Music Monday: Tango Transformations

I am not a particularly big tango person (in fact it weirdly reminds me of my high school Japanese teacher who used to love Argentine tango) but I was talking with someone the other day and they showed me all these people using tango in their music so I figured why not share.

Tango originated in Argentina and Uruguay in the 1850s as a lower-class dance with a fusion of European music from immigrants, and has by now spread all over the place and mutated into various forms (including Finnish tango which is almost always performed in minor keys, I thought that was interesting)((also, Wikipedia has an entry for “queer tango,” what? yesss)). Typical instruments include accordion, bandoneón, piano, guitar, and double bass. To give you a general idea, here is a tango competition clip.

On to the variations: Astor Piazzolla, an Italian born in Argentina, “revolutionized the traditional tango” by adding in jazz and classical elements. But not in a weird way, he is very well known. Have a listen to Libertango.

Gotan Project (a play off of the Tango project) formed in Paris and is composed of a French man, an Argentinian, and a Swiss. Sort of chill-house, but then wait for it. Here is Diferente.

Last up for now is Bajofondo, an Argentinian and Uruguayan group that blends electronic music and tango, apparently making it more mainstream again. They have been very successful and are also moving in the trip-hop and house music area these days. Here is Pa’ Bailar.

Yay Monday.


About syd

I like beats & beets
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