Beatport Hype: Tamango Records

Tamango Records boss Yaya gives the inside scoop on his fast-growing minimal tech imprint and provides an exclusive mix of Tamango Records gold.

6 min
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Feb 18, 2021
Cameron Holbrook

Hailing from the city of Turin, Italian DJ/producer Yassin Ligali Ali, AKA Yaya, is one of the most exceptional purveyors of minimal techno and deep tech house. Getting his start as a DJ at 17, he eventually was discovered by Loco Dice. Impressed by his knack for crafting unique afro and multi-ethnic beats and synth patterns in his productions, Loco Dice first signed the young artist to his Desolat imprint in 2009.

For the next decade, Yaya circumnavigated the globe, hitting some of the most prominent party destinations while wowing crowds with his refined taste. In 2016, he introduced Tamango Records imprint to the world — a label named after both a legendary African slave who fought for freedom, and a strong drink that his parents served at their bar in Italy.

The label has so far seen releases from Rich NXT, Diego Krause, Moonlit Vision, Eka Moon, Alex Ground, Rossi., Ray Mono, and many others. We caught up with Yaya to learn more about the label’s namesake, ethos, and his plans for the imprint in 2021. Yaya also put together a silky-smooth, exclusive mix that shows us just what Tamango Records is all about.

Check out Yaya’s ‘Mistero 2021’ chart on Beatport.
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How did you first get into the techno and house scene in Turin, Italy, and how did that eventually lead you to Ibiza?

When I was 12, I started to go dancing every Monday afternoon in a club right behind my house in Turin. It was mainly about techno music plus a privè with house vibes. From that day, well, you know how things went! From that moment, I kept listening to this musical genre and going to dance at any time. It was love at first sight.

How did you first get linked up with Loco Dice and his Desolat imprint?

Ibiza in 2009. After having left him a CD with five tracks while he was playing at Amnesia, Dice called me the following month to sign three of them on vinyl on Desolat, and that’s how the Vecute EP was born.

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What is the legend of Tamango? How did the story inspire the name and ethos of your record label?

The name of the label is inspired by the myth of Tamango, who, according to the legend, was the first African slave to fight for his freedom. My family runs a pub in Turin where they serve a super tough cocktail, even more potent than absinth, called Tamango. It was invented more than 40 years ago by my parents! Speaking with them, many years ago, once I said, “If I ever open a label, it must be as strong as this cocktail, and obviously I will call it Tamango Records.”

Who are some essential artists that have helped you grow Tamango into what it is today?

Every artist that I carefully picked and published has contributed to the growth and improvement of the label. It will always be so because I genuinely want just the best for Tamango Records.

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Tell us about putting together your debut LP, You Decide, and the album’s forthcoming remix EP.

Ever since I was working on the original version, I was already thinking about a second vinyl with the remixes. I’ve been waiting for a long time before deciding the release date, which was originally planned last year. But with all the problems related to the COVID pandemic, I decided to postpone this year. But the time has come to release it, and I’m thrilled that Loco Dice, Cuartero, Enzo Siragusa, and S.A.M have decided to remix my debut album, You Decide.

Yaya’s ‘You Decide (The Remixes)’ EP will be available on Beatport on March 22 via Tamango Records.

What do we have to look forward to from Tamango Records in 2021?

This year looks busy! There will be some big releases on vinyl and digital with some of the biggest artists around. I don’t want to reveal anything yet, but what I can say is that we’re already working also to give you a 2022 full of good Tamango vibes.

Can you give us a little insight into the mix you made for us?

This exclusive mix is all about Tamango and features some of my favorite tracks released on the label since day one. I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I did!

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