Dienstag, 3. Januar 2017

El Cachivache Quinteto: Tango Punk Vol. II

With their album “Tango Punk Vol. I the El Cachivache Quinteto surprised their audience.They revitalized nine traditional compositions and underlined that each generation has to find their own approach to reconnect with their history and carry it further. Now their album “Tango Punk Vol. II” is out, and no, it is not a sampler with some more traditional tangos. They intend to convince us with 11 of their own compositions.
Six tracks are from pianist Pablo Montanelli, four by guitar player Vito Venturino, and one by Argentine composer-guitarrista Julian Graciano. Again the quintet plays with verve and enthusiasm and can easily convince a young audience. Of course I have my favourite songs, namely the lively and propelling “El Viajero” and “Se hizo de Noche” which are difficult to resist. One of their ‘strange’ compositions, “Fetiche”, is rather more post-rock than anything else. “Transylvanika” is a really beautiful vals that invites you to dance (although I didn´t care so much for the bottle neck guitar parts). 
Víto Venturino said that they wanted a ‘live’ sound for this recording and that all tracks were thus recorded simultaneously. However, this means that also several problematic moments of intonation on the violin were also retained, which decreases one’s listening pleasure in some tracks (i.e., “Celosamente”).
Nevertheless, with their dauntless and forceful approach, the El Cachivache Quinteto will surely become one of the next influential ensembles in the contemporary tango scene. Definitely go and see this band!

Montag, 2. Januar 2017

Juan Pablo de Lucca Quinteto: Después de todo

The quintet’s debut album has 8 tracks, most of which are written and arranged by their pianist Juan Pablo de Lucca, grandson of famous tango-singer Alberto Castillo. We hear Juan Pablo de Lucca (piano), Santiago Cirmi (bandoneon), Manuel Villar Lifac (contrabass), Mauro Caracotche (drums) and Juan Pablo di Leone (transverse flute). Gabriel Wolff (viola), Emanuel Aguirrez (cello), Luis Caruana (bandoneon), Maia Perduca (flue) Emiliano Lorenz (bass), and Luciano Sellan (guitar) also appear on some tracks.
The compositions and their arrangements explore the narrative textures of contemporary jazz and rely on the rich and vivid tango history, yet they remain in the usual spectrum. The transverse flute and bandoneon as solo instruments are played elegantly and avoid the annoying melodic patterns that can be found quite often in jazz-oriented tango ensembles. That´s one of the strengths of this ensemble, they rely on their own music rather than making the 100th resuscitation of tango standards from the crypt. The musicians present these new compositions very cautiously and provide a beautifully relaxed atmosphere (even in the more energetic, drum-supported end of “Nuestras ilusiones”). No need to hurry – there’s time to get down to the essentials.
This music fits quite well to a comfortable café, but may be a challenge for non-professional tango dancers at the weekend milongas. For my part, I would prefer my café with the Juan Pablo de Lucca Quinteto!