A Tribute To Tango

A Tribute To Tango
1 Feb, 2018

Few artists were as vital in rave’s acceleration and development during the 90s as Jamie Giltrap AKA Tango.

A foundation DJ from the UK scene’s earliest explosion, Tango had one of the most consistent voices throughout our music’s most critical defining movements. Constantly ahead of the turbulent tempo developments and white knuckle stylistic switches, the transition from hardcore to jungle to drum & bass wouldn’t have been half as smooth if it wasn’t for Tango’s contributions.

From early cuts such as the rowdy, rattling hardcore Showtime and The Push to ageless jazzy steppers such as Feeling Real or Spellbound via straight-up smashers like War For 94 and Understanding, Tango was an artist who understood the elements. He knew when to hold back, when to be musical, how to convey emotion and, when the time was right, how you melt the skin off your face. His sublime remix of SS’s Intro is a fine example of how well he balanced these elements…

Respected across the entire rave spectrum working with flagship labels such as Moving Shadow, Formation, Creative Wax, F Project and City To City, Tango was in demand as a serial collaborator throughout the 90s working with the likes of Dom Fripp and Pulse, but he was most frequently spotted with Dave Smith AKA Ratty. A man he formed the strongest partnership with throughout his career, together Tango and Ratty gave hardcore jungle some of the most uncompromised, heaviest and influential cuts of all time such as the Tales From The Darkside, Final Conflict and The Killer. Years later, went on to establish the short-lived-but-critically-hyped J-Tek project with Outrage, Digital, Top Buzz and Randall.

While Jamie departed from the scene during most of the 2000s to train as a chef, his influence was always felt with repeated remixes and remasters of his seminal works and constant references by DJs in interviews. His return two years ago with releases on Trace’s DCI4 and Soul Intent’s Lossless Music marked the start of a very welcome return with cuts such as 1234 (with Soul Intent) and Fall Down (with Lighterman) showing that his vision and musical touch was a natural skill that was still hugely relevant 25 years after his breakthrough.

Sadly he passed away on Wednesday January 31 2018. As always – and tragically too often in recent years – the bass scene of all generations have come out in force with respect and love for his legacy. Our thoughts are with his friends and family right now. To say he’ll be missed is an understatement.

Rest in peace Tango.

Drum&BassArena Editor: Dave Jenkins has documented beats for over 15 years working with the likes of UKF, Mixmag, DJ Mag, iDJ, Bandcamp, Resident Advisor, Radio 1 Xtra and many more.