Playlist: 24 October 2015 (Lutterworth)

Genre Song Year Artist(s)
Tango Tango argentino 1942 Enrique Rodríguez (Armando Moreno)
El encopao 1942
Yo también tuve un cariño 1942
Un tropezón 1942
Tango Retintín 1938 Francisco Canaro (Instrumental)
Don Esteban 1938 Quinteto Don Pancho (Instrumental)
Mate amargo 1938 Francisco Canaro (Instrumental)
Duelo criollo 1939 Quinteto Don Pancho (Instrumental)
Tango Pregonera 1945 Alfredo De Angelis (Carlos Dante & Julio Martel)
Selección de tangos de Discépolo 1948
Pastora 1948
Adiós, marinero 1946
Vals Estrellita mía 1940 Edgardo Donato (Lagos, Morales & Gavioli)
Quien Sera? 1941 Edgardo Donato (Horacio Lagos)
Mendocina 1942 Edgardo Donato (Romeo Gavioli)
Tango El cachafaz 1937 Juan D’Arienzo (Instrumental)
Homero 1937
La rosarina 1937
El choclo 1937
Tango Recuerdos de bohemia 1935 Osvaldo Fresedo (Roberto Ray)
Volver 1935
Te juro, madre mía 1935
Sollozos 1937
Milonga Cuando un viejo se enamora 1942 Carlos Di Sarli (Roberto Rufino)
Yo soy de San Telmo 1943
Maldonado 1943
Tango Unión cívica 1938 Rodolfo Biagi (Instrumental)
El trece 1938
El incendio 1938
Pura clase 1939
Tango Tres esquinas 1941 Ángel D’Agostino (Ángel Vargas)
Un copetín 1941
Muchacho 1940
Adiós, arrabal 1941
Vals Romance de barrio 1947 Aníbal Troilo (Floreal Ruíz)
Llorarás, llorarás 1945
Flor de lino 1947
Tango Moulin rouge 1941 Julio De Caro (Instrumental)
El pensamiento 1942
Maipo 1941
El baqueano 1941
Tango Una emoción 1943 Ricardo Tanturi (Enrique Campos)
Muchachos comienza la ronda 1943
Palomita mía 1943
Oigo tu voz 1943
Milonga Milonga de mi tierra 1943 Osvaldo Pugliese (Jorge Rubino)
Tortazos 1944 Osvaldo Pugliese (Roberto Chanel)
Un baile a beneficio 1950 Osvaldo Pugliese (Jorge Vidal)
Tango Milongueando en el cuarenta 1941 Aníbal Troilo (Instrumental)
Cordón de oro 1941
El tamango 1941
Guapeando 1941
Tango Nada más 1938 Juan D’Arienzo (Alberto Echagüe)
La bruja 1938
No mientas 1938
Ansiedad 1938
Vals Sueño de juventud 1952 Carlos Di Sarli (Oscar Serpa)
Un momento 1952
Tu pálida voz 1952 Carlos Di Sarli (Mario Pomar)
Tango El chamuyo 1930 Orquesta Típica Victor (Instrumental)
C. T. V. 1932
El pibe 1933
Jueves 1934
Tango Cada día te extraño más 1943 Miguel Caló (Raúl Iriarte)
Cuando tallan los recuerdos 1943
Mañana iré temprano 1943
Gime el viento 1943
Milonga La puñalada 1963 Juan D’Arienzo (Instrumental)
Papas calientes 1967
Milonga de mis amores 1970
Tango Alma de bohemio 1943 Pedro Laurenz (Alberto Podestá)
Todo 1943
Como el hornero 1944
Garúa 1943
Tango La cumparsita 1955 Carlos Di Sarli (Instrumental)

It’s all about the music

I play almost exclusively music recorded by the great tango dance orchestras of the Golden Age, and with a strong focus on roughly the decade from the mid-1930s to the mid-1940s.

Some orchestras are more-or-less guaranteed to feature in all my sets: Biagi, Calo, Canaro, D’Agostino, Demare, Di Sarli, Fresedo, Pugliese, Rodriguez, Tanturi and Troilo. I also play regular selections from De Angelis, Donato, Laurenz, Lomuto, OTV/Carabelli and others. That’s not an exhaustive list, but I keep coming back to the great recordings from the familiar orchestras. I’ll happily leave others to play ‘specials’, whacky or unusual music.

There is a wonderful richness and variety in tango dance music; and I like to present tandas that reflect that range of styles or moods: rhythmic, lyrical, tender or romantic and occasionally, dramatic. But wide-ranging selections can too easily sound like someone with an iPod on shuffle-play, so great care is needed to sequence tandas in a way that creates a satisfying flow of music that calls dancers back to the floor, again and again.

Probably the most distinctive thing about the way I select music is that I rarely mix songs in tandas. I usually base a tanda around just one orchestra, and if there is a singer, the same singer. I tend to choose songs that come from a quite narrow range of recording dates too: finding that one of the most satisfying ways to maintain a mood or feel through a group of songs is to choose from a particular time period. Some DJs mix vals and milonga tandas almost as a matter of course, but I rarely do. It is true, that compared with tango, there are far fewer recordings of valses and milongas from which to choose; but as a dancer, I hate feeling apprehensive about what the DJ might play next, and as soon as I register that a DJ is mixing tandas to any significant degree, my enjoyment of the set is diminished, and I start sitting out or being far more cautious in seeking out ‘safe’ partners.

Happy and relaxed dancing requires that the dancers can trust the DJ to select great music and to sequence it properly. Like a trained waiter in a good restaurant, no one should notice the DJ – he isn’t the star – the music should speak for itself. So apart from selecting and presenting the best music in the first place, the music needs to be delivered properly: with a good sound system, with quality transfers, with uniform and sensible volume and with gaps between songs that are neither too long nor abrupt. DJs need to be the master of their craft as well as their art.