Lately, I have been told from different sources that we can buy Japanese tango labels in Buenos Aires (mainly Akihito Baba’s collection, CTA), at a rather cheap price compared to the original listed price in Japan. Unfortunately I never had a chance to verify the actual CDs of these said sources, and I don’t feel like spending money on it just to know it’s a bootleg or real stuff. CTA’s bootlegs available in Bs.As. is not something new, even Mr. Akihito Baba knows that and says it on his website. Before I got the chance buying the original, I was living on them for quite some years and I’m still living on few of them. I always have complex feeling to these bootlegs – on one hand I’m happy we have this easier and cheaper way to get these gems; on the other hand I hate its poor quality. These bootlegs depreciate quickly after few years, like any computer burned CDs. But still in Hong Kong we said “一分錢、一分貨” (means you paid one cent for a goods, you got the quality that worth one cent), as long as we got the music with a cheap price, we shouldn’t complain.
Here I just want to clarify what “is” the original CTA CD. For me, maybe it’s fair (but not legal) to sell the bootlegs, but it’s definitely not fair to say a bootleg is an original. In the old days, a bootleg really looks like a bootleg – poor printing cover and CD stickers. With technology and people paying attention to marketing, even the bootlegs look pretty good and professional. CD cover is easy to duplicate, we just need a perfect printer and good quality paper. But the CD stickers, hmm… a little harder, but still we can make them look good. However, the original Japanese tango CDs, no matter it’s CTA, AMP or Audio Park, they are commercial pressed CDs and not using any CD stickers! (see the photo) Yes, there’s no barcode; but all of them are registered under the JASRAC (Japanese Society for Rights of Authors, Composers and Publishers), just like any formally released CDs in Japan. Japanese collectors have resources to release their gems with professional production. Unfortunately most of the Argentinian ones can only afford to do “homemade”, computer-burnt collections. If people thought CTA (or AMP, Audio Park) is just another “homemade” collection, then they are totally wrong!