental, second vocal and third is most commonly a mix of instrumental and vocal . The fact that right after the second chorus (vocal) the song repeats and goes into the third chorus works as the finale, tells us that the song is wrapping up and we should get ready for the end as the theme and melody is repeated for us once more. Sometimes with a bandoneon or violin solo (variacion). Sometimes without them.

This is not the arrangement always. Not even in the 40's. But it is a common arrangement for a vocal song. One of the fundamental changes in the arrangements through time has been of course the part of the singer. In the early 30's the singer often sang only a small refrain in the end of the song while in the later 50's the singer would often engulf almost the entire song.

But this structure at hand gives a great satisfied and fulfilled feeling. There is nothing too much and nothing is left out. With this structure and a midtempo tango you would have a song that is around 2:30-2:50 in lenght. Right away, if I notice that a song is less than that or more than that, I will know that there's probably something different about the structure and arrangement. Take the two Di Sarli versions of "Fumando espero" for example, both recorded one month apart in early 1956:

Carlos Di Sarli / Argentino Ledesma - "Fumando espero" 4:02 Spotify - Deezer
Carlos Di SarliRoberto Florio - "Fumando espero" 1:53 Spotify - Deezer

The version with Argentino Ledesma is a whopping four minutes long, while the version with Roberto Florio is less than two minutes! The first one seems like it never ends while the second one feels like it was cut way too short. A lot better arrangement in that sense of the same songs is the following one:

Héctor Varela / Argentino Ledesma - "Fumando espero" 3:17 Spotify - Deezer

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Now when we look at this weeks tanda... you can compare the song arrangements to the example of "Vamos!"....

...and you will notice that the third song "Mañana no estarás" is arranged differently from the others. The song is only two minutes and 18 seconds long so something is probably missing?!? Let's look into it. Yes... it starts the same with the main and chorus parts played as instrumental and then followed by the vocal version of the same parts... but once we get to the end of the vocal part there is no more repetition of the chorus! The repetition is missing! I feel cheated... empty... I was still saving my grande passion for the final part which never came. The song basically comes to a stop already before two minutes is up. Sigh.

Not only does the song feel like it's missing something, because of this missing part it stands out in a slightly negative way from the other songs. Not the end of the world of course but you know the feeling of confusion on the floor when everyone is like: "wow, I didn't think the song would end already".

Another similar song from Di Sarli with Durán is the beautiful "Tus labios me dirán" (Spotify - Deezer), which I'd love to play seven times a night but I always feel like it ends too soon. It's such a beautiful song but the arrangement could be better.

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So when creating tandas or choosing songs I want to play, I always pay close attention to the structure and arrangement of the songs. If I want to play a song that has an arrangement that is cut short.... then I at least have to be aware of it and make it work.

To give an example of how it does not work.... I once heard the very short Di Sarli/Florio version of "Fumando espero" played as the very first song of the tanda. By the time the dancers got on the floor and got comfortable and ready to do their thing... the song already finished!

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Thanks for reading and have a great week!

For other tandas and links to more information about Carlos Di Sarli and Jorge Durán check the links below!

Di Sarli, Carlos - TOTW - Todo Tangotango.info - TangoTunes - iTunes Store
Durán, Jorge - TOTW - Todo Tango - tango.info - iTunes Store 

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Tanda of the Week 24/2015 - Juan D'Arienzo and Alberto Echague - Tangotunes.com - DJ Antti Suniala

instagram.com/p/33wgTmK8rc/
TangoSauna Marathon on Instragram


1. Juan D'Arienzo / Alberto Echagüe - "Pensalo bien" 1938
2. Juan D'Arienzo / Alberto Echagüe - "Nada más" 1938
3. Juan D'Arienzo / Alberto Echagüe - "Ansiedad" 1938
4. Juan D'Arienzo / Alberto Echagüe - "La bruja" 1938


https://open.spotify.com/user/anttiveikko/playlist/1BDVATldnfahgpHqaiyAfGhttp://www.deezer.com/playlist/1269517681Greetings from the hot dance floors and saunas of the TangoSauna marathon! I finished my set a few hours ago and after dinner, sauna and swimming I have now enough time to post this weeks tanda! TangoTunes.com has released yet another compilation from D'Arienzo, the Juan D'Arienzo 1935-1939, Vol 5, Golden Ear Edition, which I received just before my set and from those songs I played this tanda of some of the biggest classics from D'Arienzo. When you listen to the samples on the webstore I'm sure you will notice how downtempo the songs are in comparison to most of the previous releases of these songs. In fact, because of this I made the songs just a bit faster (+1/+2%) with my Traktor Pro software, although without changing the pitch of the songs. I think it might take a while to get used to the correct speed of these songs.

