Saturday, 1 December 2012

Tango DJ interviews

Today I have decided to write a post that will be completely different from the others. A few months ago SuperSabino, a great and popular DJ from Italy, came up with a very interesting initiative. He started interviewing tango DJs and the text of the interviews can be found at his blog:

Please visit the blog and read as much as you can. You will really find valuable comments that are interesting not only for tango DJs, but also for all the dancers.

I have been one of the interviewed DJs. If you are interested in reading my interview, you can check the following link:

All the DJs got the same set of questions. Four in particular attracted my attention :

1) Three orchestras that can not miss in one evening?
2) Your three favorite orchestras, which may also be different from the previous ones?
3) What are the three bands or singers you can not stand?
4) What is the band most underrated by the general public and which is the most overrated?

At the moment there are 28 interviews available. The DJs are from Argentina and Europe (mainly Italy, but many other countries are represented as well). I thought it could be interesting to put the ideas of those DJs together and see what is the outcome... So here are the results of my small analysis.

The question 1 and 2 were answered in the following way:

Question 1 Question 2
D'Arienzo 89% 57%
Di Sarli 89% 54%
Troilo 39% 25%
Canaro 21% 32%
Biagi 21% 25%
Pugliese 21% 50%
Fresedo 18% 29%
Calo 4% 11%
D'Agostino 4% 4%
Tanturi 4% 7%
Laurenz 4% 14%
Demare 0% 4%
Lomuto 0% 7%
Garcia 0% 4%
OTV 0% 4%
Varela 0% 4%
Rodriguez 0% 7%
Piazzolla 0% 4%

Pretty much all DJs agree that d'Arienzo and di Sarli are by far the most important orchestras. There are 7 orchestras that clearly come ahead, when talking about must-have-in-milongas music.

There is quite a big difference between personal preferences of the DJs (question 2) and what they think should be played in milongas (question 1). It terms of personal preference, Pugliese is much more appreciated, whereas d'Arienzo and di Sarli are appreciated a bit less, but they are still on the top of the ranking.

When asked about orchestras and singers that the DJ's "can't stand" the first comment in many cases was that "can't stand" is "maybe too much". But still there were some names given...The "winner" in this category is.... Alfredo de Angelis - 10 DJs mentioned they don't like him (either in general or some particular parts of his recordings). I'm not a big fan of de Angelis myself and actually I have been challenged about it by some readers of my blog.. It looks like I'm not alone in my preferences:). The second place in "the least appreciated" category went to.... Héctor Varela. His name was mentioned by 7 DJs (surprisingly I´m not a big fan of Varela either :). The third place went to Enrique Rodriguez with 2 votes only... Other orchestras mentioned (by 1 DJ each) were Firpo, Villasboas, Francini-Pontier, Malerba, OTV, Sassone.

Concerning the over and under rated orchestras: There isn't a common agreement on this topic. Troilo and Pugliese seem to be underrated in the opinion of DJ 7 and 4 respectively. Overrated orchestras: Varela (no surprice - 5 DJs) and Canaro (5 DJs). Those were the only frequently repeating answers. Quite many DJs say that some "older" orchestras (Canaro, Donato, Orquesta Tipica Victor) are overrated and too frequently played, in Europe in particular.

I think that if we put the comments of those 28 DJs together we will gain a huge amount of tango knowledge and experience. Those people come from different countries, are of different age and have different tango background. However, they have similar preferences and tastes. I think that the results is an indicator of what is good, valuable tango music and also what is less important and not that good.

This does not absolutely mean that we need to go against our personal preferences! If one loves and gets inspired by the music of de Angelis and Varela - that's great! The most important is to enjoy the dance and feel the music deep inside.