Our journey through the great tangoed bring us back in Eastern Europe. This time we stop in Budapest, and we meet another of the great talents, Konrad Krynski.
He's not only a great Tango DJ but also tango dancer, organizer of regular milongas in Budapest, tango music collector. When Konrad plays, try to offer very wide selection of music ranging from mid 20ies till late 50ies… and it is impossible to stand still on the floor. Elegant, with great control of the music and the dancers, the milonga runs like clockwork. And then, go to the discovery of another of the masters of the art of Tangodjing. Ladies and gentleman, Mr. Konrad Krynski.
From the beginning: I suppose that your first approach with tango, like for other dj, was with the dance. What inspired you to get into console and play music? A conscious decision or was the result of chance?
I had my first contact with tango music before I started dancing. I used to play classical guitar. The music of Astor Piazzolla and some other post-Golden Age tangos are an important part in repertoire of most contemporary guitarists. After that came the dancing. From the first days I was interested and intrigued by tango music. A few months later I started building my collection. From the beginning I wanted the music to be labeled properly, having all the titles, orchestra and singer names, years of recording. From that there’s only one small step to DJ-ing...
What were your early taste of tango? There are significant differences with the current scene?
I think that in recent years the music we can hear in many european milongas is moving towards more classical selection. Nuevo and alternative music is less and less present. I am quite a conservative DJ (I hardly ever play anything recorded after 1960). But at the same time I think diversity is good for overall development. Additionally modern music is better when we want to attract new generation of tangueros and tangueras. So it would be a pity if Nuevo disappeared completely.
I think that in every case a DJ should adjust to the audience and not vice versa. It is sometimes not very easy .
Since the beginning I liked all types of music. And I still do like all of them today, though modern music almost completely disappeared from my musical selection.
Do you remember your first like tango dj?
I can’t remember the first name…. I remember I was quite impressed by several DJs during my first trip to Buenos Aires. But it was maybe Buenos Aires that impressed me more
The difficulty of the search for songs on cd often burned, the explosion of the Web and the consequent relatively easy to find in the music. Do you think this paradigm shift has changed the way of working of the DJ?
I think that easy access to music and other tango information online has a fundamental impact on the way we DJ. Today everybody can listen to thousands songs on Youtube, buy music without leaving their flat, read DJ blogs about building tandas, even see and listen to many examples of tandas. All those evolutions are very helpful and contribute to overall increase of music awareness. They can also give many new ideas. Laptops where you can store all your music collection in good mp3 quality also make it easier.
It is very important for every DJ to keep her or his own personality and style. Copying somebody else’s tandas and relying on modern technology is not yet DJ-ing.
When you build your performance? Long ago, during the journey to the milonga, or sudden moment by moment?
I think a big part of the secret of a good DJ is months and years of hard work done outside of milongas. One needs to know his or her collection, be conscious about choices of songs in tandas, sequence of tandas, having a wide selection of cortinas bridging the tandas perfectly, etc… With solid preparation and minimum of good taste almost everybody can be a correct DJ. If you add some talent, intuition and good feeling for the dancers one can become a great DJ.
I build most of my tandas at home. I make sure that I have wide enough selection of them that will suit any occasion. The choice of tandas and cortinas is always done on the spot. Quite frequently I modify the home-made tandas during the milongas (e.g. to avoid playing the same song in different tandas, put in a song somebody asked me about , make the tanda easier or more difficult to dance).
Have you ever played in a boring night? Have you you understand too late that perhaps the milonga could not give you the right motivation and you could not wait to finish? Do you accept whatever you offer or try to make a selection preferring location and fascinating evening with friends?
Boring night? It does happen to me (mainly on small, local and regular milongas). I think a good DJ should never give up. One should always try to make a great evening even if there are very few people present and keeping the energy high is difficult. The small, local milongas are equally (if not more) important for tango life as festivals and marathons. The dancers should have access to the best music selection there.
How would you define your style? It has evolved over time? And in which direction? What can influence you in an evening, the audience, the dancers, the acoustics of the location, the duration of your performance ...
When I play I try to offer very wide selection of music ranging from mid 20ies till late 50ies. This did not really change over time. I surely build my tandas more carefully now. When I listen to some of my early playlists, sometimes I can’t believe I played it . A good DJ should in my opinion spend as little time looking into a laptopscreen as possible. DJ-ing should be an interaction with the dancers taking into consideration all external factors (light, temperature, length of the milonga, shows, orchestras performances, etc…). The list of the factors is very long…
Do you prefer playing alone or sharing the night with a / colleague. Generally prefer to work alone, or with friends who you feeling? Or, you love the thrill of experimenting with a colleague ever heard until then?
I have shared an evening with a DJ-friend once (2 tandas for him, 2 tandas for me). It was a great experience. But definitely if the milonga is not too long, up to 8 hours, I prefer to play alone. This way I can decide the level of energy myself. If it all works well – great! If for some reason it does not work... there is nobody else to blame
If someone asks you the name of a track you say it to him, perhaps suggesting where the CD is included, or invite him to venture into the trouble of searching?