Enjoy!

P.S. if you're a marathon organizer and would like to view or listen to the playlist of my set.... send me a message to dj@anttisuniala.com.

D'Arienzo, Juan - TOTW - Todo Tango tango.info - TangoTunes - iTunes Store
Echagüe, Alberto - TOTW - Todo Tango tango.info - iTunes Store  


Monday, June 1, 2015

Tanda of the Week 23/2015 - TangoTunes.com - Juan D'Arienzo 1935-1939, Vol 4, Golden Ear Edition


1. Juan D'Arienzo  - "El caburé" 1937 - TangoTunes
2. Juan D'Arienzo  - "El cencerro" 1937 - TangoTunes
3. Juan D'Arienzo  - "La mariposa" 1938 - TangoTunes
4. Juan D'Arienzo  - "Melodía porteña" 1937 - TangoTunes


http://open.spotify.com/user/anttiveikko/playlist/4QlNv4Df3bvIXY8khOqjJg http://www.deezer.com/playlist/882753291The 4th release in the Juan D'Arienzo 1935-1939, Golden Ear Edition is now available in the TangoTunes.com store! I've made this tanda so that the first two songs are from the 3rd part of the compilations and the third and fourth songs are from the latest release.

I like to play these songs and tandas similar to this in the earlier part of the set and save some D'Arienzos that hit harder for a bit later. You can compare this tanda for example to the previous D'Arienzo tanda that I posted. The tanda is from the same time period but the songs have a lot stronger beat and feel.

Please notice that the Spotify and Deezer playlists I provide do not include the same versions of the songs, as all the TangoTunes.com releases are exclusive. And especially in this case it was impossible to find good quality versions of some of the songs available online. Some of the songs are too fast and/or have a lot of reverb. So for direct comparison in quality, remember to also listen to the songs on the TangoTunes links provided above. And get your copies now!

Enjoy!

D'Arienzo, Juan - TOTW - Todo Tango tango.info - TangoTunes

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Tanda of the Week 22/2015 - Tango Pohjan Tähden - Alternative tango!

Tango Pohjan Tähden, Minneapolis, USA


The following is based on a true story and no names have been changed... I did the unthinkable and played at an alternative milonga!

Another announcement is that I have recently moved from Berlin back to Finland and it is Helsinki where this story takes place.

Our tango association "Amigos del Tango" has two weekly milongas at our dance studio "El Atico" in Helsinki, and a while back the second milonga was changed to an alternative one. The "El Huracan" milonga is 70% traditional and 30% alternative and I took on the challenge to play there last Sunday. For some obvious reasons of being a full time artist (yes, a beautiful mix of a dancer's servant and an artist with a personality... among the other artforms and things I'm involved in) and not having the luxury to afford to always choose where I play, meaning - I need the money. As well as having the luxury of being a strange mix of a hard core traditionalist and an occasionally open minded human being and therefore deciding that with great pleasure I will play for this milonga and the dancers there. Let me explain....

I have been a DJ for 20 years now and have played in all kinds of events from the tiny hip hop clubs to some massive Reclaim the Streets! parties to the tiny local practicas to the grande festival grande milongas. So I have been trying to make all kinds of people dance in all kinds of events and this is where I'm coming from. When it comes to tango I really know what I like and what inspires me to dance and I also uphold my style and status as a fairly conservative DJ of traditional tango music. Please do check out my favorite tandas on TOTW when in doubt.

