After eleven years living, dancing, teaching tango, and writing in Buenos Aires, I came home to L.A. in 2014, where I'm reconstructing my life.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Electronic Tango?

The March issue of B.A. Tango--Buenos Aires Tango (beginning its twelth year
of publication) has arrived in the milongas. Tito Palumbo has written the
opinion of electronic tango in his publisher's letter:

There is no "electronic tango"; there is electronic music. That is
conclusive and categorical. And I'll get straight to the point. The
so-called "electronic tango" which is causing an impact outside Argentina
and is expanding from abroad does not have any support in the River Plate;
it lacks a three-minute story.

That electronic music has nothing to do with "avant-garde tango," neither
can it be justified in Astor Piazzolla's compositions, who always made his
"city music" grounded in Buenos Aires. It lacks the structure and form of
the tango genre. Using the sampler to incorporate parts of true tangos by
no circumstances certifies it has been born in the "tango" family; it is not
even a bastard. It just does NOT belong to the family.

The aim to integrate electronic music with the Argentine youth that
approaches tango is related to a cultural orientation--globalizing,
homogenizing?--that tries to separate it from its origins, from its local
roots. The name "electronic tango" seems to have been chosen especially to
mislead nonexperts.

By no means is it acceptable to say that young people will start learning to
know real tango. Absolutely not. It is very difficult, not to say
impossible, that those intoxicated with that music may sometime be able to
appreciate tango.

The government of the City of Buenos Aires becomes an accomplice of strange
interests by including electronic music in tango festivals organized with
our money.

Tito Palumbo


Brandán Buenosayres said...

Let me, first of all, let you know that I am completely ignorant of tango. I dance it poorly, and my knowledge of the genre is extremely limited. That being said, I feel that is counterproductive to criticize the attempt of a newer generation to reinterpret the spirit of tango according to their own, particular ways of moving. To fossilize a form of musical expression, attempting to make it fit to a procrustean bed of "categories" and "families" is the best way to guarantee that it will wither and die. This is the same line of arguement that tries to sever hip hop from jazz in the United States. Instead of condemning difference, we should instead attempt to encourage a reconciliation and a dialogue between the past and the future that quickly overtakes it.

miss tango in her eyes said...

The viejos really seem to get their knickers in a twist over this one. The music of tango has and will always evolve. Just as the techniques of the dance have. Tango doesn't exactly have pure beginnings! "Electronica" Tango will not take the place of "Traditional" Tango, but it is probably here to stay.
Perhaps the younger generation will be attracted to "Electronica" Tango, but eventually if they have the passion for dance I am certain they will become interested and want to learn the "Traditional" methods.

Cherie said...

Once you really experience The Embrace, there's no going back.

miss tango in her eyes said...

Hola Cherie,
I have never danced or seen neo tango, I just know of the debate that goes on and on....but I love the music.

You mention the embrace, that is certainly a heated topic here in Vancouver, along with the right arm ladies/ left man, strong vs gentle push.
Inspired by your article I have written my opinion piece on it.

I look forward to your future articles!

Tito Palumbo said...

Estimada CHERIE:

Espero que estés bien, con trabajo y bailando muchos tangos.

Quise agregar un comentario:

No es una cuestión de evolución.

Probablemente, en la naturaleza haya saltos, y aparezcan nuevas especies, totalmente "distintas de las anteriores, que no pueden indentificarse con el mismo nombre que las "anteriores.

La "música electrónica" es una cosa; el "tango" es otra, y ambas son totalmente "distintas.

Lo único que hoy sé es que nada puede anticiparse sobre el futuro de las creaciones "culturales."

Un abrazo tanguero de

Tito Palumbo