When I first started going to Tango events the music really didn’t matter to me; frankly I was far too busy concentrating on stringing together a few dance steps to worry about anything apart from not making a complete fool of myself.
And, to be honest, the art of Tango DJing wasn’t much evolved back then; all kinds of tracks were mixed together by DJs who didn’t know better, and we just carried on regardless.
Then I got the chance to DJ at our milongas, and it suddenly I had a new responsibility; what music to play? What order to play in in? How loud? I had to navigate through a strange foreign land of orchestras, singers, and styles.
In a panic I spent hour, after hour, after hour amassing whatever Tango music I could find and listening to every single track. And I’m still at it (right after posting this blog I’ll be spending a couple of hours reviewing my collection of tracks by Juan Maglio).
You’d have thought that by now I’d be used to it. After all, at the last count I have been the DJ at over 300 milongas.
But I STILL get really nervous before DJing at a milonga. Will the tracks that sounded so great together at home work OK in a big venue full of dancers? Will I get the energy right? Will the tandas flow? Have I missed an obvious choice?
There are so many potential pitfalls, problems, and chances that might not be worth taking.
And then the dancers start to arrive, the floor starts to fill, and the night takes on a life of its own. I get absorbed in watching the dancing, mulling over track selections, making notes, planning ahead and trying to guide the dancing. Then all of a sudden it’s time to announce the last tanda, and the evening is over.