Salsa oddity

Discussion in 'Just Dance' started by granrey, Nov 10, 2017.

  1. granrey

    granrey Sonero

    Among the best Bachata singers of all times, we have: Romeo Santos, Anthony Santos, Luis Vargas, Raulin Rodriguez and others. Any bachata dancer will rarely have a bachata night without encountering at least one song from any of these guys.

    In Salsa, probably the best of all times is Hector Lavoe and I have never heard one of his songs in my local salsa scene. Which I find pretty odd. I could add Maelo Rivera and Franky Ruiz with the same situation.

    it seems like his music is considered too old for today's dancing scene.

    have you heard any of these guys in your local dance scene?

    I wonder if in North America they P
    play Carlos Gardel in Tango events?
  2. terence

    terence Maestro 'Descarga' Cachao

    First, the "best " is very subjective. As to the others. I can't speak for right now but my bet is nothing has changed in Tampa ( in one specific club ) who catered to all of those singers. Main reason ?, the clientele were of the older age group ( 30- 75 ) .
    Personally when I DJ, I would play the occasional HL and dependant upon the crowd, some FR .
    The major problem with playing too many "oldies " today is the punters are conditioned to the newer sounds and arrangements, often gleaned from congresses and the net.
    Smejmoon likes this.
  3. DJ Yuca

    DJ Yuca El Sabroso de Conguero

    Of the bachata artists you mention, it's Romeo Santos who gets the best response in the places I attend or DJ at. Prince Royce goes down even better. What do they have in common? They have plenty of big hits from the last decade. Even then, there tends to be a split between those who actually know and like bachata music - mostly Latins or from Spain and who generally prefer the commercial stuff - and those who just dance to anything, and only notice the song if it has English lyrics and/or is a version of a pop hit.

    With salsa it's the same: plenty of salsa dancers (many of whom consider themselves to be very dedicated, hardcore salsa dancers) will dance salsa to anything and only notice the song if it has English lyrics and/or is a version of a pop hit (or for negative reasons i.e. for some reason it's not easy to dance to). Others dancers, not necessarily hardcore but usually native Spanish speakers, like commercial, Marc Anthony type stuff. Then there's a small minority who know and like/love salsa dura and/or salsa romántica. The latter group - those who know and appreciate classic salsa music - are the ones who are going to appreciate Héctor Lavoe, Ismael Rivera or Frankie Ruiz, but such people barely exist on the salsa scene nowadays. Partly because there aren't many such people, and partly because many of these types don't feel particularly motivated to attend salsa events.

    Add to that the fact that such artists made their music decades ago, and we see why such music has less and less exposure. I see more and more salsa events where the music is overwhelmingly bachata, kizomba, timba plus a few bits of salsa. In all cases the music is as commercial as popular and in English whenever possible. If we look at the popularity of 'sensual' dances, and how tasteless, vulgar and commercial such dances generally are, it's no surprise that the people promoting such dances choose music of a similar quality.

    Otoh, the Colombian salsa radio stations I know continue to mix plenty of oldies with select contemporary tracks, and it doesn't appear to be causing them any problems. The advantages of having a scene based around the music rather than dance classes. Also there are still plenty of elements of the salsa scene left where classic salsa was and remains the de facto music, although such events are becoming increasingly scarce.

    It's possible that a new generation of salsa teachers and/or dancers will appear, sooner or later, who want an exclusive diet of quality music. Perhaps simply because it's the best music for dancing to, or perhaps because they actually have a passion for the music.
    granrey and terence like this.
  4. Smejmoon

    Smejmoon El Sabroso de Conguero

    I hear them all the time. Not that I think they are the best, but they're definitely popular.
  5. Offbeat

    Offbeat Maestro 'Fania' Pacheco

    Of course they do! Why the question?
  6. Offbeat

    Offbeat Maestro 'Fania' Pacheco

    I guess the music being played is venue dependent.

    In my local scene the socials which are promoted as 'mambo' socials, this whole thread will not apply. That is you guys will be very happy campers. Not only they play the old school music, they play it using old school vinyl. May be we are lucky to have good DJs.

    It is only when salsa is being played at bars and clubs that one gets to hear that, which you are complaining. But again that depends on the DJ.

    Some DJs at congresses play very good music. At least the ones I been to. In my opinion the music (the salsa music) at congresses has only gotten better.
    wol and Smejmoon like this.
  7. granrey

    granrey Sonero

    Lavoe is the equivalent in Salsa. However, it's not played in my scene.

    While it might sound like a complaint. I see it more as an oddity or contradiction.

    I like Lavoe's salsas but his music feels a bit weird when you try to use it for dancing purposes. specially for the way people dance these days.
  8. Offbeat

    Offbeat Maestro 'Fania' Pacheco

    Dancers don't make music popular. It is other way round. Dancers like dancing to popular music of the day and you are blaming dancers for that music being popular :)

    It is not like you have a vast number of non-dancers who are discerning about music. If it were the, 'popular' music wouldn't become popular. E.g. a lot of reggaeton influence in timba.

    Neither the music choice nor it's popularity is being dictated by non-native dancers. For a long while it has been refrain of some on the salsaforums about how non native dancers lack appreciation of the old classic music. Isn't it odd then that most of the popular music being looked down upon is made so by the natives :)
    wol likes this.
  9. terence

    terence Maestro 'Descarga' Cachao

  10. elanimal

    elanimal Tumbao

    Same thing here. A lot of the DJs here in Boston take a lot of pride in playing stuff that's rare, unique, hard to find... and that no one has listened to but them. jaja. But aren't a lot of us like that?

