Sunday, December 14, 2014

Tanda of the Week 50 / 2014 - Di Sarli / Pomar - DJ Antti Suniala


1. Carlos Di Sarli / Mario Pomar - "No me pregunten por qué"
2. Carlos Di Sarli / Mario Pomar - "Tormenta" 1954
3. Carlos Di Sarli / Mario Pomar - "Corazón" 1955
4. Carlos Di Sarli / Mario Pomar - "Bailemos" 1955's a quick tanda with Di Sarli and Pomar as was requested on the Facebook group of Tanda of the Week. All these songs are from the Archivo RCA : Carlos Di Sarli Vol. 2 album. Enjoy!
Di Sarli, Carlos - TOTW - Todo - TangoTunes - iTunes Store
Pomar, Mario - TOTW - Todo Tango - - iTunes Store

Friday, December 5, 2014

Tanda of the Week 49 / 2014 - Anibal Troilo - DJ Michael Lavocah


1. Aníbal Troilo / Floreal Ruíz - "Confesión" 1947
2. Aníbal Troilo / Floreal Ruíz - "La noche que te fuiste" 1945
3. Aníbal Troilo / Floreal Ruíz - "Mis amigos de ayer" 1946
4. Aníbal Troilo / Edmundo Rivero - "Sur" 1948 week I have the pleasure of featuring a beautiful tanda from Michael Lavocah, the author of the highly acclaimed "Tango Masters: Aníbal Troilo" and "Tango Stories: Musical Secrets". And as my readers might have noticed, the blog has featured plenty of tandas of Anibal Troilo earlier, and nothing makes me happier than publishing another one. Here's what Michael wrote about the tanda and the music of Troilo from the late 40's:

In the early days of the tango revival, the only Troilo we heard at the milonga was the brilliant 1941 sides with Fiorentino. It was the only Troilo we had at the time. It is also the most accessible dance music Troilo ever recorded, the music that sounds most like the other bands. It's such a pity that he recorded almost nothing in the years 1937-1940 - we would play a lot more Troilo in the milonga if he had.

As more of Troilo's recordings began to be released, they were not particularly well received by the modern public. The energy of the sides from 1942 is often radically lower than those from 1941, and we didn't know how to listen to more sophisticated music. Many communities stuck to the "easier" 1941 sides.

The situation is much better now, with Troilo-Marino regularly played at many milongas and even chosen for performances. But Troilo's later sides from the 1940s - still very much from his dance era - are still relatively rare flowers at our milongas. This is perhaps the most sophisticated dance music ever recorded, requiring plenty of active listening. It won't be suitable for every tango environment, but it's music I wish were better known. Much if it has more energy than the mid 1940s sides which have now become accepted.

This is a real tanda I played at the High Noon Tango Marathon in Berlin this summer, August 2014. I played on Sunday afternoon from 12 noon to 6pm, with another DJ to follow me, and played this tanda in the last half hour, just before a milonga tanda. The level of the dancers was high and the room was really together, with a responsive crowd and a coherent flow on the dance floor, so I felt the tanda had a good chance of going down well.

The songs cover 1945-1948. Troilo's singers at this time are Floreal Ruiz, who is more lyrical, and Edmundo Rivero, whose voice is darker. Rivero's voice has a such a strong personality that I don't play tandas just of Rivero. Ruiz is an easier choice, but I wanted to see if I could finish with Rivero's "Sur", an outstanding tango (Troilo's favourite vocal tango) very seldom played at the milonga, so I made a mixed tanda.
"Confesión", known to many people from the lovely recording by the Orquesta Típica Porteña from 1931, makes a very strong opening with its crashing syncopations and dramatic lyric. After this, "La noche que te fuiste" is relatively soft and calming, but still a strong choice, even if it's not as common at the milonga as Caló's slightly simpler version. The third song, "Mis amigos de ayer" is the weakest song in the tanda - still a five star song however, and a good match to the previous one. "Sur" then provides the emotional highlight. Because of the large dynamic range in this song (at the end Rivero drops his voice almost to a whisper), the DJ needs to be ready to tweak the volume, but in this case it wasn't necessary because the dancers were all in the music and room was completely quiet - just as it should be.