Alternative tango definitely is not my thing. Like, at all. I'd rather go to the dentist or a blind date at a German swingers club than an alternative milonga. Even so I don't see anything wrong with people wanting to dance. And that's how I see the alternative milongas... not really as milongas but rather as dance parties. And with my history as a DJ of many types of music and not just traditional tango, I can enjoy the task and challenge given to me to make people dance.

My real problem with alternative tango music - whether it's nuevo tango, electronic tango or something really alternative - is that often, in my opinion, it just is not really good music. Like what I always say about electronic tango is that it is definitely not good tango but it's not even good electronic music (a genre of which I do know quite a lot about), so what's the point?! With nuevo tango you have to look at how well the arrangements actually are suitable for dancing. And.... what kind of seems to be at the core of and definition of alternative tango is some very light music like Kevin Johansen f. Leon Ciego - "Sur o no sur" (Spotify/Deezer), which makes me feel like.... like I was in a nightmare where the only tango orchestra ever played was Donato and the only jazz was 80's smooth groove jazz etc.... I might fail to see the richness and subtle differences in the qualities of the most popular alternative tangos and I'll admit it's obvious that in the end I might not know what I'm talking about since I really do not go to alternative milongas. But, my point is, that if I would want to dance or even listen to alternative tango it should have most of the qualities and emotions that make tango music so freaking amazing! With that criteria I'd personally give "Sur o no sur" 1 point out of 10.

Therefore.... my approach to my set was to play only alternative tango that I could enjoy and respect even if I wouldn't want to dance to them. So I made the choice to ignore what I believe to be what some dancers would expect to hear and just went with music that was as close to tango or even traditional tango as possible. I went with my belief that alternative tango could be described largely as tango music which you would not normally play in a traditional milonga and therefore I played for example this tanda of Ariel Ardit and was considering to play this tanda from Quinteto Real or something from Octeto Tibidabo. In the four hour milonga I played one alternative balkanesque vals tanda (which I made faster with my Traktor DJ software to make it more danceable), one alternative milonga tanda of Miguel Villasboas, the above mentioned Ariel Ardit tanda, one very improvised tanda of mixed alternatives ranging from balkan tango to "All mine" from Portishead (which captures similar pain, misery and beauty as tango in my opinion) and then a tanda from the following orchestra:

1. Tango Pohjan Tähden - "En enää vaieta mä voi"
2. Tango Pohjan Tähden - "Pieni sydän"
3. Tango Pohjan Tähden - "Eron hetki on kaunis"

Tango Pohjan Tähden is an orchestra from Minneapolis, USA, with roots to Finland and finnish tango. Here's what was said on their website.

"Tango Pohjan Tähden released its debut album in 2013, featuring pianist Timo Alakotila, who is one of Finland's most versatile and in-demand composers and arrangers. Tango Pohjan Tähden and Timo Alakotila have mixed traditional Finnish tangos with Argentine tango nuevo and American jazz to create a new sound, but the soul of Finnish Tango is never far under the surface of these new arrangements. The album features eight traditional tangos and waltzes by Finnish composers such as Unto Mononen and Toivo Kärki, as well as four original compositions by the group, all of which are perfect for dancing and listening alike! "

https://open.spotify.com/user/anttiveikko/playlist/6CUrsvalLFHCkqQnGle9bVhttp://www.deezer.com/playlist/1249259471Why I like this orchestra is that they perform classics of finnish tango with a very refreshing argentine nuevo touch but still keep the songs very danceable. The musicians are clearly amazing and I also really like the singing of Elina Koivusaari. For the tanda I replaced "Pieni sydän" with "Siks' oon mä suruinen", which was released on their earlier demo but unfortunately was not available on their released album and therefore it's not on Spotify or Deezer.

It was an unfortunately quiet night at the milonga and with the added challenge of playing alternatives I was struggling to feel comfortable behind the decks. Also the big challenge was how to progress with the traditional tango and how to balance the overall emotions and danceability and different styles, when suddenly there was this whole new extra ingredient of alternativism thrown in the mix. As there were not that many dancers I couldn't really judge how much of a success my set was although it did get some good compliments and some dancers were very happy with my interpretation of alternative tango.

It was surely interesting. I'm not sure if I'd do it again though. What I'd be a lot more comfortable with would be a traditional set with one alternative tanda played at some point of the night. Although like I said earlier, I'd keep it as close to actual tango as possible. Probably even closer than this tanda by the excellent Tango Pohjan Tähden.

