The German language tango blog Tango plauderei (“Tango chat”) has
reviewed the book, provoking an extensive commentary from the Zurich based tango DJ Christian Tobler. My German is non-existent, but the gist seems to be that both Cassiel (the blogger) and Christian Tobler like the book (mostly), but not the little appendix about Tango DJ-ing for beginners.
Christian makes some good points, but seems to be saying that a “traditional” milonga only plays tango music (no tropical or swing or anything else) and never mixes instrumental and vocal numbers in the same tanda. This has not been my experience in Buenos Aires and I find this definition of “traditional” a bit narrow and restrictive.
The example of Troilo (with Fiorentino) which I use in the book is a case in point. I have to agree with Christian when he says that the energy of these instrumentals is different to that of the vocals. It’s not just the huge contribution of Fiorentino; Troilo often shapes the arrangement of the instrumentals differently right from the beginning. Nevertheless – providing you know what you are doing, and don’t mind creating more movement within the tanda – I think that you can make an effective and coherent tanda with both vocals and instrumentals (although it is more challenging) and at the weekend I heard an experienced DJ do exactly this very well at the marathon in Bergen. Straight vocal or instrumental tandas will of course also work just fine, and are more advisable much of the time.