An EP is a good way to test listeners´ reactions, particularly when the musicians of Altertango (Elbi Olalla: piano; Pablo Conalbi: drums; Gerardo Lucero: double-bass; Ezequiel Acosta: bandoneon) state that, after 5 albums, they tried to re-defined and re-configure themselves in an instrumental format.
The first song of their 6-track EP is the collectively written “Radiotango”. Syncopated double bass and drums start preparing the timid appearance of bandoneon and piano with their fine melody lines, and culminate in accentuated jazzy improvisations. This song convinces at the first hearing. "Madrugón", written by Mariano Gonzalez Calo, is a bit different. It also has its slow and ‘silent’ parts which contrast with the more rapid and ‘confusing’ parts. The dynamic development might be a challenge for the dancer, but will please the listeners.
Also the other songs have their moments, particularly the accentuated improvisational parts in “Y la quería”, or the grooving drums dominated “Altermalambo”, or the wonderful milonga “Murga Sísmica” which is spreading its contagious happiness.
For me, "Las Palabras" by Edgardo Gonzalez is one of their really strong ones, because it breaks with the listeners´ expectations. Starting with arpeggiated e-guitar pattern, the piano sets its marks and the bandoneon introduces a very moody melody which is later on contrasted by heavy (distorted) rock guitar lines played by guest musician Martin Sanchez. This is what modern tango music could be and is offered by this alternative tango ensemble from Argentina: surprise the listeners instead to play variations of the ever-same bandoneon pattern. Add him to the band, and Altertango can be exceptional.