I very rarely keep it for myself. In most cases I enjoy sharing music knowledge and appreciate if the dancers are interested in the music they are dancing to.
The public bother you with absurd requests: what do you do? Are you a jukebox?
I usually ignore requests for music I don’t find appropriate for milongas. But in general I’m quite open. I feel one of my main responsibilities is to please my dancers. So if I can make them happy by playing their favorite song or tanda.... I do it.
I love requests about chacarera, salsa, rock’n’roll. If they happen, it is a sign that the evening was great, people have lots of energy and want to go above the borders of tango. That’s just great!
Do you like to dance and listen to your colleagues enjoy the selections and styles of others from your performances?
Of course I do enjoy music of my DJ colleagues. Though I’m quite critical. I always find something that could be done differently But it’s normal and I’m happy that DJs play in different styles, have different approach in building tandas and the energy of the evening… It would be so boring if everybody was playing the same (even if it was really very good).
Do you believe that the art of “musicalizador” is different for geographic areas? Argentina, Northern Europe, Eastern Europe, the Mediterranean ... or is it similar in every countries?
I think art of Musicalizador is very similar everywere, though the music played in different georaphies is obviously very different. A good DJ should in my opinion have only 2 objectives. The first and most important is to please the dancers and make them dance as much as possible. The second, less important and probably relevant only outside of Argentina, is to educate dancers. I think it is good to propose new music to widen the horizont and knowledge of the dancers, but this should happen without compromising too much the first objective. The rest is only about adjusting to the local tastes and preferences.
The music played in traditional milongas of Buenos Aires is in my opinion very good but conservative and limited. Five orchestras will represent half of the tandas you hear there. Most DJs in Europe tend to be much more open and offer wider selection. I prefer “the European model”, provided that the music selection is based on a solid, well balanced classical repertoire.
Would you like to have a milonga just for you, furnish it with the appropriate facility to your desires, try to create a wave that satisfies you over to play when you want and create a calendar of events to measure your tastes?
With a friend of mine Balazs, I do run a weekly milonga in Budapest. We have quite similar music tastes and we can do it our ”way”. We plan some special type of tango events soon… But let’s keep it as a secret…
The classic point-blank questions you have to answer, you cannot refuse:
Three orchestras that can not miss in one evening.
Three orchestras that can not miss in one evening.
Definitely di Sarli and d’Arienzo. The third.... probably Troilo.
Your three favourite orchestras, which may also be different from the previous ones.
It’s quite difficult to beat di Sarli and d’Arienzo – they are in my top 3. But my favorite is Francisco Canaro. Such a huge selection, the best milongas, great valses and so many tangos to choose from. One needs a few years to discover all of it...
Suggest a tanda of tango instrumental, a tanda of tango singer, one of vals and milonga.
So difficult to choose only one of each!
I love instrumentals of Canaro from the late 20ies and early 30ies...
La Voz Del Bohemio
A tanda I like finishing milonga with: Carlos di Sarli with Alberto Podesta
La Capilla Blanca
Lloran Las Campanas
Miguel Calo’s vals tanda that always works and brings everybody to the dancefloor:
El Vals Soñador – with Raul Beron
Pedacito De Cielo – with Alberto Podesta
Bajo Un Cielo De Estrellas – with Alberto Podesta
I love the energy of d’Arienzo milongas (be careful as speed and quality of those milongas can vary significanly depending of the CD):
Estampa De Varón
Milonga Del Recuerdo
What are the three bands or singers you can not stand?
There aren’t any orchestras I cannot stand. Sometimes I say that there are no "bad songs”, there are only songs put in bad tandas, played in bad moments of a milonga. Maybe that is not entirely true, but I’m sure you get my point.
If I have to give some names… I’m not the biggest fan of de Angelis (with some exceptions, e.g. with Larroca) and Varela. But I can surely stand them
What is the band most underrated by the general public and which is the most overrated?
I think Francisco Lomuto is definitely underrated. I can hardly hear it anywhere... Who is overrated? Here I might risk my tango future . Ricardo Tanturi, especially with Alberto Castillo. Some people put them in top 5. I think they are great but there maybe a few orchestras that are same good or even better...
Your top three nights (in your opinion of course ...)
I keep many great memories in my mind. I enjoyed DJ-ing in Amsterdam – people there are very open to wide selection of music and it gives great opportunities to the DJ. Recently I dj-ed in Experiencia Milonguera, in Pradamano, Italy. The energy in the night was great. At the end, at 5 a.m. the floor was full of dancers… But probably nothing will beat my open-air milongas at the royal castle in Budapest… Amazing view, big crowd, incredible atmosphere. You need to come next summer
We are less serious: Last night a dj saved my life. The DJ rule is sexy? have you ever had a relationship with some fans and some flirt with your colleagues?
Hmmm… Flirting at the milongas… You don’t have to be a DJ to do that