Enjoy! Please feel free to comment about the tanda, theory of alternativism and my issues. I'd also like to thank everybody who helped me on Facebook to prepare for my set. Have a wonderful week!

Ps. If you actually made it this far and read all of this text, then let me buy you an ice cream when we meet.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Tanda of the Week 21/2015 - Rafael Canaro - DJ Daniele Argelli


This weeks tanda comes from guest DJ Daniele Argelli. Here's what he wrote:

"Hi Antti. My name is Daniele Argelli, from Italy and I find your website very inspiring for the career as a tango dj I’m working on building. I might be wrong but I haven’t found any Rafael Canaro tanda on TOTW, which I think is a pity since I think he recorded some very danceable music – although nowhere near as good and as plentiful as his more famous brother [Francisco Canaro]. A Rafael Canaro tanda I’ve played that people seemed to like is this:

1. Rafael Canaro / Luis Scalón - "Qué le importa al mundo"
2. Rafael Canaro / Luis Scalón - "Envidia"
3. Rafael Canaro / Luis Scalón - "Resentimiento"
4. Rafael Canaro / Luis Scalón - "Cuando el corazón"


https://open.spotify.com/user/anttiveikko/playlist/0EbJ0NEdWq1V4izxVW2Z2Hhttp://www.deezer.com/playlist/1243388051Give it a listen: I hope you’ll like it too and you’ll be willing to give Rafael his deserved little place in the sun. Thank you and keep up the good work!"

Thank you Daniele!

I never want to criticize any of the tandas sent for the blog... but since Daniele kind of started it with describing Rafael as "nowhere near as good and as plentiful as his more famous brother", let me agree with his statement and continue by saying that it is very clear that Francisco Canaro had the better orchestra and singers that were clearly better than Luis Scalón. But if you like this kind of tango music you can listen to more of Rafael Canaro and the "Distancias" album on Spotify and Deezer. The album seemed to be in a lot better sound quality than the also available "Tango en Paris" album and you can get 69 songs for 9 dollars when you buy "Distancias" at the iTunes Store.

Have a nice day!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

TOTW - The Year 2013



Here's the second edition of the TOTW Yearly Reviews! This time we're looking into the tandas posted in the year 2013.

I split the tandas into two groups: The traditional and the not as traditional tandas. As you may have noticed the blog is not only about the theory of constructing perfect traditional tango tandas but there's also space for more variety and sometimes I want to simply showcase a certain orchestra and their music. I hope this list will help you to explore, find your favorites and especially for the beginning DJ's to understand styles of tango music better. Often the definitions of what is or is not traditional vary slightly and there's some music that is borderline this or the other. However after a quick look, I believe the way I have split the tandas will satisfy most dancers, DJ's and the tango police.

I will later do a similar post for the previous years as well.

Have a look at the review of TOTW - The Year 2014.

Enjoy!

- DJ Antti Suniala



THE TRADITIONAL


THE NOT AS TRADITIONAL

Monday, May 11, 2015

Tanda of the Week 20/2015 - Anibal Troilo, Alberto Marino, José Maria Contursi and DJ Vincenzo Marino

Contursi with Gricel


1. Aníbal Troilo / Alberto Marino - "Mi tango triste" 1946
2. Aníbal Troilo / Alberto Marino - "Cristal" 1944
3. Aníbal Troilo / Alberto Marino - "Garras" 1945
4. Aníbal Troilo / Alberto Marino - "Sombras nada más" 1944


https://open.spotify.com/user/anttiveikko/playlist/6hx70DbdnFrCaE4e5dhKQKhttp://www.deezer.com/playlist/1233290421This weeks tanda from a guest DJ Vincenzo Marino in honor of the anniversary of the death of the tango poet and lyricist José Maria Contursi (31 October 1911 - 11 May 1972). Contursi was the author of lyrics of some of the most popular tango songs of his time. Songs like "Bajo un cielo de estrellas", "En esta tarde gris", "Verdemar" and of course "Gricel" all came from Contursis pen and in this tanda Alberto Marino sings his songs with the orchestra of Anibal Troilo.