- Michael Lavocah

You can read more about Troilo's dance music in his book, "Tango Masters: Aníbal Troilo", available on amazon or direct from him at

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

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Tanda of the Week 47 / 2014 - Anibal Troilo - Instrumental milongas - DJ Antti Suniala

First World Tango Problems - pt. 2

1. Aníbal Troilo - "La trampera" 1951
2. Aníbal Troilo - "Mano brava" 1952
3. Aníbal Troilo - "De pura cepa" 1942

Bonus track: Aníbal Troilo - "Nocturna" 1961 of the finest milongas from Anibal Troilo in my opinion is his own composition "La trampera", which was recorded first in 1951 and later again in 1962 with Roberto Grela (Spotify) and also in 1969 (Spotify). I wanted to create an instrumental milonga tanda starting with "La trampera" and here's how it turned out.

"Mano brava" (by Manuel Buzon) was originally recorded with the singer Francisco Fiorentino in 1941 and in 1952 Troilo recorded an instrumental version. The second version is very identical to the vocal version, although slightly slower and ofcourse without the vocals. In fact it is without the vocal part entirely, making the song that much shorter also and the song might feel like it ends too soon.

For the third instrumental there weren't that many to choose from. It would be either "De pura cepa" from 1942... or "Nocturna" from 1961, which is a rather, may I say, "epic" milonga composed by none other than Julian Plaza.

"Nocturna", like many other compositions by Plaza such as "Payadora", is popular with modern performing orchestras and is more often a part of a tango documentary soundtrack than an actual selection of a tango DJ. However I've enjoyed dancing to the song many times when played by a live orchestras so I personally could stomach the song as the original recording by the one and only Anibal Troilo.

DJ's should note the differences in sound quality and I'd suggest editing a mono version of "Nocturna" to get rid of some of the panning of instruments for a more balanced sound when played in a milonga.

Enjoy! You can check all the other milonga tandas on TOTW here!

P.S. The unrelated picture is a tango-meme of mine and a  part of the "First world tango problems" series.

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

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Tanda of the Week 46 - Orquesta Tipica Victor (Instrumentals) - DJ Antti Suniala

1. Orquesta Típica Víctor - "Jueves" 1934
2. Orquesta Radio Víctor Argentina - "Barrilito"1940
3. Orquesta Radio Víctor Argentina - "El ponchazo"1941
4. Orquesta Típica Víctor - "Tango milonguero" 1940
This weeks tanda is from Orquesta Típica Victor. The Tipica Victor or OTV was a studio orchestra of the Victor record label and they recorded a large amount of tango music I believe in between 1925 and 1945. The orchestra was directed by great musicians like Adolfo Carabelli and although lot of the recordings were instrumental also singers like Charlo, Alberto Gomez and even Angel Vargas sang in their recordings.

"Other important names that passed through the ranks of the orchestra were: the bandoneon players Federico Scorticati, Carlos Marcucci and Pedro Laurenz; Orlando Carabelli, brother of the leader, and Nerón Ferrazzano on double bass; on violins: Antonio Buglione, Eduardo Armani and Eugenio Nobile. Cayetano Puglisi, Alfredo De Franco and Aníbal Troilo were also included in the orchestra on some occasions.

Years later, and due to commercial reasons, the label thought that only one orchestra was not enough. For that reason a number of orchestras began to appear: "Orquesta Victor Popular", the "Orquesta Típica Los Provincianos" led by Ciriaco Ortiz, the "Orquesta Radio Victor Argentina" led by Mario Maurano, the "Orquesta Argentina Victor", the "Orquesta Victor Internacional", the "Cuarteto Victor" (lined up by Cayetano Puglisi, Antonio Rossi, Ciriaco Ortiz and Francisco Pracánico) and the excellent "Trío Victor", with the violinist Elvino Vardaro and the guitarists Oscar Alemán and Gastón Bueno Lobo. The already mentioned quality of the musicians made the Orquesta Típica Victor one of the highest musical expressions of its period, and it would remain at the same level until the late thirties." - Néstor Pinsón, TodoTango

I feel that most of the OTV instrumentals that i hear in milongas are more downtempo, and while I like some of them (for example the great "Viento Norte"), I personally always found the uptempo songs more to my liking. And here if you compare "Jueves" to the same song recorded by Juan D'Arienzo in 1937 you'll notice that the high energy and uptempo style was already present in the Victor labels releases already before D'Arienzo's breakthrough.

