Introducing Django Tango
Django Tango is the DJ persona of Steve
Morrall. Django Tango is a tango DJ with a passion for the dance. He is
a lifelong musician who plays tango piano and bandoneon for dancers, a
tango dancer and tango instructor. He plays tango music that over
the years dancers have told him they want to dance to and not what he
thinks they should dance to.
is a DJ who knows what tango music people like to dance to. By
carefully watching the dance floor, he sculpts the music intuitively to
dancers' moods and energy levels. A library of over 7000 tracks ranging
from the earliest tango recordings to the latest in neo-tango is stored
and played using a computer, enabling rapid changes of genre and mood
to match the spirit of the dancers.
music is an incredibly rich and focussed genre. At its best, I find a
three minute tango as musically inspiring and challenging as a
play music in tandas,
sometimes with, sometimes without a cortina.
A tanda is a selection of three or four tracks in the same genre, with
the same structure. I like to think that if the first track of a tanda
inspires someone to dance, the remaining tracks in the tanda will also
inspire them. Tandas also help tangueros who know their music to choose
a dance partner that they like to dance to certain orchestras or genres
with. A cortina (curtain) is a short track which separates the tandas
with a musical 'curtain'. For example, I sometimes use the first 18
seconds of Chopin's 'minute waltz' speeded up by 8% to make it clearly
undanceable, and played at 80% of the normal volume. A cortina
signifies the end of a tanda and is a signal that the music is about to
change. It gives dancers who understand the code of tandas time to
take their partner back to their seat, say their thank you and listen
for the start of the next tanda's theme to decide if they want to dance
well as playing classics from the great orchestras from the golden era
of tango, I play neotango and contemporary music that over the years
people have voted to dance to with their feet and voices.
a spanish speaking heritage, dancers in the UK often miss out on a
vital stimulus in tango - an understanding of the lyrics. As well as
playing authentic tango music, I will sometimes play songs from our own
culture that have clear and outspoken lyrics or melodies that touch the
soul and spirit of tango and help us to dance what we feel through the
words as well as the music.
choose music which follows a dynamic curve. Its like writing a story
with an introduction, a development, a climax and a finale.
Tango attended a tango DJ workshop at El Corte in Nijmegen where
participants were asked to design the perfect tango event. Django's
group came up with a proposed location, music playlist, dynamic
content, ambience lighting and venue layout that Eric Jeurissen (El
Corte's owner) voted for as the 'place he would most like to go'.
wrongly placed track by Pugliese can be like releasing a lot of bulls
in a shop full of red china.
visiting us from all over the world comment on Steve's choice of music.
"I have been to milongas where the music is like uninspired wallpaper."
says Brian, a tanguero from Southampton. "By comparison, Django Tango's
music is as stimulating as an art gallery."
with anything in life, you can have too much of a good thing, so it is
vital to watch the dance floor and provide dancers with well timed
breaks from the tango classics so they can clear their 'dance palette'
and recharge their energy levels.
DJs think that you can put a CD on and let it play for a few tracks and
sit back and do nothing.
have been to milongas where the poor choice of music has had such a
profound effect on me I have wanted to leave, having driven for a hour
and paid the entrance fee! In tango argentino," he says, "the
music IS the dance. You have to feel it course in your veins and move
your spirit. This is what drives me to play music for tangueros. I hope
to see you at one of my events and that Djangology makes you want to
dance all night."
If you want to book a guest
DJ spot by Django Tango
please contact Steve on 023 8073 8061 or 07793 847500.
Other music articles and features on the
Djangology | Tango
Djuke Box (linking
to iTunes) | Me and my bandoneon | The need for