A mythical figure on the Argentine rock scene, recently reinvented as exponent of wild and embittered tango, this singer, clarinetist and composer is a living kaleidoscope. Since the late 1970s, steering between pop, rock, dub, classical, folklore and tango, he has burned his way through both ends of several lives. Since 2014 he has created the story of Linyera: an alter-ego, a pretext for a journey to the origins of tango and of his own family tree, of which Oasis is the final part of a trilogy.
Daniel Melingo, Argentinean of Greek descent, an artist fed on poetry and cinema, himself an actor, author of eighteen albums, was born in 1957 in the Buenos Aires district of Parque Patricios, a mythical place for tango. At the conservatoire he learned the clarinet and followed a curriculum of musicology, ethnomusicology, composition and contemporary music. In 1979 the arrival of the dictatorship put an end to al that and he emigrated to Brazil where he stayed for several years, notably playing with Milton Nascimento. Returning to Argentina in 1982, he joined Los Abuelos de la Nada ("the Grandfathers of Nothingness"), a protest and psychedelic rock band led by the charismatic Miguel Abuelo (1946-1988), and he co-founded Los Twist in 1982. Daniel Melingo then toured alongside Latin American rock star Charlie Garcia and took part in many alternative and experimental ventures, notably in the Ring Club musical theatre. In the mid-80s he moved to Madrid, then in full Movida, and joined the punk band Toreros Muertos. During this period in Europe he recorded Lions in Love, a psychedelic-soul-pop record with flamenco accents.
Returning to Buenos Aires, Melingo took on the character of a ruffian singing picaresque tango poems in lunfardo(the slang of the suburbs of Buenos Aires), with a certain grimy flavor of the genre as it was before the plaintive languor of the bandoneon arrived. This Pasolinian character recorded the albums Tango Bajos and Ufa in 1998 and 2001. He became in turn a TV presenter, a film music composer, notably for Mariano Galperín (who in 2015 produced a multi-award-winning documentary about his European tour), and actor (Una Noche Sin Luna by Germán Tejeira, Lulúby Luis Ortega).
2004 saw the beginning of a European career, particularly in France, when guitarist Eduardo Makaroff, the Argentine third of the Gotan Project, invited him to join the label that he had recently created, Mañana. His first album distributed in France was Santa Milonga, followed by Maldito Tango and Corazon y Huesos.
In 2014, Daniel Melingo imagined Linyera, a series built around the character of the vagrant Celeste, which opened a path marked by dark compositions reconnecting with the Byzantine roots of his paternal ancestors. The songs feature powerful texts by Latin American poets from the lunfardotradition: Carlos de la Pua, Evaristo Carriego and above all the famous tango creator Luis Alposta.
At the end of September 2019 a week-long event devoted to him at the CCK Cultural Center in Buenos Aires, the major retrospective Universo Melingo, puts together the pieces of this hallucinatory and dreamlike puzzle who gives thanks every day for being alive.