The Listening Project- week ending July 3

A two week edition this time. You’ll notice there’s a lot of Argentine tango this time round- I’ve been prepping to teach a class (dance not music- that’s one of my other jobs), so I’ve been searching out all sorts of music that could be useful in a class situation rather than just dancing to it (rather different functions).

 

Note- Ha, I got so busy I forgot I hadn’t posted this! Duh…

 

Otros Aires 4 2013 Otrotono

Otros Aires is one of my favourite electro-tango groups, but I have to say I’m not really feeling this album. They’ve moved away from their dance roots and gone…somewhere else…here. Some of it’s still fun and definitely danceable, but… it’s nowhere near as danceable as their first two albums (and I’m ambivalent about part of their third), and it doesn’t have as much of the drive as any of their earlier albums. For comparison:

One of my favourite hell-for-leather milonga’s- it’s a great mix of drive and melody, and even if you don’t consider yourself a dancer (let alone a milonguero/a) it can’t fail to get you up on your feet to boogie.

The lack of drive in 4 also affects my pleasure as a listener. While there are some interesting things going on with the mix of samples and live work, it’s just not catching my ear, sadly.

I also had a quick listen to their latest album Perfect Tango, and I have to say the same criticisms apply- they seem to have lost that something that made them such an exciting group to listen and dance too.

Osvaldo Pugliese Y Todavia Te Quiero Centauro Moni 2013

One of my favourite tango orchestras ever- I fell in love with Pugliese when I first heard Gallo Ciego in Sally Potter’s The Tango Lesson. He was a prolific band leader and recorded a lot of music. This album has several tracks that I’ve never heard before, which I’m happy about because I love that I haven’t discovered everything yet!

Juan D’Arienzo El Rey de Compás 1935-1938 vol. 1 2015 Musical Box

Another favourite tango orchestra of mine- and a great one for studio work because of his very clear beat. The songs here are absolute classics in the  tango world, and I have to admit I didn’t know that some of the recordings that I already knew were this old!

Rick Astley 50 2016 BMG

I’ve always been a fan of Rick Astley’s baritone- for one thing, it’s rather unusual for a pop/soul singer from the 80s to be baritone, rather than tenor. And of course who hasn’t been Rick-rolled in the past decade? This album is quite a departure from his usual fair- he’s gone full on gospel on us. While the album is well made (good arrangements, producing, engineering, etc), some of the songs are a bit message-y, and I’ve never been a fan of overtly message songs. There are some songs on here I’ll happily listen to again, but I don’t think this is going to be on my repeat play-list

 

Tess Said So Scramble+Fate 2016 1631 Music

I’ve been eagerly awaiting Tess Said So’s second album since I discovered their first. This is quite an aesthetically different album from I Did That Tomorrow, but equally beautiful. I really enjoyed the use of tuned percussion (the various bells, gongs, vibes, etc) with the piano. Such a lovely album.

 

No jazz this time around- but there is in the next one…

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