Tango Music in Japan – Part 7

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!

5 Responses to “Tango Music in Japan – Part 7”

  1. Hayoung Says:

    hmm… Don’t know where to post this.
    So I’ve been living in Seoul for the past few months, but I’ve been out of the country and was not able to attend Milongueando…
    Ever since the end of Milongueando, I keep hearing all these wonderful things about your DJing! I remember when I was about 6 or 7 I broke my arm and had a plaster cast for a month or so….. My curiosity about your DJing is akin to the unbearable itching I endured while I had the cast!
    Please come to Seoul some time soon, I’m sure all the venues and organizers will welcome you with arms wide open!

  2. Royce Says:

    Dear Hayoung,

    Hahahahaha…… You’re right, I don’t know where you can post it, but you post it anywhere in this blog, it can reach me. 🙂

    My husband and I will definitely go back to Seoul for tango. Let’s hope that we can make it next year! And I hope you will be there at that time.


  3. Michael Lavocah Says:

    Hi Royce

    Stickers are last year’s technology – now with “Lightscribe” you can burn the CTA logo directly onto the CD. I bought a CD like this from someone who bought it in Buenos Aires and said it was an original. However, it was a bootleg – the cover was a black and white photocopy, and on the back of the CD you could see the printing “52x”. (These Argentine CD-Rs fail very quickly, I get real problems with the ones used by BATC).

    In the end the price is the giveaway. CTA is very expensive. Anything the price of a normal CD is definitely a bootleg

    Warm wishes


  4. Royce Says:

    Hi Michael,

    Thank you for the updates. I will use your tips to identify them.


  5. Michael Lavocah Says:

    And one more thing – sometimes the Argentine CTA bootleg is not actually bootlegged from a CTA disc at all – I have seen D’Arienzo CTA bootlegs which are reconstructions of the same tracklist, but with the tracks taken from different sources. Bernhard Gehberger writes about this on his site http://www.tango-dj.at

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