Neo / Nuevo / Non / Fusion Tango
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The later age of tango has been dominated by Ástor Piazzolla, whose Adiós nonino became the most influential work of tango music since Carlos Gardel’s El día que me quieras was released in 1935. During the 1950s, Piazzolla consciously tried to create a more academic form with new sounds breaking the classic forms of tango, drawing the derision of purists and old-time performers. The 1970s saw Buenos Aires developing a fusion of jazz and tango. Litto Nebbia and Siglo XX were especially popular within this movement. In the 1970s and 1980s, the vocal octet Buenos Aires 8 recorded classic tangos in elaborate arrangements, with complex harmonies and jazz influence, and also recorded an album with compositions by Piazzolla.
The so-called post-Piazzolla generation (1980–) includes musicians such as Dino Saluzzi, Rodolfo Mederos, Gustavo Beytelmann and Juan Jose Mosalini. Piazzolla and his followers developed nuevo tango, a musical genre that incorporated jazz and classical influences into a more experimental style.
In the late 1990s, composer and pianist Fernando Otero continued to add elements to the innovation process which had started decades ago, expanding the orchestration and form while including improvisation and atonal aspects in his work.
Tango development did not stop with tango nuevo. 21st-century tango is referred to as neotango. These recent trends can be described as “electro tango” or “tango fusion”, where the electronic influences range from subtle to dominant.
Tanghetto and Carlos Libedinsky are good examples of the subtle use of electronic elements. The music still has its tango feeling, the complex rhythmic and melodious entanglement that makes tango so unique. Gotan Project is a group that formed in 1999 in Paris, consisting of musicians Philippe Cohen Solal, Eduardo Makaroff and Christoph H Muller. Their releases include Vuelvo al Sur/El capitalismo foráneo (2000), La Revancha del Tango (2001), Inspiración Espiración (2004), and Lunático (2006). Their sound features electronic elements like samples, beats and sounds on top of a tango groove. Some dancers enjoy dancing to this music, although many traditional dancers regard it as a definite break in style and tradition.
Bajofondo Tango Club is another example of electro-tango. Further examples can be found on the CDs Tango?, Hybrid Tango, Tangophobia Vol. 1, Tango Crash (with a major jazz influence), Latin Tango by Rodrigo Favela (featuring classic and modern elements), NuTango. Tango Fusion Club Vol. 1 by the creator of the milonga called “Tango Fusion Club” in Munich, Germany, Felino by the Norwegian group Electrocutango and “Electronic Tango”, a compilation CD. In 2004, the music label World Music Network released a collection under the title The Rough Guide to Tango Nuevo.
New tango songs
In the second half of the nineteen-nineties, a new movement of tango composers and tango orchestras playing new songs was born in Buenos Aires. It was mainly influenced by the old orchestra style rather than by Piazzolla’s renewal and experiments with electronic music. The novelty lies in the new songs, with today’s lyrics and language, which find inspiration in a wide variety of contemporary styles.
Over the two first decades of this century, the movement has grown with the creation of countless bands playing new tangos. The most prominent figures leading this phenomenon have been the Orquesta Típica Fernandez Fierro, whose creator, Julian Peralta, would later start Astillero and the Orquesta Típica Julián Peralta. Other bands also have become part of the movement such as the Orquesta Rascacielos, Altertango, Ciudad Baigón, as well as singer and songwriters Alfredo “Tape” Rubín,Victoria di Raimondo,Juan Serén, Natalí de Vicenzo and Pacha González.
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