Three recent releases show very different aspects of Tango, the increasingly-popular musical style that came out of Argentina and Uruguay.
Tango Bizarro Bizarre Tango comes from Argentina. In recent years there has been a growing electronic tango scene. Some of the new tango electrónico acts are inspired and creative, while others lack any attraction. Tango Bizarro Bizarre Tango by Seis Luces falls within the innovative category. Keyboardist and programmer Alejandro Fernández Lecce works with La Típica SeisLuces, a classic tango orchestra. The result is edgy tango with electronic beats and DJ scratching.
With Tango Around the World, Putumayo has collected musical pieces by musicians who play tango or tango-inspired music from Argentina and eslewhere. Excluding Spain, which has a large Argentine and Uruguayan expatriate community, Finland is the country where tango has taken a bigger foothold. The Finnish scene is represented by M.A. Numminen & Sanna Pietiäinen.
The multiple facts of tango on Tango Around the World are represented by combinations with electronica, Gypsy, Sephardic, and West African music. Surprisingly, however, there are no acts from Uruguay.
Sixties-style lounge music seems to have particular attraction in North America. The producers of Gardel Martini (Kosmic Music) have created a kitschy recording that will please the lounge music fans. It combines the timeless songs of Carlos Gardel with retro arrangements, which include lounge jazz and bossa nova beats.
Gardel Martini features singer Maria Entraigues, pianist and keyboardist Ruy Folguera, and guitarist Enzo Buono. "The tango is very dramatic," says Buono, who is also Director of A&R for Kosmic Music. "It’s a sad story always, with the girl leaving and the guy can’t live without her. These melodies and lyrics, very mellow and organic, bring tango to a different world of joy."
With over 1,443 recordings and 800-recorded songs, Carlos Gardel is considered one of the most prominent figures in the history of tango music. After his death in an airplane crash and at the height of his career, a devoted following keeps his legend alive. Some 68 years after his death at age 37, Gardel’s image is forever remembered as a tragic hero in both Uruguay and Argentina.
Author: Angel Romero
Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music and progressive music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music and electronic music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World, Lektronic Soundscapes, and Mindchild Records. Angel is currently based in Durham, North Carolina.