Samstag, 1. Juni 2013

Otros Aires: "4"

Otros Aires´s 4th (regular) CD “4” published 2013 by Galileo Music Communication, continues what started in 2004. It is difficult to resist these tangos and milongas with their mixture of modern (hip-hop) grooves, `historic´ samples, Miguel di Genova´s vocal performance, Diego Ramos´s accented piano work, and Hugo Satorre´s empathetic bandoneon which connects with the tradition.
The 12 (+1) tracks show a variety of different facets, starting with “Big Man Dancing”, an energetic, straight forward groove oriented song, followed by the hip-hoping “Parfume de Mujer” with the congenial duet of Omar Mollo and Miguel di Genova. “Buenos Aires Va” is a very slow melancholic vals with lot of restrained passion, and a pleasing `jazzy´ arrangement (piano, bass, drums, bandoneon and vocals). This contrasts with “Raro - Versión Español / Siciliano”, a `funky´ milonga with additional rap vocals by Othello Man; further Angel Villoldo´s “El Porteñito”, a more traditional milonga with rhythmic scratches and piano licks, and Hugo Satorre´s bandoneon melodies which take turn with Joe Power´s harmonica lines. Also “Con Un Hachazo Al Costado”, a `samba-milonga´ which invites to dance, is an outstanding track among 12 others.
What about the “Big Man Dancing Remix” by Viví Pedraglio? The 8:39 min dance floor oriented version of the title track (originally 2:30 min) might be intended for a different target group. I can imagine that it works quite well in a club; however, it is not what keeps me attracted too long.
Lou Reed´s “Perfect day” works fine in its `tango-vals´ interpretation. Very touching!  
The bonus track “Los Vino – Movilo”, known from their 2008 live CD “Vivo en Otros Aires”, surprises with a `Balkan arrangement´ by the Chalga Band. This cultural exchange creates a very special feeling 
Overall: Otros Aires are still a warrant for catchy grooving songs which refer to the tango tradition, but add some fresh flavor. It is fascinating to see how Miguel di Genova´s talent to write `modern classics´ develops, and that the band is able to attract both dancers and listeners. (

P.S. The cover art work by Nick Wadley is again an outstanding eye-catcher!

Freitag, 24. Mai 2013

Etango: "Discoteca"

Etangō, an electro tango project from Osnabrück (Germany), have published their second CD, “Discoteca”. Most of the 15 songs were written and arranged by Arne Bense (electronica, programming) and Ingo Daus (guitar, programming). Together with Christiane Kumetat (violin) and Stefan Mertin (bandoneon) they present 15 dancefloor oriented tangos and milongas which fit to the wider genre of electro tango. For example, “Recuerdo Nuevo”, a `samba-milonga´ with various rhythmical breaks invites to dance; “El pulso”, a great grooving tango with funky guitar and heavy synthesizer pattern; “Pofeta”, a soul inspired tango dominated by electric guitar chords, enriched with synthesizer and mellow arching melodies of the violin. 
Yet, there are also wonderful atmospheric tangos such as “Desde el alma” with spoken lyrics by the German actress and singer Yvonne Werner-Mees; particularly this song attracts with interruptions of fascinating drum loops and heavy rhythmical sound effects. One of my favorites is “Me.Longa” with soul-ful guitar pattern and hiphop groove, violin, and again hypnotic lyrics (spoken and sung) by Yvonne Werner-Mees (could be more of this!). The evergreen “La Cumparsita” is the final song, in their version nearly a `new´ one. 
The order of songs follows a funny idea: Four blocks of tandas (three songs each) separated by three 30 seconds sound breaks (Cortinas): Ready to dance. 

