After a break, we continue our journey discovering the secrets of great TangoDJ. This time we meet the legendary and super cool Tugba Tanoren. Are you ready?
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 suppose the DJ seed was first planted as I began to develop my dance and interpret the music of the different orchestras and singers in my own way. I became curious about the music and began to investigate the history of the orchestras and the way that they developed over the years and how one orchestra could be so different by a change of singer and/or decade. This seed then came to blossom as I on occasions became frustrated by the seemingly lack of knowledge and structure of the sets by some DJs and I began to feel that I could definitely do a better job. Hence I made the conscious decision to put my thoughts into action.
What was your early taste of tango? There are significant differences with the current scene?
In the early days in my region, it was very much tango nuevo that ruled the seas. If you didn’t do at least 5 volcadas in every song you were a nobody. J It has taken time but we are slowly getting back to the roots of traditional tango and the dancers are slowly realizing that the basics are essential. I hardly play Nuevo or alternative tangos in my Gigs but this is the truth is nuevo and alternative tango help to attract beginners and young people to tango.
Do you remember your first engagement as a tango dj?
Yes, it is a memory that will live with me until my dying day. I was an emotional wreck that night - I was excited, nervous, proud and scared. Luckily the dj set and night went well and was warmly appreciated by the dancers and organizer and I went home with a big smile on my face knowing that I had found something from within that I could share with others.
When do you prepare or construct your Set? A long time before the gig, on the day of the milonga, or do you improvise freely during the evening?
I always have my favorite tandas as my base they stay more or less the same with one or two songs being changed from time to time. Then I select a second list depending on the milonga and city/country, as I know from past experience that different countries generally have different tastes in music. So I try to adapt accordingly. Then the choice of tandas, creation of new tandas and the order of play are arranged on the night depending on the mood of the milonga and the energy within the place. Preparation is a continuous process never stops actually. When I hear a tango that I like I think all the time how I could do a tanda with this.
Have you ever played a boring set? Did you maybe understand too late that the milonga could not give you the right motivation and you could not wait to finish?
In my early days I played a set where for whatever reason I was unable to inspire anything creative from the dancers. The organizers had ideas that they wanted me to do. The mood and energy of the place was low and I was unable to inspire – or at least that is what I thought. The dancers thanked me warmly at the end and said it was my music that kept them to stay at the milonga so they still had a good night. J
Do you accept whatever gig is offered to you or do you try to select engagements, preferring a special location or fascinating evening with friends?
I pick and choose my gigs, I don’t like to disappoint organizers who have shown an interest in my djing but sometimes it is not always possible to please everybody. I have to feel right about djing at the location/city and if my heart is not in it I believe this will affect my dj set.
How would you define your style? Has it evolved over time? Into which direction? What can influence you during an evening, the audience, the dancers, the acoustics of the location, the duration of the Milonga...
My style has definitely evolved since my early days as a dj. I like to think that it has matured as I have learnt to appreciate the deeper side of the music and the orchestras. My personal taste for orchestras has become more rooted in the golden age with occasional scurries into the 50s and 60s. My sets reflect my personal taste but I also try to play a mixed bag to suit the taste of the region and tangueros on the pista. I feel I have an uncanny nack of knowing what tanda to play at any given time, I usually follow my gut feeling and by doing so I believe 100% in my set. I wish to be portrayed as a confident dj with belief in their skills – if I believe then the tangueros usually follow suit.
Do you prefer playing alone or sharing the night with a / colleague. Do you 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 prefer to play alone so I can concentrate on my own dj set. I don’t mind following a colleague, say at a marathon, but I do not like to share a set but it would be nice to try it out and see how it feels like.
If someone asks you the name of a track, do you give him the requested information, perhaps mentioning the CD where he can find it, or do you refuse and thus force him to engage into an adventure of search and find?
I give them the information, I like when a dancer shows interest in the music and I feel I am contributing to the orchestral education of the dancers by sharing the knowledge.
The audience bothers you with absurd requests: what do you do? Are you a jukebox?
If it fits to my set and my taste I would do it but it has to be appropriate.
Do you like to dance and listen to your colleagues enjoy the selections and styles of others from your performances?
Of course I do like to dance and listen other DJs sets. Since I started Djing I experience festivals, milongas, marathon in another way. Sometimes questions in my head appear like Why? Why not? And I love getting inspired from other colleagues.
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?
Absolutely – for example. I find that Italy, Argentina, Turkey and Northern Europe are worlds apart in their taste of tango music.
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?
I do have my own milonga in Malmö there we organize smaller and bigger events. I enjoy creating a place for everyone to enjoy it. I also run weekly practica there I try to vary the music especially for the beginners. We try to invite different Djs to our milongas to give different influences and inspiration to the tangueros in Malmö.
Three orchestras that cannot miss in one evening.
TROILO, D’ARIENZO, PUGLIESE, DI SARLI
I simply had to choose 4 as to leave any of these out would be scandalous
Your three favorite orchestras, which may also be different from the previous ones.
TROILO, D’ARIENZO, PUGLIESE, DI SARLI
For the same reason above J
Suggest a tanda of tango instrumental, a tanda of tango singer, one of vals and milonga
Di Sarli (reminiscent of gerardo portalea)
Tanda with a singer:
Ya lo ves,
Vals: (I like to mix it up)
Recuerdos - Tanturi/ Alberto Castillo
Violetas – Alberto Castillo
El viejo vals - Francisco rotundo con Floreal Ruiz y Enrique Campos
Tanturi / Alberto Castillo
Asi es la milonga
What are the three bands or singers you cannot stand?
I believe all orchestras and singers have something to offer, they may not be entirely to my taste at this moment in time but I respect what they have done for the development of tango, and if I name one I do not like and later begin to like them (as usually happens) I will be made to eat my hat. So – I pass on this question J
What is the band most underrated by the general public and which is the most overrated?
It depends on the region but in northern Europe I would have to say
Your top three nights (in your opinion of course...)
(Where I have djed?)
Salon canning – Buenos Aires What an inspirational and unforgettable night it was. I still remember every second of it. I was so nervous of course but I had so many friends there to support me that made it even more memorable. The day after I read the words from one of the inspiring writer, teacher and dancer “I liked the music a lot - actually much better than usual. They should hire her permanently. ….. I had goosebumps.” To read these words make me keep going J
Santiago de Chile – at the festival of Carlitos Espinoza
La Milonga del Corazón in Malmö – festival in June, beautiful location and atmosphere
We are less serious: Last night a dj saved my life. Are djs sexy? Have you ever had a relationship with a fan or a flirt with a colleague?
LADIES NEVER KISS AND TELL J