Today we meet another great TangoDJ. From Budapest Antónia Nagykáldi (DJ Toncsi) and her style that , as she said "is traditional, mostly Golden Age spiced up with some Guardia Vieja and the later years' music".
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?
Yes, first I was a dedicated tanguera. Then I began to collect tango music. It was just a chance to start DJ'ing. Some friends of mine travelled to Buenos Aires and they asked me and my partner to organize their milongas. But the playlists they wanted to give us for the milongas didn't arrive so I created my own ones every week. It was such a great adventure for me, I so much enjoyed it! When they arrived back I continued as a regular guest DJ for various local milongas then we started to organize our own milonga.
What were your early taste of tango? There are significant differences with the current scene?
For the first half a year I prepared many-many hours for each milonga to create smooth tandas and built up the arch of the milonga in advance, at home. Mostly I chose songs I supposed to be danceable for lots of dancers. Sometimes I was wrong, but I have learnt a lot from these little mistakes. Later I got involved with leading and began practicing it, and tried to think more and more with the brain of a leader. I can't lead complicated figures but I can do rhytmic walking and things like that. I often tried music at home before the milonga if I had any doubt about whether a piece of music was suitable for average dancers or not. Slowly I learned to avoid playing "music for listening" ("musica para escuchar") and started focusing more on the dancers instead of playing something new and interesting all the time. Anyway my taste has not changed basically since the first DJ'ing but it has refined a lot.
Do you remember your first like tango dj?
During my first milonga I was very happy. I could not wait for the reaction of dancers. I danced a lot because I wanted to feel my music from the dancefloor.
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?
Of course Internet is a great help to find music, and it surely changed the work of the DJs. It is easier, maybe with less joy but the point, the goal is the same: making people happy at the milonga. As a photographer I can call a metaphor for this: taking photos with an analog camera or with a digital one...
When you build your performance? Long ago, during the journey to the milonga, or sudden moment by moment?
My way of building up the milonga has been changing through the years as I change. In the first years I did everything at home, later I changed this or that during milongas. Now I choose tandas on the spot, a few minutes before playing them. I always prepare a few totally new tandas for a milonga. Most of the time I use tandas I did previously and supposed to be good for that night's milonga, but there are moments when something makes me throw the original idea out and create something new. This can happen during great milongas of marathons and festivals where lots of excellent dancers inspire me more, but I never forget about my most important way of choosing music: it must be danceable and besides this: interesting enough to keep people dancing!
Have you ever played in a boring night? Have 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?
Yes, nights sometimes can be boring even if I do my best. Not a good feeling but I always hope it gets better. But hey, I can’t be depressed! I try to give more energy to people to dance even if there’re only few of them or the weather conditions make them sleepy.
I usually accept the incoming offers, sometimes I have the opportunity to choose what attratcts me more.
How would you define your style? It has evolved over time? And in which direction?
My style is traditional, mostly Golden Age spiced up with some Guardia Vieja and the later years' music. I don't play alternative or neo or nuevo music, unless the organizer asks it on a special event. Now for me the "alternative" music is tango foxtrot and ranchera vals, but I use them only on special occasions and not all the time. Someone told about my style that it is sweet. That doesn't mean I play lots of sentimental or romantic music. On the contrary. Usually I play very rhytmic songs with all kind of characters and feelings. Feelings are certainly needed, but in the proper amount - as in life. Dancers who know me, know already most of the music I play at my milonga. That gives them the safety of coming home in a way. But there are always some little surprises, presents - some not so common pieces of music or just mixing things another way (for e.g. in a mixed tanda). It is like when your lover waits for you with some delicious food or some present when you come home (sweet home) from a long trip :-)
What can influence you in an evening, the audience, the dancers, the acoustics of the location, the duration of your performance ...
The dancers influence mostly my choices, the number of them, their level of experience, whether they seem tired or full of energy etc. Location is also very important: small or large (correlating to the number of dancers), what kind of floor is there, weather conditions, indoor or outdoor... I have to work more with the mixer to give the possible best sound if the acoustic system is poor, or I may have to put aside some tandas for that night.
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?
Of course the best is playing alone, building up the milonga myself, but it can be funny to play with a colleague. I haven't tried playing in a duo yet, but I would like to try it once.
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 asks me about the name of a track, I tell him. It is important that more and more people know and love tango music.
The public bother you with absurd requests: what do you do? Are you a jukebox?
If somebody comes with an absurd request I try to smile and shortly make clear that I don't think I would choose his favourite song, because I guess not so many people can dance to it because it is too special... But this situation is very rare. In most cases I can easily modify my set according to the requests. It’s just another challenge, and it gets me closer to the audience.
Do you like to dance and listen to your colleagues enjoy the selections and styles of others from your performances?
I like listening to other DJ's and dance on their music. There may be surprises. Sometimes I ask myself after a tanda: "Why...?" And a lot of times I say: "Why not! Great idea!"
Do you believe that the art of “musicalizador” is different for geographic areas? Argentina, USA, Northern Europe, Eastern Europe, the Mediterranean ... or is it similar in every countries?
Current geographic area can affect the work of musicalizador(a), but in my opinion the main point is all the same. I shouldn't play some pieces or orquestas in Argentina which are fashionable in Europe, and sure there are pieces that won't be successful in parts of Europe, because people don't know what to do with them.
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?
Organizing a good regular milonga and playing there weekly is not an easy job even if having everything needed for that. I do this in Budapest. I like to play there but I also need new adventures from time to time, now I prefer collecting invitations, travelling and getting to know people all over Europe.
The classic point-blank questions you have to answer, you cannot refuse:
Three orchestras that can not miss in one evening:
D'Arienzo, Di Sarli, Fresedo and many more :-)
Your three favourite orchestras, which may also be different from the previous ones:
D'Arienzo, Di Sarli, Troilo
Suggest a tanda of tango instrumental, a tanda of tango singer, one of vals and milonga.
Tango istrumental tanda: Juan D'Arienzo
2. El Portenito
3. Gallo Ciego
4. El Apronte
Tango tanda with a singer: Miguel Calo, Raul Iriarte
1. Gime el Viento
Vals tanda: Alberto Castillo
2. La Pulpera de Santa Lucia
Milonga tanda: Mixed tanda, I always experiment with Lomuto's Que Tiempo Aquel, so:
1. Juan D'Arienzo: De Pura Cepa
2. Francisco Lomuto: Que Tiempo Aquel
3. Edgardo Donato: La Milonga que Faltaba
What are the three bands or singers you can not stand?
Nina Miranda con Donato Racciatti
What is the band most underrated by the general public and which is the most overrated?
Very difficult question. Most underrated: Francisco Canaro, most overrated: Francisco Canaro :-D
Your top three nights (in your opinion of course …)
The first time I was a DJ outside my country, and all the marathons I DJ'd :-)
We are less serious: Last night a dj saved my life. The DJ role is sexy?
Of course :-)
Have you ever had a relationship with some fans and some flirt with your colleagues?
Let's reverse it: all who have a relationship with me have to be my fan, because tango music and DJ'ing became a part of me :-D