Our journey through the tangodj continues, and this time we land in northern Europe. Mikael Holber is one of the top names on the European scene, which is required in some of the most significant events to give a special contribution to the evening. Deep knowledge of classical conjugate to a careful reading of the milonga. Control the music without surprises. And then go to the discovery of another great master of tangodjing.
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?
- My first introduction with tango was indeed through dancing. But I realized early on that one key element to the dance is to know the music, know the structure, and know the upcoming section. So for me the role of playing music was both to improve my own dancing and to learn more about the music.
What were your early taste of tango? There are significant differences with the current scene?
- I guess for most people the later recordings are easier listening in the beginning, as you grow older in tango, so does your taste in music. I had a particular love for late instrumental Di Sarli and they still have a special place in my heart.
Do you remember your first night on DJ-ing?
- Yes I do, It one of our wonderful afternoon milongas back home. I was nervous but it went well and I kept playing at the milonga every now and then, and still do!
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 do believe that the way a DJ works today is different from earlier, and the demand for quality has increased as well, as anyone with a computer can access huge collections of music without leaving one´s house. It also aids the sharing of ideas between DJs and collectors, which overall has lifted the quality at the milongas.
When you build your performance? Long ago, during the journey to the milonga, or sudden moment by moment?
- For me, preparation is everything. I want to be able to control the music and not have any surprises. That said, I do change a lot of things at the last minute to better suit the dancers and the atmosphere. But the confidence of having well-prepared tandas is very important to me.
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?
- Everyone must have had nights when they are tired and just want to go home. I pick milongas to DJ at based on where I want to go myself and dance. Both when I'm playing in my home town and abroad, I pick events and milongas I would have gone to anyway. I also love to have my friends around, not just for the good company but to be able to get honest feedback and ask for advice.
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 ...
- I sometimes find it amusing to take a look at old playlists from milongas. Yes, there are some good songs there but I would not play those anymore.
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?
- Sharing with a friend who I know has similar taste to mine is something I do enjoy, however, I have not done this in a long time now.
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?
- If someone is interested in the music I always help them by giving titles and suggestions. Improving the musicality of the dancers is also important to help people in their development as dancers. I also ask if a DJ plays a nice tanda or song I don't know.
The public bother you with absurd requests: what do you do? Are you a jukebox?
- I'm not a jukebox. But I do listen to peoples´ requests and if it concurs with my plan for the milonga I usually try to play it.
Do you like to dance and listen to your colleagues enjoy the selections and styles of others from your performances?
- Absolutely, there are some excellent DJs in Europe and I believe it's important to learn from the knowledge of others. Sometimes it's even easier to notice how the mood changes on the dance floor when you are there dancing yourself.
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 the local scenes do have variation. On the other hand, the larger events in Europe are more homogeneous, maybe even setting the trend for many of the local scenes.
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?
- At home, I'm part of organizing several milongas and events. It´s hard work and you need to know when to do things yourself and when to ask for help. And it is important to put energy into the details of the venue, making it appealing both to dance in and to socialize in. Sometimes when the organizers try to maximize the size of the dance floor, the social area is often forgotten. This makes it more difficult to invite, and I get the feeling of the milonga being less friendly.
The classic point-blank questions you have to answer, you cannot refuse:
Three orchestras that can not miss in one evening.
- Canaro, for the huge selection of fantastic tunes; D'Arienzo, for the energy he brings to the floor; and old smooth Di Sarli, it can never go wrong.
Your three favourite orchestras, which may also be different from the previous ones.
- I will have to add Biagi to the previous list, the early work is sublime, and the later work is really something extra.
Suggest a tanda of tango instrumental, a tanda of tango singer, one of vals and milonga.
Alfredo Gobbi - Independiente Club, El Incendio, La Viruta, La Catrera.
Angel D'Agostino w. Vargas - Notas De Bandoneon, Un Tropezon, Un Lamento, De Igual a Igual
Ricardo Tanturi w. Castillo - Marisabel, Mi Romance, La Serenata (Mi Amor).
Carlos Di Sarli - Milonga Del Centenario, Zorzal, Pueblera
What are the three bands or singers you can not stand?
- I would not go as far as saying that there is music I can't stand. But usually it's the voice of the singers who turn me off. The ones I have most difficulties with are Lita Morales, Armando Laborde, and Lalo Martel. But all of them do excellent performances in duets.
What is the band most underrated by the general public and which is the most overrated?
- I really like Edgardo Donato and his early work. These are rarely played but easy to find on CD, nice happy music. Overrated is more difficult, but I generally feel that late work from Pugliese is played more than it should be.
Your top three nights (in your opinion of course ...)
- I really enjoyed DJ-ing at the after-party at Belgrade Encuentro (Serbia) this year. Beautiful dancers, cozy venue, and in general a well-organized event. People just refused to stop dancing and go home, so of course I kept on playing, until 9 in the morning!
- I had a great time DJ-ing in Tampere (Finland) during their summer camp this year. The summer camp is aimed at the Finnish dancers and playing for such a big, warm, and welcoming crowd was truly a great experience.
- The third evening must be one of our local events at the Grand Theater in Göteborg (Sweden). A milonga open to the public during the city festival. More than 600 visitors came to enjoy the atmosphere, music and dance.
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?
- Haha, no comment. Period.