These songs are mostly credited for "Orquesta Tipica Victor" bus as Clive Harrison pointed out in the comment section below the second and third song were recorded by "Orquesta Radio Victor Argentina". I added a bonus track on the tanda playlists, which is the super uptempo "El Enterriano" also recorded by Orquesta Radio Victor Argentina.


Orquesta Tipica Victor - TOTW - Todo - iTunes Store

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Tanda of the Week 45 / 2014 - Hector Varela (valses) - DJ Antti Suniala

1. Héctor Varela / Argentino Ledesma, Rodolfo Lesica - "Como tu cariño" 1954
2. Héctor Varela / Argentino Ledesma, Rodolfo Lesica - "Igual que dos palomas" 1953
3. Héctor VarelaArmando Laborde, Rodolfo Lesica - "Patio porteño" 1952
4. Héctor Varela - "Llanto de amor" 1952
I just recently found the great "Llanto de amor" instrumental vals from Hector Varela and here I've used it in a tanda with the earlier 50's valses with vocal duo's from Ledesma/Lesica and Laborde/Lesica. With valses DJ's play either three or four songs and I usually play only three but I'll make an exception here for Tanda of the Week.

Just a quick thought about the order of the songs. You could start with the faster "Igual que dos palomas" (2:36) but here I thought that I'll put the longest (and a bit repetitious) song "Como tu carino" (3:31) first so that by the time everybody gets on the floor in the beginning of the tanda they'll have around 2:30 or 3:00 of time to dance to the first song and the other songs follow more or less with the same duration. If I went the other way and start with the shorter "Igual..." dancers would have 1:30 or 2:00 of the first song and 3:30 of the second. These things don't make a huge difference.... but they make a small difference... and can affect the flow of the tanda or the milonga.

Also with Varela and "Llanto de amor" you could of course make a fully instrumental vals tanda as well (which I also do). But here the 4th song being the instrumental serves the purpose of refreshing the style a bit... a 4th vocal duo song might get a bit heavy for our sensitive ears and delicate souls.

Another thing for DJ's. When playing songs of different quality and clarity you can't trust your iTunes (or even Traktor Pro) for correcting volume levels etc. Keep your fingers on the volume and eq for these songs. Better yet... what I did for "Llanto de amor" (I have only this version from the Grandes del Tango 44, which could be of better quality) was to remaster it the best I could to more or less match the dynamics of the other songs.

Anyways... I hope you like the tanda. Enjoy!

Varela, Héctor - TOTW - Todo Tango - - TangoTunes - iTunes Store

Thursday, October 30, 2014

The recent updates to the TOTW

I'm still in the process of updating all the older tandas posted on Tanda of the Week from the start in 2010. Be sure to check the UPDATES for the list of updated tandas. If you find a tanda I haven't updated yet and you want to hear it - just send me a message.

Here are the most recent updates. Have a nice end of the week!

Updates 30.10.2014

The following tandas have been updated with links to Spotify and/or Deezer playlists.

Updates 18-19.10.2014

The following tandas have been updated with links to Spotify and/or Deezer playlists.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Tanda of the Week 44 / 2014 - Miguel Calo (Instrumentals) - DJ Chris Jordan

1. Miguel Caló - "Inspiración" 1943
2. Miguel Caló - "La guiñada" 1948
3. Miguel Caló - "La maleva" 1943
4. Miguel Caló - "Saludos" 1944
This weeks tanda comes from DJ Chris from the UK. Chris is a regular contributor to the blog with his tandas and comments. Check out the previous tandas from DJ Chris and other guest DJ's. Here's what he said about the tanda:

"DJs who find La guinada overly exotic may like to substitute Sans souci 1944 (Spotify/Deezer).

