The educated Tanguero

Essential Tango Knowledge

13/10/2017
by Richard Stoll
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How to identify an unknown Tango

The Tango DJ, who has many thousands of songs on hundreds of CDs, does not necessarily have to know or hear them all. Sure, there are about 100-200 pieces, which are usually played and you recognize, sometimes colleagues or dancers also try to find out which title and singer belong to a certain piece. The Tango DJ is a natural contact for this. What to do if the piece is not known or can not be assigned?

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11/10/2017
by Richard Stoll
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A Backup Strategy for the Tango DJ

It happened in September 2017: I just backed up my current collection on a portable hard drive, as at about 20% my data disk in the PC decides to suddenly brake down. Is my collection gone now? A data rescue with on-board equipment was not possible after several attempts, professional data recovery costs a fortune.
What is the value of a tango collection? I do not calculate here with the acquisition costs of CDs or records, because they remain physically available. How about the tags and the thoroughly constructed directory tree? A quick estimate of several thousand working hours does not leave much hope.
A German trade journal for computer technology recently issued a sticker with the inscription “No Backup – no Pity”, which I placed onto my network hard disk. So we need to talk about backup strategies.

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12/09/2017
by Richard Stoll
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Que nadie sepa mi sufrir

I must admit – sometimes I like Valses more than Tangos. One of my (20?) favourites is this one, more for listening than dancing, but it has an interesting story to tell. „Que nadie sepa mi sufrir“ (let nobody know how much I suffer) is not a true Vals criollo, it is initially more a Vals Peruano. It was written in 1936 by the Argentinean Angel Amato, using the pseudonyme Angel Cabral [1]. The lyrics have been added by Enrique Dizeo, who was a fellow Argentinean. During the next two decades, this song became very popular in whole South-America, but it is nowadays seen rarely at Milongas.

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10/07/2017
by Richard Stoll
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Digital Signal Chain

Last year, Pioneer (the dominant company for DJ equipment) was finally able to publish a stable driver for the connection of a Windows PC to their professionel DJ-mixers. This one was immediately and fully certified by Native Instruments for use with their DJ Software Traktor Pro 2.0 (in Version 2.11). This news made a lot of DJs really happy (not only the Tango-DJs).

What is so interesting about this news, even for the Tango DJs?

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08/09/2016
by Richard Stoll
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Tango Webradio (Music for free)

As a DJ I am collecting Tango Music since the early 90ies, mainly from CDs bought in Argentina, Germany and Australia. So my collection is pretty big and sometimes I have the problem to deal with the sheer amount of musical pieces in search for undiscovered gems. I have spent thousands of bucks to buy music and equipment without the chance to earn more than a drink and a meal out of DJing. This is OK and this is, what is expected of a Tango aficionado.
Beginners of Tango and beginners in the DJ business have other problems, mainly to get at least some music. Today, that is not a big problem, it is even possible to get music free of charge and totally legal. The solution to that is internet radio.

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23/07/2015
by Richard Stoll
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José Maria Lucchesi

Looking for what I call “hidden treasures”, I came occasionally along a really interesting Orchestra. This is a small, non-mainstream orchestra founded by José Maria Lucchesi which seems to get more and more attention among Tango DJs. Lucchesi was born on 29.3.1897 in Sorocaba (Brasil) [1,2] and played mainly accordion, but also piano, harmonica and guitar [3]. He recorded his Tangos mainly in Europe, especially in Germany, France and Spain, sometimes under a pseudonym Leal Pescador (“the loyal fisherman” because fishing was one of his favourite pastimes) or Jose Maria de Lucchesi. In 1942 he was naturalized in France. The name of his orchestra was “Orchestre sud-américain José M. Lucchesi“. With this Orchestra he mainly recorded Tangos, Valses and Paso Dobles in a very broad spectrum.

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23/07/2015
by Richard Stoll
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Roberto Firpo

The first Tango musicians in the early decades of the 20st century were amateur musicians without a real musical education, but partly in the tradition of the Payadores, the Argentinean country bards. These musicians (like Vincente Greco, Juan Maglio, Eduardo Arolas or Angel Gregorio Villoldo) introduced the milonga from the countryside and other criollic elements into the young Tango and started to form the first orchestras. Until that time, no tango orchestras have existed and so the characteristic instruments and the way to play them had to be defined and invented. The early Tango musicians are called “Guardia Vieja” (old guard), but the first orchestras played a very significant role to develop the style of the orchestral tango and the musical tools and performance structures to fit the character of the Tango. In terms of historical structures, the Guardia Vieja closed around 1925 and then a transition period began with tango orchestras exploring the quality of interpretation but also developing the musical reception of the Tangueros to finally create the EDO around 1940.

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19/07/2015
by Richard Stoll
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Rafael Canaro – the little brother

Rafael Canaro was born on 22. June 1890 in San Jose de Mayo in Uruguay as brother of Francisco Canaro (Francisco had three other brothers: Luis, Rafael and Mario, all of them Tango musicians) [1]. In 1925 Rafael visited Paris as part of Franciscos orchestra during the second tangomania and played the double bass and also the singing saw (!) [1]. In 1926 he returned to Paris and started his carreer as orchestra leader with his own orchestra playing until 1936. In Europe he had the chance to play with Carlos Gardel and became his closest friend. Because of the WW2 he returned to Buenos Aires and continued his carreer until he died on 28. January 1972.

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