What to Expect

"DJ Warren Edwardes plays silky smooth traditional tango blending energetic 40s Golden Age with romantic 50s Silk Age tunes beyond the plinky plonky squeaky squawky sounds of early recordings with a tilt to the romantic repertoire.

There will be a slick tsunami alternating rhythmical and lyrical tangos developing from the simple to the complex."

Mi Refugio Milonga Music - Tango DJ Warren Edwardes

My music sets at Milongas are 100% Traditional with Cortinas in cycles of:

  • 4 Tango (Lyrical) / Cortina
  • 4 Tango (Rhythmic) / Cortina
  • 3 Vals / Cortina
  • 4 Tango (Rhythmic) / Cortina
  • 4 Tango (Lyrical) / Cortina
  • 3 Milonga / Cortina .

The music will be (almost) all Argentine Tango 1935 to 1970 mainly 1940s and 1950s with perhaps just one or two pre-1940 or 1960-1970 tandas - other than special events such as the 100% Época de Seda music (1950 - 1970) at the Silk Edition of Mi Refugio on Sat 18th November 2017.

Contemporary Argentine bands playing traditional tango music will be included. And I have played a 1950s Italian Vals Tanda and an Italian Milonga Tanda to a great reception.

I plan on delivering a "Buena Onda".

There will be a carefully curated sinusoidal undulating wave over the pista of traditional tango alternating smooth luscious lyrical songs with rumbustious rhythmical ones flowing from simple to complex tunes.

There will be a tender but slick tsunami after tsunami of danceable tango tandas.

Spanish is my home language so when I dance I pay attention to the lyrics. I also translate Tango songs into English either entirely or by way of feedback on the transcription or translation.

There will be a balance of traditional Golden Age angst-filled Barrio (ghetto or rough 'hood) and Arrabal (outskirts township slum) laments with romantic luscious Época de Seda (Silken Age) songs covered with Labios (lips) and Besos (kisses). I have a leaning towards the joyous lyrical songs of the Época de Seda (Silken Age).

I also keep a limit on songs mentioning "Bandoneón" and "Tango" in the lyrics. Nobody ever smiled to a Bandoneón. Smiling to sweeping violins and lyrical voices makes my cheeks puffy so pillow-like and more comfortable for Tangueras - which is the main thing.

To that I classify Tango music as: "Barrio" if the lyrics contain Barrio, Arrabal, Suburbio, Tango or Bandoneón; or "Besos" if the lyrics contain Besos, Labios, Amor, Cariño or Corazón. I make sure Besos songs outnumber Barrio songs in my programme.

I don't play pre-1935 songs primarily because of the generally poor sound quality. I prefer my pops and crackles in my glass of Champagne. And the violins and sopranos tend to be distorted and screechy because of the recording.

There will be (almost) no mixed band tandas. I prefer to get stuck into a particular feeling rather than a mish-mash.

Mixed male singer tandas are avoided but if inevitable there will be an instrumental sorbet between the songs or perhaps a female singer between two different male singers for contrast. I have no problem with mixing male and female singers in a tanda because of trhe contrasting and complementing voices.

I choose singers perhaps before the band. With only one or two exceptions they will all be better singers than me - which isn't difficult to achieve. Many Tango "singers" can't sing either - in my opinion of course. I like singers who can hold a note rather than gravelly recite poetry in a rap-like style.

There will be a mix between sung Tangos and Instrumentals with the majority being sung. There will be about 25% instrumentals to balance the inevitably more intense sung songs

The Tango Tandas will alternate between Rhythmic and Lyrical. So Tango (Lyrical); Tango (Rhythmic); Vals; Tango (Rhythmic); Tango (Lyrical); Milonga

There will be a few seconds between songs within tandas to allow Tangueros to land, recover and hug ... before soaring to the next piece of tango music. The gap will vary depending on the intensity of the music from two seconds for a light milonga or rhythmical tango to four seconds for an emotional vals or tango. For me as a dancer more than five seconds between songs can destroy the link between songs and no gap at all makes a tanda into a medley.

Tandas are as carefully structured as a Symphony in three or four movements. The first and last songs are the most well known and probably liveliest with varying pace across the songs in the Tanda.

Cortinas will be 30 seconds long, easily discernible from the tandas and cut from three lively songs from the same band and album and repeated across the Milonga. There will be an opening and full length closing Cortina of the same songs.

Milongas will often have a "featured song". So special it is played twice but with different orquestas.

I change half of the songs of a playlist at a repeat visit to a particular Milonga. There will be two or three new tandas not played there by me before or indeed by anybody. So there is continuity and familiarity yet freshness with a touch of surprise.

La Cumparsita will always be the fourth song of a Last Tango Tanda and will be an integrated finale to that tanda and not as an add-on.

The draft playlist will be published well before the Milonga. Tangueros at my milongas can be seen looking through the list to plan their milonga - subject of course to WiFi.

Feel free to message me, Warren Edwardes with requests before the event and I will try and accommodate you.

And feedback post-milonga will also be welcome. Hope I live up to expectations. And I hope you enjoy the set.