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

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"

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.


- DJ Antti Suniala


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.