I played this tanda [a while back] at the delightful Milonga Pasional, the longest-running weekend milonga in my home city Cambridge, UK. You can see the full set for that evening here."

Thank you Chris!

Calo, Miguel - TOTW - Todo Tango - iTunes Store

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Tanda of the Week 43 / 2014 - Ariel Ardit

1. Ariel Ardit - "Buscándote" 2013
2. Ariel Ardit - "Rosa de tango" 2013
3. Ariel Ardit - "" 2013
4. Ariel Ardit - "Un tango y nada más" 2013 was wondering who were the best singers of today's tango music and for me one of them is definitely Ariel Ardit. These songs are from the Ariel Ardit y su Orquesta Típica album "Yo Lo Canto Hoy" which greatly pays homage to the tango music of the golden era. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Tanda of the Week 42 / 2014 - Anibal Troilo - Valses - DJ Ana Belén

1. Aníbal Troilo / Floreal Ruíz, Alberto Marino - "Palomita blanca" 1944 - TangoTunes
2. Aníbal Troilo / Floreal Ruíz - "Llorarás, llorarás" 1945 - TangoTunes
3. Aníbal Troilo / Floreal Ruíz - "Romance de barrio" 1947 - TangoTunes to all of my dear readers. I recently finished a five week tour of circus performances and DJ gigs from Italy all the way to Greenland, but now I'm back in Berlin and ready to devote time for updating the blog again!
My interview and Tanda of the Week was featured on the latest issue of the TangoDanza magazine and you can get your copy of it at least on the TangoDanza website. Check it out!

This weeks tanda comes from guest DJ Ana Belén, who lives in Aspen, Colorado but is originally from Spain. She noticed that TOTW had featured only one vals tanda by Anibal Troilo and decided to correct this injustice immediately. This is what she had to say about the tanda

"A beautiful vals tanda by the great Troilo. I must say that it would never cross my mind to play a tango tanda with Ruiz, simply because I couldn't choose him over Fiorentino or Marino. However, I love these valses. My heart skips a beat every time I listen to Romance de Barrio! For those of you that like to play a 4 song tanda of vals I would add Flor de lino and would move the less known but heart warming Llorarás, llorarás to third place.

I fell in love with tango music right away, the day I took my first class. Some of it was already familiar to me either from listening to Gardel, popular Spanish songs or Boleros. 

We are all blessed we found tango. We'll live forever happy"

Thank you Ana! And don't worry about playing also Troilo's tangos with Ruiz besides Fiorentino and Marino. You can never play too much Troilo in one night! Here's one tanda of tangos by Troilo and Ruiz featured earlier on the blog. And about these valses... what can I say? It just doesn't get better than this ladies and gentlemen. These valses have it all: Amazing orchestra with the best singers, perfect balance of melody and rhythm, clarity with endless details and also challenges to dance to. I can never get enough of these songs. Let's live forever happy.

Troilo, Anibal - TOTW - Todo - TangoTunes
Ruiz, Floreal - TOTW - Todo - TangoTunes

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Tanda of the Week 33 / 2014 - Ángel D'Agostino y Ángel Vargas

1. Ángel D'Agostino / Ángel Vargas - "Esta noche en Buenos Aires" 1944 - TangoTunes
2. Ángel D'Agostino / Ángel Vargas - "Mano blanca" 1944 - TangoTunes
3. Ángel D'Agostino / Ángel Vargas - "Mi viejo barrio" 1944 - TangoTunes
4. Ángel D'Agostino / Ángel Vargas - "Palais de glace" 1942 - TangoTunes
Here's this weeks tanda and the third on the series of the releases of digitized D'Agostino shellacs. I'm sorry for missing the last two weeks but I have been busy performing and DJ'ing at a few festivals.
It is also the 4th anniversary of Tanda of the Week! So I'd like to take the chance to thank all the fans of the blog, all the DJ's who have contributed,  everybody who has ever donated or shared the blog or tandas with their communities, all the organizers who have invited me for milongas, all the people who know how to dance in line, all the followers who embrace soft but with passion, all the DJ's that play more Troilo than Canaro, all.... well maybe that's enough for now.