    I love when DJs get over themselves and can play something recognizable but not overplayed. "La gripe" is a great song but damn, I've had enough of it.
    Smejmoon and MAMBO_CEC like this.
  11. DJ Yuca

    DJ Yuca El Sabroso de Conguero

    Yes but on the salsa scene it's a bit different - Playa No More wasn't a massive hit (e.g. less than a million hits on Youtube) however on the UK salsa scene it was absolutely rinsed. Purely because promoters thought dancers wanted it and/or dancers wanted it.

    I'm not blaming anyone, dancers or otherwise, for what is popular.

    People who are discerning about music (which of course is extremely hard to quantify) are a small minority however altogether there are a hell of a lot of them. Dancers and non-dancers.

    The music choice on the salsa scene is mostly down to the promoters and instructors. Most dancers do not prioritise music so they will dance to whatever, as long as other more important demands are satisfied (e.g. a high number of 'advanced' dancers present at an event).

    I don't know who the some you refer to are nor what their refrain is exactly, however anyone who knows anything about Latin music today knows that reggaeton, bachata and vallenato are massive, whilst salsa (with the exception of Marc Anthony) hasn't been big in Latin America since the 90s. (Colombia is the obvious exception.) I'm pretty sure such common knowledge has been referred to on here a number of times.

    My biggest moan has been about UK salsa dancers wanting to dance 'salsa' to non-Latin music i.e music that isn't made by Latins. The fact that Latin music today is almost all not to my tastes doesn't surprise or bother me much. And I actually like some contemporary Latin music that isn't salsa! Even some reggaeton, believe it or not. (Well a tiny bit, and I don't exactly like it loads.) However I wouldn't dance salsa to such music nor want it at a salsa event so it's not really relevant to the forum.

    Even if you go back in the day, I'm sure the good stuff was outsold by lesser music (most of which is forgotten nowadays). (That was one reason why the salsa era featured smaller groups - the big bands couldn't survive except the absolute top dogs, and even they struggled. I think even Tito Rodríguez was forced to disband his big band in the 60s.)
  12. DJ Yuca

    DJ Yuca El Sabroso de Conguero

    Whether I would like such music I can't say. I go more for quality and variety than genre. As re. the thread: in major cities in the US then certainly the salsa scene that features good music is not going to go anywhere in a hurry. Even in main cities in Europe that scene probably still exists. But on a regional level in the UK and probably elsewhere in Europe - such events are getting scarcer and scarcer. Hence many regional salsa events would never play a tune by the artists in the OP.
  13. Offbeat

    Offbeat Maestro 'Fania' Pacheco

    True, true! After a while you are wishing they throw in at least a few nice song that you like and or are classics.
    DJ Yuca likes this.
  14. DJ Yuca

    DJ Yuca El Sabroso de Conguero

    Definitely. Playing songs based on their rarity is not my definition of good DJing.
    SnowDancer likes this.
  15. granrey

    granrey Sonero

    I think Lavoe's Salsas tend to be either too slow (almost bolero) or too fast for dancing for today's dancing scene.

    if you can appreciate the lyrics you might enjoy the dancing more but since most people don't know is the song about (language barrier) it cannot be appreciate it.
    terence and Smejmoon like this.
  16. Jag75

    Jag75 Shine Officer

    As a Salsa DJ I rarely if every play Hector Lavoe (only a few songs), as they tend to be either very fast and very long, or very slow and very long. Dancers, even hard-core "mamberos" like myself, find this somewhat tedious. Don't get me wrong - I love his music, but for dancing it just doesn't hit the right "spot".

    My collection is mostly the classic stuff from NY 70s FANIA era, with a few new ones that represent that style mixed in like Pete Perignon and Avenida B. There is plenty of amazing stuff that's incredible to dance to that's not Hector.
    Smejmoon likes this.
  17. LarsM

    LarsM Nuevo Ritmo

    Totally agree Jag! I love listening to many of Hector's songs, but most just aren't very danceable imo. They also tend to be a bit "flat", i.e. not a lot of variety/things to play with/react to besides Hector's voice.
  18. Smejmoon

    Smejmoon El Sabroso de Conguero

    I'm actually curious which Hector Lavoe songs you guys have in mind. All that I like dance to are written by Willie Colon, Ruben Blades, Johnny Pacheco, and so on. Let me know if there is any dance floor hit written by him. On the other hand he's been singing many dance floor fillers: I've heard all of them in last months, many just last weekend.

    Aquanile (*)
    Calle luna, calle sol (*)
    El Cantante
    El Dia De Suerte
    El Todopoderoso
    Hacha y Machete (*)
    La Murga (not salsa at all, but people still play it; heard it in Singapore)
    Mi Gente
    Periodico de Ayer
    Te Conozco Bacalao ( I think this is written by HL)
    Todo Tiene Su Final
    * and these songs I consider to be pretty genius, the rest could be skipped of course for a good party
  19. DJ Yuca

    DJ Yuca El Sabroso de Conguero

    You've missed 2 or 3 of his best ones, one of which is his very best imo.
    MAMBO_CEC likes this.
  20. Smejmoon

    Smejmoon El Sabroso de Conguero

    Sure spell it out. All I'm saying that songs he's singing are played a lot.

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