DJ Vincenzo Marino (Italy) is the musicalizador of some of the best milongas of Triveneto and collaborates with the association "Tango e Vita" and has also played in festivals both in Italy and internationally.

Thank you Vincenzo!

I'm suprised that it is still impossible to find a good version of "Sombras nada mas" on Spotify or Deezer. Notice the skip in the beginning of the song. Also a lot of the versions out there are way too fast or low sound quality. At least TangoTunes.com has the correct version of the song without the skip and you can purchase it right here!

Enjoy and have a great week!


Troilo, Anibal - TOTW - Todo Tangotango.info - TangoTunes - iTunes Store
Marino, Alberto - TOTW - Todo Tango - tango.info - iTunes Store 

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Tanda of the Week 19/2015 - Edgardo Donato instrumentals - DJ Antti Suniala


1. Edgardo Donato - "El acomodo" 1933
2. Edgardo Donato - "El distinguido ciudadano" 1940
3. Edgardo Donato - "Tierrita" 1934
4. Edgardo Donato - "Pasión criolla" 1939
 
https://open.spotify.com/user/anttiveikko/playlist/29XwgRJuLKklXKFnEACBXBhttp://www.deezer.com/playlist/1228846171While I have occasionally made it clear that I'm not the biggest fan of Edgardo Donato (my opinion has changed more negative in my years of dancing and DJ'ing) I honestly do not mind some Donato being played in milongas. I think the singers of the orchestra are the main turnoff for me and instrumentals like these make me a lot happier with the uptempo beat and rhythmical playfulness. The tanda accelerates towards the end and I chose to put "Pasion criolla" as the last one due to the fine bandoneon variacion in the end of the song. You could also replace one of the songs with for example "La tablada".

Enjoy!

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Tanda of the Week 18/2015 - Rotundo, Varela, Mancione valses - DJ Antti Suniala


Greetings from Tallinn Estonia! I arrived yesterday for the first night of the Viejo Tallinn Tango Marathon and will be playing here on Sunday. Last weekend I was attending the Tango Devoradores Marathon in Wroclaw Poland as a dancer only. I have never been to that many marathons and it's interesting to see these two marathons back to back both as a dancer and a DJ. The scale of the events is very different as the Wroclaw marathon had close to 350 dancers and 13 (!) DJ's, while the Tallinn marathon has about 150 dancers and 5 DJ's. In Wroclaw there were the pre- and afterparties and DJ's were playing only 4 hour sets but in Tallinn I fortunately get to play 6 hours, which I think is the perfect lenght for a DJ set.

There's also another very fundamental difference in the two marathons: The style of music. While in Wroclaw I had to wait for DJ number 7 Mik Avramenko from Ukraine to get a great set of traditional tangos centered around the likes of Troilo, Di Sarli and D'Arienzo - In Tallinn the event kicked off with classic tangos from both the first two DJ's Andrea Dedo from Italy and James Bates from Belgium and I'm expecting the same to continue.

I don't want to be a tango police here and commit a career suicide but I will share my view on the matter and it's something I've discussed with many other DJ's coming from a more traditional stance on tango music. There's nothing wrong with the occasional special selection and the Donatos and Lomutos etc. But many DJ's go so far into centering their set around the likes of Canaro, Donato, Rodriguez and some Guardia Vieja that the set feels out of balance and the occasional Troilo will not save the set for me. And it is not just that I don't get to hear my favorites but also the fact that the general mood and dynamics of the songs from these orchestras is so different that I feel like a lot of the passion that should be in the music is missing and instead all we're getting is at it's best nice and comfortable music for snuggling. I do want a lot more from my tango music. More edge, passion and yes even some drama. And yeah uptempo valses and milongas too. And then... I'm ready to snuggle also.

I know there's a theory that in order to keep people dancing all day and night long the music should be easier and smoother but I do not believe in this. Of course you shouldn't play uptempo D'Arienzos etc the whole time but there's plenty of downtempo music with very strong qualities that are just as energetic as the best of D'Arienzo. I know I have issues and I want to dance to music first, friends and atmosphere second.

