Friday, 3 September 2010

Turn up for DJs!

Carablanca have a special DJ, La Rubia, tonight (also it's open till one). If you actually care about DJing, why not consider turning up when this kind of thing happens, to see if she delivers to her billing, and encourage them to do this more. Maybe she will and maybe she won't, but if you actually care you might want to encourage the tendency to hire fully professional DJs with packed schedules all over Europe. They might be  a bit more expensive than the normal kind, why not make it worth it?

Because there's no point in anyone trying to differentiate on quality unless the customers react to it instead of automatically doing what they always do.


ghost said...

I've got a prior commitment so won't be there - however I applaud the decision. I stopped going to one milonga for a year because of the music, but now go there as they regularly hire proper DJs.

Quite frankly I don't see the point of going to a milonga where the music doesn't inspire me to dance.

And to be blunt, last week's music at Cara left me questioning whether I wanted to continue going there. (Definite bonus points for the floor layout though!)

Be interested to see what you make of tonight

Anonymous said...

what was wrong with the music last week?

Elizabeth said...

Well, I wish I coud be there. You make a very important point to show up for someone who really knows the music and how to work the room. It makes all the difference in the world to the event and to the dancing. Many people don't know one song from another, but they will feel the energy of a properly put together milonga, for sure. Just spinning some tunes does not a milonga make.

msHedgehog said...

[Last week? I thought the tandas were nice last week. Admittedly the cortinas weren't my thing at all (I prefer something more relaxing, and to get my excitement from the tango), but as far as I remember the actual music was fine, I enjoyed it. ]

Tonight I thought the DJing was good (although again it was too LOUD for me - no rock chick) and it worked well for the people there who I wanted to dance with, and for the women I was sitting with; however, any effect on the dancing as a whole was totally overwhelmed by the performance.

I decided to leave for the last train because of the bumpiness and not many partners I'd feel safe with, and them not available, which was a pity. There was lots of good stuff that doesn't get played all the time. I found it all a pleasure to dance to. She knew all the words and sang along with them a lot. The floor stayed full. I enjoyed it, and given that I was rather on edge to begin with that's a good sign.

msHedgehog said...

Oh I just remembered, I *loved* the milongas and valses tonight.

ghost said...

Music's always going to be subjective. I've lost count of the times one person really enjoyed a tanda and another hated it.

Speaking personally, when I arrived at 10 I met a friend who was walking out because they couldn't take the music any more. I believe at that point I had the option of travelling 5 mins to Negracha where Diego has been consistently playing good music lately. For other reasons I decided to stay.

On the one hand I agree with MsH when I talked to her afterwards that the music was good in that it was danceable and fairly safe and predictable.

On the other I got the increasing feeling through the night that I was dancing to the same song over and over again! There seemed to be very little actual variation to the feel of the music. Moreover the music to me felt limiting. There wasn't a lot of room for expression.

There's a whole bunch of discussions on the Ceroc Scotland Forum about DJing. Ceroc takes the approach of having proper paid DJs for everything, even their basic classes.

There's a general consensus that if the DJ is spending most of their time dancing it's a bad sign, which was the case. Again another good reason for paying DJs as you can then reasonably expect them to well, DJ.

As an aside downstairs at Negracha tonight was better than it's been in a long time. Indeed there were people who normally come down, stick their nose through the door, turn around and go back upstairs who this time stayed. Discussing why, the feeling was that it was a mixture of factors. A generally friendly atmosphere, reasonable floorcarft, quite a few good dancers combined with the music to give something greater than the sum of the parts.

Glad the Djing worked tonight at Cara - looks like it's now a matter of them gradually figuring out how to get the confluence of all the necessary factors.

ghost said...

PS Or to put it more simply. The music was "nice". I don't want to dance tango to "nice" music all night.

msHedgehog said...

Hmm, dunno. At the moment I'm looking for the simple things first. Undecided for the time being.

ghost said...

It's tricky. I've ridden shotgun with DJs because I'm interested in knowing what it is they can actually do to affect the room (which normally is going to include me!).

I agree with Elizabeth, knowing how to read and work a room are vital to being a DJ. It's interesting that at Negracha and the last TSL the DJ is actually higher than the dance floor and so has a good view of what's going on both on the floor and the people sitting around it.

Ultimately there's going to be a limit to what a DJ can do, simply because of who's actually there.

But they do have a lot of interesting options - eg if there's murder on the dancefloor, why? Would playing something calmer / slower / with a clearer rhythm help? And so on. I've forgotten her name, but a female DJ did this to remarkably good effect upstairs at Negracha a while back.

BTW was the music to loud overall or just near the speakers? I've found that passing the speakers near the stage can be unpleasant.

msHedgehog said...

For me it was too loud overall. I find it difficult to listen properly or hear detail if it's too loud.

David Bailey said...

Ah, I was wondering where everyone was - upstairs at Negs was very quiet last night until 1:30. That explains it...

David Bailey said...

As for the evening, yes I remember Danny mentioning it last week.

Last week, I thought the music was mostly OK, although the cortina got on my nerves after the 3rd time.

In the MJ world, some DJs do have a rep - but I've no idea whether this translates much into crowd-pulling or not. I don't even know if they get paid more...

But I'd imagine that DJ salary is probably a relatively small expense compared to the other expenses, so even if a professional DJ only pulls in a dozen extra people it'd be worth it.

Chris, UK said...

> what was wrong with the music last

Decide for yourself :) here: