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July 1, 2009

New CD to be released any day now!

Mandragora tango has just finished their newest CD: “Siete Tandas”. Tango dancers group their dances into little sets called “tandas”. The idea is that you dance with the same partner for the whole tanda, then move on. It becomes a miniature love affair, where you get to know your partner, start to grove together, and have a sorrowful separation, all in the course of 12 minutes of music. Mandragora has created an album of 7 of these affairs with the super-original title Siete Tandas (Seven Tandas in Spanish).

Siete Tandas is meant first and foremost for dancing. It is an interpretation of an idealized evening of tango dancing. It starts early (11PM or so) with tandas of traditional, highly rhythmic Argentine tangos and gets more and more lush and passionate as the night progresses. To keep things from getting too hot, it breaks up the evening with a tanda of “Vals” (Argentine Waltzes) and “Milongas” (an Argentine 2-step). But as the night goes on, the temperature continues to rise and Mandragora takes the dancers into more and more sensual and exotic soundscapes. In the small hours of the morning, Mandragora plays a tanda of heart-achingly beautiful slow dances by Astor Piazzolla. The dancers who are left on the nearly empty floor can enjoy an almost erotic interplay of sound and motion before they go their separate ways. Or not.

At any rate, our CD is the result of a lot of hard work and was made possible by the tango community of Minnesota, for whom we play every Sunday for the past 8 years. We believe that we have played for more “Milongas” (Tango dance parties) than any other band in the US. And, as dancers ourselves, we understand the difference between playing concert music and playing for social dance. However, in creating “Siete Tandas”, we never chose dancibility over musicality (or vice-versa). You don’t need to dance to appreciate this album. You just have to have a little darkness in your soul.

From the Tango Los Mareados (Track 11):

       Hoy vas a entrar en el pasado de mi vida...
       Tres cosas lleva mi alma herida: ¡Amor… Pesar… Dolor…!

       Today you are going to enter the past of my life…
       Three things are carried by my wounded heart: Love… Despair… Pain!

As of this writing, Siete Tandas is still at the printers. Well let you know when they are available for purchase. They should be at CDBaby by August.

Posted by bbarnes at July 1, 2009 11:57 PM