Sunday, August 29, 2010

Tanda of the Week 35/2010 - Juan Félix Maglio (instrumentals)

1. Juan Félix Maglio - "Ventanita De Arrabal" 1927
2. Juan Félix Maglio - "Arrabelero" 1927
3. Juan Félix Maglio - "Viejo Smoking" 1930
4. Juan Félix Maglio - "La Copa Del Olvido" 1927 tanda by Juan Maglio is featured on my set from the Almacen milonga that was posted on the blog earlier. Maglio (1880-1934) who went by the nickname of 'Pacho' was a bandoneonist, orchestra leader and composer and was one of the most important musicians who followed the the first generation of tango players, the Guardia Vieja.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Tango Argentino on

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I have been using Kiva for a while and last year I made small deposits every month amounting to about 1000 dollars which I've been re-lending ever since. With this amount of deposits and re-lending I've been able to loan 2000 dollars of which 1600 dollars has been paid back already. My personal rule was that everytime I bought something I didn't really need I would deposit on Kiva and make a loan.

I started a team for people interested in argentine tango and wanting to make a loan through Check it out! A 25 dollar loan will get you started or you can purchace Kiva gift cards for presents.

You can also have a look at my personal lender page

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Tanda of the Week 34/2010 - Orquesta Cayetano Puglisi (instrumentals)

Download or listen Tanda of the Week 34/2010 - Puglisi (instrumentals)

1. Orquesta Cayetano Puglisi - "Así Es La Vida" 1929
2. Orquesta Cayetano Puglisi - "Disfrazate Muchachita" 1929
3. Orquesta Cayetano Puglisi - "Rezongona" 1929
4. Orquesta Cayetano Puglisi - "La Milonga Azul" 1929

Here's something you'd really rarely play at a normal milonga but recently I've been going through a lot of instrumental tangos from the late 1920's. There's really something about the music from this era that has me spellbound. Cayetano Puglisi (1902-1968) was a violinist and a composer who played in Roberto Firpo's orchestra in 1916-1928. After this period he formed a sextet that recorded the following songs featured in this tanda in 1929.

"We arrive at a very important chapter in the artistic career of this great musician. We place it in 1928, a period when the sextets blossomed. This splendid outfit he put together is always remembered with admiration and nostalgia by the lovers of good tango.

He used to play at the cinema Paramount theater. His members were: Armando Federico (piano); Cayetano Puglisi and Mauricio Miseresky (Mauricio Misé) (violins); Federico Scorticati and Pascual Storti (bandoneons) and José Puglisi (double bass). During this cycle, Storti was replaced later by Domingo Triguero. The orchestra always evidenced a trademark of quality, with a special sort of slow beat full of tango colors, and a very hard to match richness of nuances. The crisis brought by the lack of work made this group disband."

- Horacio Loriente,

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Useful tango links
This blog is a dream come true for every tango dj. The blog is updated frequently with new music and most of it is tango.
A very entertaining and informative blog from Rick McGarrey about tango, life and milongas in Buenos Aires. A must read for every beginning dancer and one you will go back to every now and then.
Almost all the information you need about tango recordings. Who was the singer, when was the song recorded, what other recordings are there from this orchestra etc...
An excellent podcast from Elmira about all sides of the tango culture.
Information about musicians, poets, singers and the history of tango.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Tanda of the Week 33/2010 - Demare (Vals)

Download or listen Tanda of the Week 33/2010 - Demare (vals)

1. Lucio Demare/Juan Carlos Miranda - "Nunca supe por qué" 1942
2. Lucio Demare/Raúl Berón - "Un vals // Se fue" 1943
3. Lucio Demare/Horacio Quintana - "Dos corazones" 1944

It's 00:27... That means it's already monday and time for this weeks tanda! This is one of the first vals tandas that I made and I still love playing it. It's Lucio Demare with three of the finest singers for your listening and dancing pleasure. Enjoy!

Demare, Lucio - TOTW - Todo - iTunes Store
Miranda, Juan Carlos - TOTW - Todo Tango - - iTunes Store
Berón, Raúl - TOTW - Todo Tango - - iTunes Store
Quintana, Horacio - TOTW - Todo Tango - - iTunes Store

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Tanda of the Week 32b/2010 - Anibal Troilo (Instrumentals)

1. Aníbal Troilo - "Guapeando" 1941
2. Aníbal Troilo - "Cachirulo" 1941 - TangoTunes
3. Aníbal Troilo - "Cordón de oro" 1941 - TangoTunes
4. Aníbal Troilo - "Milongueando en el cuarenta" 1941 - TangoTunes

While there are not many suprises to anybody in this tanda I think it's a good example of very classic instrumental tangos that should please the old milongueros as well as have enough "umph" for the younger generation of dancers.

EDIT 26.8.2013: These songs truly never get old. I can never get tired of dancing to the finest of Troilo's instrumentals.

Check out the growing collection of digitalized Troilo shellacs in the in great quality.

Troilo, Anibal - TOTW - Todo - TangoTunes - iTunes Store 

Tanda of the Week 32/2010 - Malerba

1. Ricardo Malerba / Orlando Medina - "Gitana rusa" 1942
2. Ricardo Malerba / Orlando Medina - "Ninguna" 1941
3. Ricardo Malerba / Orlando Medina - "La piba de los jazmines" 1943
4. Ricardo Malerba / Orlando Medina - "Remembranza" 1943's the very first tanda I'd like to share. It's built around the last song of the tanda, which is the classic "Remembranza". The version from Ricardo Malerba and his orchestra with Orlando Medina on the vocals is one of the nicest versions of this tango.
I had some problems choosing which song would start the tanda but in the end chose "Gitana Rusa" because of the beautiful melody of the violins. At least for me the melody is a clear signal to get on the floor as fast as possible.

Malerba, Ricardo - TOTW - Todo Tango - - TangoTunes

More about tandas

So as mentioned in the welcoming post a tanda is a set of three to four songs of either tango, vals or milonga* (style of music) played at a milonga* (a tango party) [* The word "milonga" has a number of meanings. It's ok to be confused]. Usually tangos are always played in tandas of four songs while valses and milongas are more commonly played in tandas of three songs. A normal order of tandas is two tandas of tango, one tanda of vals, two tandas of tango and one tanda of milonga. In milongas the dj will play a tanda followed by a cortina (a short song of different style) which will mark the ending of the tanda. During the cortina the dancers will leave the floor and look for their next partners. After the cortina finishes the dj continues with another tanda and after finding a new partner the dancers will get on the dance floor again.

Creating a tanda

It is preferred that a tanda consists of songs from the same orchestra, style and time period. This rule is made having the dancers best interest in mind. When the dj follows this rule the dancers can recognice from the first song of the tanda if they want to dance to the tanda and then choose who they would like to dance it with. For example if the first song is a smooth romantic tango from late 30's from for example Francisco Canaro, the dancers can expect the same style to continue throughout the tanda. If the dj doesn't follow this rule then the dancers don't know what to expect and dance in fear of having to leave the dance floor when the romantic mood might be broken by a randomly selected dramatic uptempo tango from the late 50's from Osvaldo Pugliese. Even though the song itself would be a great one, such change of orchestra, style and time period is too drastic and will destroy the mood and a lot of dancers will leave the dance floor and complain about the dj-ing.

The dj also should play a lot of tandas which have songs that are well known and popular. These are the songs that are played over and over again in milongas everywhere and the dancers know them by heart. The better the dancers know the songs they are dancing to the better they can interpet and dance the music. Playing too many tandas of more unknown tangos will leave the dancers feeling uncomfortable. There's a saying that all the dj's play the same 200-300 tangos just in different order. This is very true in some ways but in every milonga there's space for a couple of tandas of less known tangos and also a lot of possibilities for personality and creativity in how you organize your tandas and when you choose to play them.

The order of the songs

Another important thing in creating tandas is choosing in which order to play the songs. The first song is very important in describing the mood of the tanda and it also needs to be one of the, if not the most danceable song of the tanda making sure everybody wants to get on the dance floor. The second song should continue the same emotion and quality as the first one. The fourth song has to be the best song of the tanda or second to only the first one leaving the dancers in a good mood after the tanda. The third one could be considered as the least important of the songs but it doesn't mean you can use any song you like on this spot. In fact sometimes the third song is of great importance to the tanda. For example if I've played two uptempo songs I might drop the tempo a bit for the third one to make the final uptempo song stand out more and also give better structure to the tanda. A bit of a curve in the emotions even inside a tanda can be good. If you play a tanda of very dramatic tangos the dancers will get very deep in this emotion and it can be a bit tiresome to keep the same intensity of emotion for four songs. Again the third song could be "mildly less dramatic" to give the dancers a bit of a breather without breaking the mood.

The atmosphere of the milonga

During the milonga the dj should play tandas from all the most popular orchestras like Canaro, D'Arienzo, Pugliese, Caló, Di Sarli, Tanturi, Troilo and D'agostino. A good dj can sense the emotions of the dancers and choose the right tandas for the right moment and will know which tanda to play after the other. In the beginning of the milonga it is good to play more cheerful tandas and save the most melancholic and dramatic tandas to be played later during the night. I always try to finish the night off with a very romantic tanda in the style of "the last slow songs of the night". It is also a common practice to play "La Cumparsita" as the very last song of the milonga.

This was a quick introduction to tandas and how a dj of argentine tango works. Later I will get into more detail about tandas and even how to bend the rules in good fashion.

Welcome to "Tanda of the Week"

In this blog I will share my and in fact anybody's favorite tandas of argentine tango. A "Tanda" is by definition a set of music played during a milonga (tango dance parties). The set usually consists of three to four pieces. Common types of music played during a tanda include tango, milonga or vals. A "cortina" is typically played to signal the end of a tanda. A single milonga contains several tandas.

I hope to spark some conversation about what makes a good tanda and what kind of songs you want to dance to in a milonga? I will try add more tandas and the mp3-files of each tanda about once a week. Stay tuned and feel free to comment on the tandas or anything tango related. And remember you can send your own tanda to be shared on this blog.

Welcome... I hope you enjoy my blog.

Antti Suniala.