The next time I play (and think of it as the unofficial anniversary milonga) will be 23rd of August at El Ocaso Tango Cafe in Berlin. I have an almost impossible task to match the superb selection of music from the super selector Alexandra Kotelnitskaya who was on the decks last night at the very same milonga. For more of my DJ gigs check out my tour dates here.

D'Agostino, Ángel - TOTW - Todo - TangoTunes
Vargas, Ángel - TOTW - Todo Tango - - iTunes Store

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Tanda of the Week 30 / 2014 - Ángel D'Agostino and Ángel Vargas - second release

1. Ángel D'Agostino / Ángel Vargas - "Pero yo sé" 1942 - TangoTunes
2. Ángel D'Agostino / Ángel Vargas - "Trasnochando" 1942 - TangoTunes
3. Ángel D'Agostino / Ángel Vargas - "Cantando olvidaré" 1943 - TangoTunes
4. Ángel D'Agostino / Ángel Vargas - "Ninguna" 1942 - TangoTunes continues with more great releases as they put out already the fourth (!!!) D'Agostino compilation bringing the total of released songs to 87! I think I was still so happy about the first one that I missed the second and third release. I will do some catching up and start introducing songs from the second compilation in this very tanda and go into the third and fourth in the following weeks. As I've mentioned before, a lot of the D'Agostino catalog has been difficult to get in even playable quality, and you can clearly hear the difference in quality comparing the tracks on Spotify/Deezer to the ones now available from When comparing the quality of releases - for starters you should look and listen at the lenght and speed/pitch of the song and how much filtering has been used. Also if you like your music even more hi-fi remember you can get the songs also in FLAC format. (For more on the quality topic look below for the comment section)

This tanda was affected a lot by what songs I could find on Spotify... so I'd like to point out other great songs from the second compilation also like: "Guitarra que llora", "Llora vida mía", "Todo terminó" and "Tomo y obligo"....

"Pero yo sé" was composed and written by Azucena Maizani in 1928. You can listen to her version of the song here - Spotify/Deezer.

"Trasnochando" is one of the big tango classics and the ultimate version is of course by Caló/Berón - Spotify/Deezer - but I like the D'Agostino version as well.

"Cantando olvidaré" is a less known but amazingly beautiful song that has an ending which I'd love to finish the tanda with... but I like to finish with something more well known, therefore...

"Ninguna" ends the tanda. I believe this is the best known version of the song and it seems like the song became a popular standard for singers a little bit later in the 50's and 60's. From the 40's I'd recommend the version of Ricardo Malerba also.

D'Agostino, Ángel - TOTW - Todo - TangoTunes
Vargas, Ángel - TOTW - Todo Tango - - iTunes Store

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Tanda of the Week 29 / 2014 - Francini-Pontier valses by DJ Peter Rücknagel

1. E. Francini, A. Pontier / R. Berón - "Con ella en el mar" 1946
2. E. Francini, A. Pontier / R. Berón, R. Rufino - "Primer beso" 1948
3. E. Francini, A. Pontier / A. Podestá - "El mismo dolor" 1946 weeks tanda comes from DJ Peter Rücknagel from Bremen Germany. Here's what he had to say about the tanda: "This is a tanda of deeply emotional valses telling storries about aspects of love. They are far away from the somehow Vienna style valses which are so popular in Europe. Francini and Pontier, who played in the famous formation of Miguel Calo together with other great musicians like Domingo Federico and Osmar Maderna, later formed their own orquesta which, due to its high quality, was very much appreciated. It is a pitty that their beautyful music is allmost neglected in nowadays Milongas. I made this Tanda to remind the audience of this outstanding orquesta that recorded with the most acknowledged singers of their time. Among others with Raul Beron, Roberto Rufino and Alberto Podesta who can be heard in this vals tanda."

Thank you Peter! 

Friday, July 11, 2014

Tanda of the Week 28 / 2014 - Anibal Troilo 100 Años!!!

1. Aníbal Troilo / Alberto Marino - "Uno" 1943
2. Aníbal Troilo / Francisco Fiorentino - "Corazón, no le hagas caso" 1943
3. Aníbal Troilo / Floreal Ruíz - "Naranjo en flor" 1944
4. Aníbal Troilo / Raúl Berón - "Malena" 1952 is the 100th Anniversary of Aníbal Troilo, one of the most iconic musicians and orchestra leaders of tango. The Anniversary is celebrated through out the tango world in numerous events and milongas and also here on Tanda of the Week! Also there's been quite a buzz with everyone waiting for the release of Michael Lavocah's new book "Tango Masters: Anibal Troilo", which will, naturally, be published today.

This tanda showcases everything that was exceptional about Aníbal Troilo, the songs, arrangements, musicianship and he was joined by some of the greatest tango singers ever to walk this earth. This is music that really will live forever. I wanted to put the second version of "Malena" into the tanda to have the four of my favorite singers for Troilo in it... as well as show that yes Raúl Berón did sing for Troilo! Unfortunately the songs are only a few and very hard to find in decent quality.

I will be playing tonight in the La Yumba Milonga in Hamburg and you can expect even more than the usual amount of Aníbal Troilo tandas. Have a great celebration and weekend!

Troilo, Anibal - TOTW - Todo -

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Tanda of the Week 27 / 2014 - Ángel D'Agostino / Ángel Vargas and

1. Ángel D'Agostino / Ángel Vargas - "Agua florida" 1941
2. Ángel D'Agostino / Ángel Vargas - "No aflojés" 1940
3. Ángel D'Agostino / Ángel Vargas - "Un copetín" 1941
4. Ángel D'Agostino / Ángel Vargas - "Muchacho" 1940 news for DJ's and tango lovers worldwide! has released their first compilation of freshly squeezed (=digitized) D'Agostino shellacs! A lot of the D'Agostino discography has been almost impossible to find in good quality but look no further. The first 22 songs are released and more are to come.

Check out the Ángel 1 collection by Ángel D'Agostino and Ángel Vargas at!

Also check out the previous tandas by Ángel D'Agostino on TOTW.

D'Agostino, Ángel - TOTW - Todo - TangoTunes - iTunes Store
Vargas, Ángel - TOTW - Todo Tango - - iTunes Store

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Tanda of the Week 26 / 2014 - Ricardo Tanturi valses with Enrique Campos, Osvaldo Ribó and Roberto Videla

1. Ricardo Tanturi - "Desde el alma" 1944
2. Ricardo Tanturi / Osvaldo Ribó, Roberto Videla - "Tu olvido" 1946
3. Ricardo TanturiRoberto Videla, Enrique Campos - "Tu vieja ventana" 1945

+ 4. Ricardo Tanturi / Osvaldo Ribó, Roberto Videla - "Dos que se aman" 1948 weeks tanda is valses from Ricardo Tanturi with the three singers not named Alberto Castillo. I have posted many vals tandas from Tanturi earlier so be sure to check them out too. This tanda has the excellent instrumental version of "Desde el alma" followed by two valses that are duets. All the songs have great melodies and danceability and I really like the style of the Tanturi orchestra in these songs.

If you want to add a fourth vals to your tanda I'd recommend "Dos que se aman" but only if you can find it in good quality. Unfortunately the three versions I was able to find online are all in rather bad quality and I would not play the song in a milonga.


Tanturi, Ricardo - TOTW - Todo - TangoTunes - iTunes Store

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Tanda of the Week 25 / 2014 - Miguel Caló and Alberto Podestá 1954-1969

DJ's Birger Haugdal, Jens-Ingo Brodesser, Antti Suniala, Andrés Molina & Michael Lavocah

1. Miguel Caló / Alberto Podestá - "Qué falta que me hacés!" 1963
2. Miguel Caló / Alberto Podestá - "Noche de locura" 1954
3. Miguel Caló / Alberto Podestá - "Un infierno" 1954
4. Miguel Caló - "En fa menor" 1969 Stefan Ok (who has contributed a few of his tandas to TOTW) shared Miguel Caló's "Un infierno" on the increasingly popular "The Tango Now Playing In My Head Is..." group on Facebook and suggested that I should do a tanda with the song. Challenge accepted!
"Un infierno" was recorded in 1954 with the singer Alberto Podestá and it is a bitter song of love that made a poor man's life hell. Like always, Miguel Caló's orchestra is on fire and the musicians get to show their talent; listen to the short violin solo by Enrique Francini (if I'm not wrong - I don't have my Encyclopedia of Tango with me right now) at 0:51-0:59 for an example.