But then again.... the music has to be in relation to the audience as well. And no matter how much I did not enjoy everything played in the marathon, the majority of dancers did. The Wroclaw marathon was organized for the fifth time already and is probably known for a certain style which attracts certain dancers. In fact it was the very special basically alternative selections that received applauses from the audience. And again I have no problem with this. To each their own. It just shows how many types of dancers and events there are. And don't get me wrong... the Wroclaw marathon had great dancing and very friendly atmosphere and I'd consider going again and would love to play there myself one day. I didn't of course hear full sets from all the DJ's but I did enjoy a lot for example Darko Vicentijevic from Serbia. He was mixing a lot of orchestras especially in vals tandas but also some tangos. And he did it really well and overall had high energy in the music and I feel he was an excellent choice to be the last DJ of Saturday night. I also enjoyed the afterparty DJ's Jakub Ciczkowski and Kasia Gabryluk from Poland a lot.

I do like the Marathon format a lot as well as the Encuentros. I just hope that there will be more events in both formats that will have the music... in the lack of better words.... a bit more edgy and less cuddly. 

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1. Francisco Rotundo / Enrique Campos, Floreal Ruíz - "El viejo vals" 1951
2. Alberto Mancione / Jorge Ledesma, Héctor Alvarado - "Un cielo para los dos" 1955
3. Héctor Varela / Argentino Ledesma, Rodolfo Lesica - "Igual que dos palomas" 1953


http://www.deezer.com/playlist/1228859291https://open.spotify.com/user/anttiveikko/playlist/2J7k2DJxi6TA3i6nJ4VgGzNow... I've prepared a few tandas for my special selections for this marathon and here's one of them. I do not know yet if I will play it but I've been listening to the tanda a lot and I like it. I recently found the song "El cielo para los dos" and wanted to create a tanda for it. I first heard a version by Lagrima Rios on the excellent "Cafe de los Maestros" tango documentary and the beautiful melody stuck to my memory. This version by the unknown orchestra of Alberto Mancione is quite excellent but not quite perfect. Still a great song in my opinion. I start the tanda with the well known "El viejo vals" by Rotundo and end it with Varela's "Igual que dos palomas". All of the songs have two singers which gives the songs nice energy also. When I have a long set I like to play one vals tanda from the 1950s and this might be the one on Sunday. I hope you enjoy it.

EDIT: I had "Un cielo para los dos" as the last song originally but when I played this is Tallinn I chose to have it as the second song and finish with the vals of Varela, which I thought of as being more clear and danceable and giving the dancer a nicer way to finish the tanda.

The cortina is dedicated to my friends and the tango community in Skopje, Macedonia.


Saturday, April 18, 2015

Tanda of the Week 16/2015 - Di Sarli / Rufino - DJ Antti Suniala



1. Carlos Di Sarli / Roberto Rufino - "Tristeza marina" 1943
2. Carlos Di Sarli / Roberto Rufino - "Todo" 1943
3. Carlos Di Sarli / Roberto Rufino - "Cascabelito" 1941
4. Carlos Di Sarli / Roberto Rufino - "Griseta" 1941

https://open.spotify.com/user/anttiveikko/playlist/2Q8SKlEq9NBLX0Aahy0eMr
Greetings from The Netherlands. I will be playing tonight in Milonga La Roca in Amersfoort!
http://www.deezer.com/playlist/1209936301
Here's just a quick update to the blog and a tanda of super classics from Di Sarli that I've played on my last few gigs on this tour. Unfortunately I was unable to find "Todo" on Deezer and didn't find a good replacement since suprisingly many Di Sarli songs were not available. I feel that the strong "Cascabelito" can follow "Todo", which has a strong ending and energy. But trying to put something like "Verdemar" as the second song would not make the tanda work anymore so I hope you have access to Spotify.... Apparently Deezer is about to include "Todo" in their library so I'll update the playlist when it's available.

Enjoy!


Di Sarli, Carlos - TOTW - Todo Tangotango.info - TangoTunes - iTunes Store
Rufino
, Roberto - TOTW - Todo Tango - tango.info - iTunes Store

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Tanda of the Week 15/2015 - Lucio Demare - DJ Antti Suniala


Greetings my fellow tango addicts. I'm going on another small tour as shown on the picture above. Hope to see some of you on the dance floor!

