Chango Spasiuk - CD
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Chango Spasiuk
Tarefero de mis Pagos (Piranha)

Accordion master Chango Spasiuk has come to be seen as the guardian angel of chamamé, the most influental champion of the 'music with the deepest swing in Argentina.' In many ways his contribution to the revitalisation of these folk traditions can be compared to the influence that his fellow countryman Astor Piazzolla has had in the contemporary development of tango. Tarefero de mis Pagos was produced on location in Buenos Aires by Ben Mandelson.

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"Tarefero de mis Pagos is a delight from start to finish - something of a surprise to me, since I noticed that only one of the tunes was traditional! Most, though not all, of the others were composed by Spasiuk himself. The tunes range from fast, red-hot dance music, where his technical skills are well displayed (as are those of his guitarist, Marcos Núñez) to some far slower, reflective pieces, and quite and number of songs. One of Chango's great strengths, it seems to me, is his willingness to use aural dynamics in his playing - occasionally the volume level drops so low that it's difficult to be sure whether he's still actually playing. Thus, you're constantly being required to pay attention to what's going on - not at all usual with a CD of dance music!" - Rod Stradling, Musical Traditions

Biography The passionate accordion player and composer Chango Spasiuk has transformed Chamamé - a marginalised rural dance music - into a highly elaborated artform. His role can be compared to that of his compatriot Astor Piazzolla who added jazz elements and a classical note to the Tango.

Spasiuk was born in 1968 in Misiones, a small province near the Brazilian border in the northeast of Argentina. Its society is the product of a complex process of fusion and interaction between the disparate elements of its population: the original native communities (Mbyá - guaraní), the Creoles and foreign settlements established at the beginning of the 20th century like Changos two Ukrainian grandparents.

His formative years were spent in a highly stimulating milieu. Spasiuk's childhood was centred on the carpenter's shop managed by Lucas, his violinist father, and Marcos, an uncle who sang. The singing duos in red earth patios set aside for musical events, the unrelenting subtropical climate, a terrain of jungle and wide rivers, of labourers working with hoes and machetes on the yerba mate plantations - this is the world that underlies the powerful texture and even mysticism of his music.

He works within his memory of those informal rural polkas, performed by the whole family, that were such a special feature of his home in Misiones. However, it is specifically with Chamamé, that Spasiuk achieves his greatest interpretative and creative virtuosity, taking up the legacy of such well-known "Chamamé greats" as Cocomarola, Abitbol, Montiel and Martínez Riera, amongst others. From a position of absolute openness and lack of prejudice, he produces a rich mix of contemporary sound and tradition, where one can also find the regional styles and rhythms of schotis, rural polkas, rancheras and rasguidos dobles.

Until this day Chango has composed music for films, played with rock, jazz, folk and classical musicians. His music has been arranged to play with one of the main Chamber Orchestras in Argentina. He performs with the most traditional musicians as well as with the most avant-garde.

Chango has had a career of more than twenty years, in spite of his relative youth today. He started playing in local dances; and after a presentation in the main folk festival of Argentina, he started to tour all over the country. His music went through changes throughout these years, but it has always kept the roots essence of where he came from: the red lands of the northeast of Argentina.

Although he had already played beyond Argentina, it was his participation in WOMEX 2003 and in Mercado de Bahia in 2001 that opened a new direction for his career – since then Chango has travelled to Germany, the Netherlands, France, Spain and to Great Britain. While introducing his music to new audiences, he started to develop a change in his sound; a change that drew him to go completely acoustic, more 'close to the wood', and enabling his new compositions to go deeper into the spirit of the music.

"Tarefero de mis Pagos" his current and first international record is featuring this new sound: closer to his heart, closer to the spirit of the red lands of his roots, and closer to the people that live, work and dream in this spezial place.

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