April 2008

Otros Aires
presented by Small World Music
April 27, 2008 Lula Lounge Toronto
Heavy Breathing from Otros Aires
by Tova G. Kardonne with photos by Roger Humbert

The little black dresses and their slickly dressed companions turned out to dine, slice the air with sultry glances, and finally, tango to the electro-trad fusion of Otros Aires at Lula Lounge on April 27. The tango has little in common with the computer-produced musics from which the electronic beats were culled, excepting, notably, their sexually saturated origins. That night at Lula, the air was dripping with sex. But not only because of the music.

Otros Aires was a multi-media experience. Although most of the vocals were sung live in the husky baritone of Miguel Di Genova, some were the ancient black and white footage of a full tango orchestra, led by a man in a suit, sitting with his guitar in his lap and singing tales of love in a restrained but beautifully trained tenor. The footage was projected on the wall behind the players, and some of it was ever so naughty. The naughtiest featured no exposed flesh at all, just the fully clothed head and shoulders of a young woman, smiling dreamily, while gently bouncing up and down within the frame. The song lasts exactly as long as the arc of her ecstasy; ecstasy of an unrevealed provenance which was nonetheless crystal clear. The music must have been pretty sexy at the time. I can’t be sure, I was distracted.

The addition of the recorded string section, the dance beats, and the various computer effects all certainly brought a youth and immediacy to the traditional form, and allowed the inclusion of more than just the serious students of tango onto the dance floor. On the other hand, anything exploiting the tango vibe suffers from the absence of the grand piano. Where is the crunch and growl that churns the guts and awakens the gonads, if not in the hammer on the thick bass note strings? No no no, the best of synths cannot do it justice. The manic despair, the struggle of the artist with the duende should be the first taste in this brew from Barcelona, but instead it’s a touch too clean and contrived with so much slick production value and engineered sine wave in the sound.

Omar Massa

Miguel Di Genova & Emmanuel Mayol
That said, it’s a drink-and-dance-and-laugh-and-lie kind of party when these guys are playing. Omar Massa plays some creditable bandoneón. This is music for violent emotion, high adventure, and raucous bedevilment. Also, as I may have mentioned, sex.
Otros Aires
Miguel Di Genova – vocals, guitars, sequences, songwriting
Diego Ramos – piano
Emmanuel Mayol – drums, percussion
Omar Massa – bandoneón
We welcome your comments and feedback
Tova G. Kardonne
• • • • • •
Roger Humbert
• •
The Live Music Report

| Home | Archives | CD Reviews | Photo Galleries | Concert Listings | Contact |

Please contact us to secure permission for use of any material found on this website.
© The Live Music Report – 2008