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
The folks at 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. 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!


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 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.


 Tanturi, Ricardo - TOTW - Todo - iTunes Store
Campos, Enrique - TOTW - Todo Tango - - iTunes Store

Sunday, March 8, 2015

TOTW - The Year 2014

Spring is almost here in Berlin and although it's a bit late I thought of doing a short review of the 36 tandas posted on the blog in 2014. Since I recently updated the complete TOTW playlist on Spotify I have been listening to the tandas of the blog a lot more and I have to say we have a lot of great music here. Thank you all for the suggestions, feedback and guest DJ's for their contributions!

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 2013.


- DJ Antti Suniala



Some useful tags you can use searching for music on TOTW -

Tango - Vals - Milonga tandas
1920's - 1930's - 1940's - 1950's tango music
Favorite tandas by Dj Antti Suniala
Tandas by guest DJ's 

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Tanda of the Week 10/2015 - Black Magic - Mixed orchestras - DJ Antti Suniala

De Angelis, Rotundo, Varela and D'Arienzo

1. Alfredo De Angelis / Oscar Larroca - "Volvamos a empezar" 1953
2. Francisco Rotundo / Floreal Ruíz - "Resignate hermano" 1952
3. Héctor Varela / Argentino Ledesma - "Un remordimiento" 1955
4. Juan D'Arienzo / Jorge Valdez - "Destino de flor" 1957 weeks tanda is an experiment into the dark arts and black magic of mixing songs from different orchestras into one tango tanda. Mixing orchestras in a tanda is not common practise and is generally frowned upon especially when not done well. Most common and more accepted examples of it are the milonga and even vals tandas with songs from many orchestras, often partly due to a lot more limited amount of recordings in both styles. I am not quite sure if the term "Ronda de ases" is used only for a tanda consisting of the greatest hits of tango from several orchestras put into one tanda - like a super romantic tanda from Canaro's "Poema" and Fresedo's "Buscandote" etc. - or if can be used in general for a tango tanda of mixed orchestras even if the songs are not such standard super hits? Here I experiment with the latter option.

The journey to the dark side began when I came across Rotundo's "Resignate hermano" and thought it sounded suprisingly a lot like a mix of early 50's De Angelis, Varela and D'Arienzo. So to pass time on my bus tour* I tried to find songs that'd go well with it. I was juggling many songs from all the other three orchestras and the tanda turned out like this... for now.

I personally don't look for DJ's to mix orchestras in tango tandas, although I might tolerate/approve/appreciate one mixed tanda in a set, but rather have the difference between tandas provide enough variation and inspiration for the dancers. I think mixing orchestras is more acceptable when the songs or orchestras are not super well-known. I know many DJ's do it with some early 30's music. I've done it on the blog earlier in similar style with an instrumental tanda of Orquesta Tipica Victor, Provincianos and Donato. One of the fundamental ideas for a tanda is to have a consistent style and mood throughout the tanda, a task which can be possible even with the mixing of the orchestras. Sometimes you might find a great song but the same orchestra doesn't have enough songs for a great tanda and you want to look a bit further into similar songs from other sources. However, when it comes to true classics, I really would not want anyone mixing for example Troilo/Fiorentino and Di Sarli/Rufino even if the DJ in their mind could come up with some kind of consistency and similarity.

-- EDIT: another example of a mixed tanda on TOTW is this tanda of the singer Carlos LaFuente with orchestras Tipica Victor, Marcucci, Provincianos and Carabelli. So the tanda has different although very similar orchestras and the same singer in every song. I dare to say that this tanda is a fairly perfect example of how mixing of orchestras is done well.

Of course it could be argued that the orchestras and songs of this tanda of mine are fairly well-known (or could it?) but for example I chose to go with D'Arienzo/Valdez because the song and style is not the most common to D'Arienzo... I tried some songs from the earlier 50's with Laborde and Echague but found that Jorge Valdez as a singer also matched the other singers (Larroca, Ruiz and Ledesma) better. From Varela I was thinking of going with "Moneda de cobre" but thought of "El remordimiento" as a slightly softer choise for this rather massive and strong tanda. Maybe I could've also looked into the Varela recordings with Rodolfo Lesica.

I found out that by pure luck, or guidance from the tango devils, "El remordimiento" is actually composed by Francisco Rotundo. Rotundo also recorded "Destino de flor" with Alfredo del Río. I tried hard to find a connection for Rotundo and the De Angelis song to satisfy my tango geek side as well, but failed to do so.

Now... if you find yourself behind the decks at a very traditional milonga, it's probably not a great idea to play something like this. If you feel like your crowd is ready for some experimentation then this tanda might work. If you think they'll like the opening track then they'll probably enjoy the rest of the tanda too. I sure would rather dance to this than 50's D'Arienzo/Echague, which always rubs me the wrong way.

Anyway.... the tanda is an experiment. I even thought of saving it for an April Fool's tanda and mark all the songs to have been recorded by Rotundo and see how fast my readers realize the mixing of orchestras... but the Spotify/Deezer playlists would've of course given it away too soon.

So my friends and enemies. Do you think these songs have a consistent enough style to be mixed into one tanda? Would you even notice the difference in styles? Would you recommend other songs to improve the tanda? Have you played or danced to any great tango tandas of mixed orchestras?


PS. I updated the neglected complete TOTW playlist on Spotify!

De Angelis, Alfredo - TOTW - Todo Tango - - iTunes Store
Rotundo, Francisco - TOTW - Todo Tango - - iTunes Store
Varela, Héctor - TOTW - Todo Tango - - TangoTunes - iTunes Store
D'Arienzo, Juan - TOTW - Todo Tango - TangoTunes - iTunes Store



I just finished a two week tour of 3200 km by bus... I played in Vilnius (Lithuania), Riga (Latvia), Tallinn (Estonia), Helsinki and Tampere (Finland) and Lodz and Warsaw (Poland). The hours of sitting in busses and the recovery was made a lot easier by the great tango communities, dancers, organizers and my hosts. Thank you all!