Before discussing this weeks tanda, let me say a few words about the great Trasnochando festival that we had here in Berlin the last weekend. It was the first edition of the festival and was organized by Frank Seifart, James Bates and Monica Suteau, who is the fairly recent addition to the killer team whos influence has done wonders for the Berlin scene. The sold out festival had a nice venue with character and great music from start to finish. I strongly recommend bookmarking this festival for next year and to get your tickets early!

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1. Lucio Demare / Juan Carlos Miranda - "No te apures, cara blanca" 1942
2. Lucio Demare / Horacio Quintana - "Igual que un bandoneón" 1945
3. Lucio Demare / Juan Carlos Miranda - "Mañana zarpa un barco" 1942
4. Lucio Demare / Horacio Quintana - "Torrente" 1945

https://open.spotify.com/user/anttiveikko/playlist/1fcQGiGoiLAmlhWqqgaOWFhttp://www.deezer.com/playlist/1202309991Now, for the tanda at hand..... "No te apures, cara blanca" is definitely one of the most popular tangos among dancers and for all the right reasons. It's a perfect blend of a beautiful melody, downtempo rhythms and endless details accompanied by the singing of Juan Carlos Miranda and the sad story of a man talking to his horse about how there's no need to rush since there's no one waiting for him to arrive. You can read a translation of the song at the "el Tango te espera" blog.

Demare didn't record many songs with Miranda so sometimes you might find it better to mix in songs from other singers in order to create a tanda that follows better the mood you want to create with "No the apures...." Here I chose two of my favorites from Demare/Quintana for the tanda.

I also added pause tracks in between some songs, so that when you listen to the tanda on Spotify or Deezer you hear it like I would play it. When I DJ I always want to have absolute control of the silence in between the songs and I play one song at a time and only when it's the right time I will press play for the next song. I want to give the dancers a chance to breath in and breath out before the next song, especially when it's a more downtempo and very emotional tanda like this one.

Enjoy!




Thursday, April 2, 2015

Tanda of the Week 14/2015 - José Sala (Rosario) Instrumental - DJ Antti Suniala



1. José Sala - "Recuerdo" 1953
2. José Sala - "Sábado inglés" 1953
3. José Sala - "Lágrimas" 1954
4. José Sala - "Nueve de julio" 1953


https://open.spotify.com/user/anttiveikko/playlist/7tqPnjMzKwFaQTj2ELWUg2http://www.deezer.com/playlist/1196101291This week I'd like to introduce the pianist/director and the orchestra of José Sala from Rosario, Argentina. 

"Sala recorded between 1953 and 1973 on Columbia (1953-1954), TK (1955-1958) and Europhone (1972-1973). Throughout his career he recorded over 400 numbers. We pay fair homage to a musician who, without exaggeration, meant the symbol of the best tango in Rosario at the time of its highest splendor."


Enjoy!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Tanda of the Week 13/2015 - Juan D'Arienzo instrumentals 1935-1937


1. Juan D'Arienzo - "Nueve de julio" 1935 - TangoTunes
2. Juan D'Arienzo - "Comme il faut" 1936 - TangoTunes
3. Juan D'Arienzo - "Jueves" 1937 - TangoTunes
4. Juan D'Arienzo - "Gallo ciego" 1937 - TangoTunes

https://open.spotify.com/user/anttiveikko/playlist/0cKZeMpxSS7Tv92RKa1gIM
The folks at TangoTunes.com have made yet another release of the music of Juan D'Arienzo! These songs were released already earlier but after renewing their whole digitization and mastering process we can enjoy the music in even better quality.

http://www.deezer.com/playlist/1192475891In order to listen to the song samples of the TangoTunes releases, please click on the TangoTunes links next to the songs on the above list. The Spotify and Deezer playlists have the songs from other commercial releases since the TangoTunes releases are available only on their online store.


While the songs sound great and due to the release I received a few songs in clearly better quality than what I had before... some of the songs do have more shellac record noise than many other releases out there and I'll leave it to you to decide what you think of it.