The process of creating this tanda around the song went a little something like this - First I naturally want to look for songs by Podestá and Caló from the same time period. They recorded six tangos in 1954 of which the most famous one is probably "La cantina" and others include "El Bazar de los Juguetes" and "Oracion Rante". I found that "Noche de Locura" fit the love theme better though with an invitation to the night of madness: 
¡No, no bebas! ¡Ven y bésame! ¿Que esperas...?
Emborráchate de amor igual que yo.
While I like all of these songs I'm left with a feeling that making a tanda of only the songs from 1954 would not satisfy me as a dancer. Another thing to take into consideration is that depending on the amount of 1950's (or beyond) tandas you want to play in the milonga - this tanda has to compete with the kings of 1950's tango Di Sarli, Pugliese and D'Arienzo... so you have to make it a good one. The songs have a fairly good structure and clarity for dancing with a balanced amount of orchestral parts and vocal parts but still... I'm assuming these are all compositions from the 50's and already that makes a big difference in comparing to early 40's compositions.  To understand better what I'm getting at listen to the radio recording from 1960's of Caló and Podestá performing "Mañana Ire Temprano", which was composed by Enrique Francini and recorded by Caló with Raúl Iriarte in 1943. The arrangement for the 60's version is very true to the original recording and you can hear how the early 40's compositions were just perfect for dancing. Unfortunately Podestá never recorded the song with Miguel Caló.

So I have to look a bit further to spice up the tanda and I think there's no better option than to open with the amazing "Que falta que me haces" from 1963. Fortunately the 1954 recordings are in excellent quality (a part for some small issues of low digital quality in the high end sounds) and they follow the opening song perfectly and the the almost 10 year gap is not noticeable.

Sometimes with vocal tango tandas that are a bit of a challenge for the dancers I like to try to make the tanda a little easier mixing one instrumental song in there. And especially in this case I like to also showcase the great quality of the orchestra itself. The last track of the tanda "En Fa Menor" is an instrumental from 1969 was also recorded by Caló in 1954 and although I like that version a lot I find that with the passing years the arrangement for 1969 was simplified a little and it is better for dancing and the sound of the orchestra and recording go well with the opening track and the rest of the tanda. You have to be aware that the 1969 version is in stereo and there's quite a lot of panning of the instruments going on, so when playing such songs I recommend either editing a mono version of the song or making sure your mixer is on a mono output setting to get a more balanced playback for your milonga. For the curios ones - there's also a version of "En Fa Menor" by Roberto Calo, the brother of Miguel Caló.

Thank you Stefan for your suggestion! I think the more I listen to this tanda the more I like it and I will definitely play it sometimes in the future milongas. Enjoy!

PS. I'm in Finland now after the TangoSauna Marathon (look picture above) and playing finnish tango and other old old dance music in the great We Love Helsinki Mid Summer's Ball for these two nights... therefore I'd like to leave you with a cortina you might recognize.

Calo, Miguel - TOTW - Todo Tango - iTunes Store
Podestá, Alberto - TOTW - Todo Tango - - iTunes Store 

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Tanda of the Week 24 / 2014 - Rodolfo Biagi (instrumentals) DJ Antti Suniala

1. Rodolfo Biagi - "Racing Club" 1950
2. Rodolfo Biagi - "La huella" 1946
3. Rodolfo Biagi - "La viruta" 1950
4. Rodolfo Biagi - "El internado" 1953 from the amazing Tangosauna - Ultimate Finnish Marathon. I'm here sitting next to DJ's Michael Lavocah, Jaana Hänninen and Jenni Vallinen (who is also one of the main organizers) - trying to publish a tanda before the for me most anticipated set from Andrés Molina. I'm not kidding when I say it's been wonderful and a great start for the first ever tango marathon in Finland. The dancers love the settings and atmosphere and the food and the saunas and swimming in the lake and the white nights. It was pleasure to play my set as the opening DJ of the marathon and this is a tanda from my set. I wanted to capture the strong 50ish sound of Biagi in instrumentals but I was saving "El Recodo" for a Di Sarli tanda later on...

 I'll get ready for more dancing. Enjoy and keep this marathon in mind for next year. If you don't know, now you know!

Biagi, Rodolfo - TOTW - Todo Tango - - TangoTunes - iTunes Store

Friday, June 6, 2014

Tanda of the Week 23 / 2014 - Francisco Canaro and Roberto Maida 1935

1. Francisco Canaro / Roberto Maida - "Poema" 1935
2. Francisco Canaro / Roberto Maida - "Soledad" 1935
3. Francisco Canaro / Roberto Maida - "Ciego" 1935
4. Francisco Canaro / Roberto Maida - "Alma del bandoneón" 1935 the most popular of Francisco Canaro´s recordings is the beautiful "Poema" although it seems to have vanished from the playlists of most DJ's. This is due to the song being "overplayed" for a long time and also the fact that a lot more of Canaro´s and Maida´s recordings have become available in the recent years, so there's a lot more songs to choose from as well. I'm not personally the greatest Canaro fan (to put it mildly) but I do feel like I'd rather sometimes hear "Poema" in the milongas than a lot of the other songs that get more play at the moment.

Canaro has always been more popular in milongas in Europe than in Buenos Aires and in an interesting article about "Poema" in the Poemas del Río Wang blog it was noted that the song never was as popular in Buenos Aires and no other orchestra in Argentina recorded it. Still, I'd like to think that it is the one vocal tango recording from Canaro that gets played in Buenos Aires (at least on my previous visits) while mostly everything else than the milonga recordings leave the Buenos Aires audiences unimpressed. The above mentioned article describes the song as follows:

"Most of of the practicing and aspiring Argentine tango DJs must have noticed that Francisco Canaro’s superb (and much overplayed) 1935 “Poema” doesn’t quite fit seamlessly into tandas  “Poema” is quite singular in its gently melancholic, softly nostalgic flow, while other Canaro’s hits of the period tend to be more insistent and dramatic in quality, energetically driving rather than softly soothing. [...] “Poema” is undoubtedly the best composition of Eduardo Bianco, an Argentine who lived in Europe for nearly 20 years, and who mastered the art of making the tango of Argentina sound the Parisian way."
I feel that the last sentence applies to a lot of Canaro's music as well as I'd describe his style pretty much making the tango of Argentina sound the European way almost as if it was in it's own genre of tango. Maybe this is one of the reasons why his recordings appeal so much to many dancers in Europe and also creates a strong dislike for many as well. What do you think my readers? I'd like to hear your thoughts on the popularity of Canaro in Europe and outside Buenos Aires. I've used especially "Poema" often as an example when I discuss and wonder about why and how some songs gain and lose popularity.

Back to the tanda at hand. While especially "Ciego" is more "energetically driving than softly soothing" the tanda stays in the melancholic mood and has beautiful melodies and also more rhythmical parts to all the songs. "Soledad" was recorded by Carlos Gardel and "Alma de Bandoneon" is another of the great classics of tango music and Canaro does a fine version of it with Roberto Maida.

For lyrics and translations I recommend checking out the new Tango Translations Database and the translations for Poema - Soledad - Ciego and Alma de Bandoneon.

I chose songs from the Francisco Canaro album Poema, but the title song itself had a glitch in the end of the song so I used the song from the Cuartito Azul album for the tanda playlist. If you do purchase the Poema album you will have to edit out the glitch in the end of the song before playing it in milongas.

Enjoy and have a nice weekend all. I know I'll see some of you in the Embrace Berlin Tango Festival the coming days where I will be also playing on monday at the La Berlinesa milonga.

Canaro, Francisco - TOTW - Todo Tango - - iTunes Store