Tango Time Travel

About the project

" With electronic amplification, for the first time the performers could do their own thing without having to modify their performances quite so much. And the art of sound recording
could begin. "

Tango Time Travel provides high quality digital transfers from original shellac and early vinyl records. The foundation of the project is our extensive record collection covering repertoire from the whole history of Tango.

All things are subject to degradation through time and wear. It’s the natural aging process which affects all earthly matter. The original master records and metal pieces were exposed to this universal process too, either they became degraded or disappeared. Even the initial record companies themselves had to use a well preserved 78-rpm record¬† as a master replacement for their tango reeditions on modern sound carriers. Sometimes they had to ask collectors to contribute with rare original 78-rpm records to be able to produce a new series of albums, first on LP and later on CD. Record companies don’t have the mission of a museum therefore the role of collectors and archives is very important in the field of sound conservation.

" Tango Time Travel is a preservation and restoration project reviving the original sound of tango recordings. In this regards, the project aims to respect the authenticity of sound documents, the integrity of their aesthetics and historical context. "

Tango Time Travel is a preservation and restoration project reviving the original sound of tango recordings. In this regards, the project aims to respect the authenticity of sound documents, the integrity of their aesthetics and historical context. From an ethical point of view the restoration project favours stability and reversibility and makes use of minimal intervention.

During our research we recognised that also the well-known tango orchestras have missing titles because they simply were never republished. A large number of reissued titles often have very bad sound excluding them from playback. This is not because the original recordings were done poorly, to the contrary, the initial recordings were done in an astonishing quality. This situation is rather due to re-editions which were either done with deficient equipment, too heavy noise reduction or had a very interventionist philosophy or damaging the original sound. We also observe that every re-edition project aimed more or less to adapt the recordings to the taste of the day, e.g. adding reverb, changing pitch, using strange preamplification, etc, hence altering them into something else. We put a particular effort into completing these partial repertoires and to make them available again. We want to give back the intention and initial shine of these early recordings. Our mastering intervention will always try to respect the historical record: Please see here for our method of restoration.

We would like to draw your attention to the fact that this digital restoration project is both cost and time intensive. Therefore please do not just distribute our work for free but encourage your circle of friends to support the project by purchasing the files directly via this website. This will ensure that we will be able to continue the work and present more music to the community.