What did it sound like when a tango was recorded in the 30s or 40s of the last century? For several years Matthias Kroll has been dedicating a lot of time to get closer and closer to the original recording in his sound restorations.Recently he has founded his own label. "Matthias Kroll Records" (MKR), which is distributed exclusively by Danza y Movimiento. In the following text Matthias Kroll himself tells how he became a tango restorer:
The Argentine Tango has a distinctive charm and once you have succumbed to it, you can usually never get away from it again. Like many, I first came into contact with it in the 90s when the Gotan Project started in Paris and hybrids like Tanghetto were played in the clubs. The free way of dancing to this music fascinated my wife and me and we had to learn it. After a longer break we got back into the milonga scene and I became more and more involved with the tango music of the past. I started to search for old recordings and to translate the lyrics. Once you are immersed in the world of the 20s/30s and 40s, there are so many forgotten tangos/texts and people to discover. Our dance style changed quite fast and we actually only dance in close embrace, where both partners feel and dance the music together as an inseparable unity.
I have always been bothered by the partly bad quality of the transfers that were played on the milongas.
I was more and more occupied with technical issues, such as recording techniques and the production of the shellac record and later vinyl records. I became a collector of old records. Unfortunately, most of the originals of the record companies were destroyed in Argentina in the 60s and 70s and today we have to fall back on copies that were sometimes badly damaged.
For my approaching retirement I have set myself the goal to digitally rework and restore as many old recordings as possible. This is partly quite costly and time-consuming. Fortunately, the development of the software is going through a constant advancement in rapid speed and I am confident that one day an AI can restore the old tangos true to the original. Until then I will continue to work and share my results with you.
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