The reason for this is explained by TangoTunes: "After the transfer gentle declicking and removal of pops is applied. Since mid 2014 we do not use any automatic algorithms anymore, as they distort the whole sound spectrum too heavily. Instead, we chose to accept the inevitable surface noise when transferring a shellac."

I have personally carefully edited or filtered some of these tracks for my own use with slightly lesser record noise. Using the basic EQ of a mixer will not do the job but for example the iTunes or WinAmp softwares have something like a 10-band equalizer and cutting out the 8K and 16K bands might be a good solution although not an optimal one. With Traktor Pro I use a special filter that I've adjusted to my needs and that works quite well if I haven't pre-edited the song.

Here's what was said in the TangoTunes newsletter:

"We happily announce the first three compilations of the new Golden Ear edition: "Todo de Juan" 1–3, crisp and clear Tango sound with ever-rhythmic, dynamic Juan D'Arienzo. "Todo de Juan 1–6" will comprise all tunes from Juan D'Arienzo 1935–1939 in chronological order.
With the Golden Ear edition we establish new important facts:
  • Only full discographies in right chronological order on the albums.
  • Renewed and better digitization and mastering process. Read more about the digitization chain.
  • New file format AIFF: 16bit/44,1 kHz, mono. It's come to replace the previous M4A (all previous releases will still be offered in M4A). AIFF is as user-friendly and playable in practically all music players. FLAC stays as usual in 24bit/96 kHz, mono.
  • New bundles and base prices: 1,49 € AIFF, 1,79 € FLAC. FLAC and AIFF are shipped separately (no more double files like former FLAC+M4A). The reduced bit rate/sample rate leads to the reduced price of the AIFF.
If we say, we changed everything in the digitization chain, this may sound dramatic, but it's true: Everything. We hired the best sound engineer we can possibly dream of, established a shiny new audio station in Vienna and finally come up with new file formats and simply good Tango sound!
Whether you already bought one or the other tune or a whole compilation of D'Arienzo – when you buy an album from the Golden Ear edition, you will be compensated with store credit for the substituted tunes. Please visit our website for more detailed information about our compensation offer.

I made this tanda based on the songs from the first three compilations and with a time span of 1935-1937. Almost all of the D'Arienzo instrumental tangos from that time period are very playful so I tried to look for the ones that would at least start with slightly stronger tones even if they would end up partly cheerful. One thing to notice is that the second song "Comme il faut" is shorter than the others and the arrangement doesn't have the bandoneon solo/variacion in the end.

All the songs are very classic and were recorded by many other orchestras as well so I would recommend comparing these songs to versions from different orchestras and also other time periods. For example... compare this D'Arienzo version of "Gallo ciego" to Pugliese's version from 1959. When I started dancing tango it took me quite a while to even realize that they are actually the same composition!

Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Tanda of the Week 11/2015 - Enrique Campos with Ricardo Tanturi - DJ Antti Suniala

Enrique Campos.
S. f. (Foto: Museo y Centro de documentación AGADU)


1. Ricardo Tanturi / Enrique Campos - "Muchachos, comienza la ronda" 1943
2. Ricardo Tanturi / Enrique Campos - "Por eso canto yo" 1943
3. Ricardo Tanturi / Enrique Campos - "Así se canta" 1943
4. Ricardo Tanturi / Enrique Campos - "Cantor de barrio" 1945


http://open.spotify.com/user/anttiveikko/playlist/1eCVNauVX0bMijnXoOyXIWhttp://www.deezer.com/playlist/1174606071Today we celebrate the birthday of Enrique Campos (10.3.1913-13.3.1970), one of the greatest singers of tango! The tanda starts with his first recording with the Ricardo Tanturi's orchestra "Muchachos, comienza la ronda" and we continue with the tango theme and devote the rest of the songs to the role of being the great singer that he was.

Read more about Enrique Campos on TodoTango , a translation to "Muchachos, comienza la ronda" and listen to more of the tandas with Enrique Campos on Tanda of the Week.

Enjoy!

 Tanturi, Ricardo - TOTW - Todo Tangotango.info - iTunes Store
Campos, Enrique - TOTW - Todo Tango - tango.info - iTunes Store