Overall: If you have ears to listen and a body to move, you should give this CD a try. It is definitely worth it! Invite them for your milongas / neolongas! (

Mittwoch, 22. Mai 2013

Electrocutango: "Adrenalina"

Tango from Norway? - Sverre Indris Joner, Electrocutango´s composer, pianist, programmer, arranger, and producer, can count on his band mates Mikael Augustsson (bandoneon), Odd Hannisdal (violin), Steinar Haugerud (double bass), and Antonio Torner (drums, pecussion) to create pieces of contemporary tangos which go beyond the boundaries of expectation how modern tangos should sound. “Adrenalina” for example is highly energetic and a fast milonga (for me, their best song) – albeit dancer will have their problems. “Agua mansa” is a slow grooving `shuffle´ tango suited to try some moves. With track #5 the songs are more club oriented than the previous ones, i.e., drum grooves and synth bass flavored with bandoneon and spoken verses by Julia Zenko in the hypnotic “Cambalache”.
However, even a great CD may include some tracks which bring me to use the skip button (i.e. “Cybertango”, a 3 minute strange soundscape, or “El tango del gringo”, an experimental track with nested voice effects). But this is definitely carping at a higher level when this 14 track CD, published in 2011 by Random Records, has so many attractive songs to offer. Listen to the great “Adrenalina”, “Vanguardia vieja”, "Recostado en la vidriera”, “Agua mansa”, and you know what I mean. 
The last track is an interesting surprise: Astor Piazzolla´s “Yo so Maria” sung by the amazing Julia Zenko, and arranged as a forward-pressing track with drum loops and sequencer. - Unexpected and great.   
Electrocutango are at their best when they start to groove; then they are pure fun, and it is difficult to sit stock-still.

Dienstag, 21. Mai 2013

Rarotango: "Vuelta"

Unfortunately the Italian project Rarotango has split. Their 2009 published CD “Vuelta” (Moltopop Records / Molto Recordings) can be regarded as the only electro tango signature Danilo Leonoro (electronica and arrangements) and Francesca Baroli (vocals and piano) have left.

The first song, Rarotango, starts with an attractive drum pattern and mild synthesizer fills, female vocals (in French language), bandoneon and violin, and sparkling piano licks. It opens the door to a rich bunch of 12 songs which inspire to dance, but are also interesting enough to listen with attention. It seems that several classical tangos are mixed with their own compositions, however, it is only Piazzolla´s "Vuelvo al sur" which is a `borrowed´ song. All songs work fine in their new `clothes´, none of them could be regarded as an unnecessary filler. 
From time to time a short sample of classical tango pieces shines up, and underlines that Rarotango was indeed a tango project and not one more less inspired electronica side job. “Valzer Ilusiòn” surpises with a wonderful alto saxophone, and the obligatory instruments (piano, some strings, bandoneon, and female vocals). One track I really like is “Africa”; starting very touching with childrens´ laughter, piano and (synthesizer) strings, female chorus vocals (now Italian language) and discreet male rap verses by Stefano "MarvelMex" Tasciotti. 

Overall: Electro tango at its best, no time to hurry. One of my favorite CDs of this genre.

Montag, 20. Mai 2013

Narcotango: "Cuenco"

In 2013, Narcotango are back with their long awaited new CD Cuenco. Starting with “Olivia” and “Cachala” one notices very soon that the former label “electro tango” is too narrow. The new songs are an energetic fusion of modern tango with elements of jazz(rock) – both in song structure, melodic changes, and arrangement. Their wonderful atmospheric songs are still present, yet within the same song different facets may appear which makes it very attractive to listen. The musical skills of Fernando del Castillo (drums) and Mariano Castro (keyboard) to create complex pattern with fascinating details invite Carlos Libedinsky´s wonderful bandoneon and Marcello Toth´s fusion guitar to join, and these are one of their unique selling points. 
Since their 3rd CD Limanueva, the new line up is writing their songs together, and it seems they have gone beyond the dancers´ expectations to repeat exceptional standards such as “Otra luna” or “Solo por hoy” again and again. I love them for these old songs, yet Narcotango have continued to develop and change. For `audiophiles´, this `jazzy´ facet of Narcotango is exceptionally fascinating and worth it (for example the atmospheric “Mientras Tanto”, “Del otro lado” or “Un Tango Fuera De Lugar” with vocals of Rosana Laudani from Libedinsky´s project DOS) – and nevertheless, also the dancers are invited. I have seen them during their shown in Bonn in May 2013, and the audience was dancing with passion.
If you like tangos which have to offer more than some easy listening clichés, then you should give their new CD a try (Tademus producciones, Buenos Aires;