Panamericana

Federico Aubele

Panamericana

The cosmopolitan, ultra-cool sounds of Argentina’s Federico Aubele are aptly summed by the title of his second album, Panamericana,, named so in reference to the highway that stretches from Alaska to Aubele’s homeland. With Eric Hilton of Thievery Corporation (one of Aubele’s primary benefactors) producing, the underpinning of downtempo electronic beats comes as no surprise, but the multitalented Aubele adroitly and judiciously adds a variety of North and South American textures: a bit of tango and bolero music, a dash of hip-hop, a healthy taste of dub reggae. That strikingly appealing formula sounds as if it comes easily and naturally to Aubele, who wrote all of the music, sings on about half the tracks, and plays the bulk of the instruments. While he’s most adept at picking his nylon-string acoustic and is clearly well-versed in traditional South American guitar styles, that’s also him adding dub seasoning on Augustus Pablo-style melodica. On two of the tracks, “Corazon” and “Maria Jose,” Aubele borrows horn players from Los Fabulosos Cadillacs, another Argentine band with a wide-ranging musical palette, and members of Arizona’s equally omnivorous Calexico join in on the seductive “Este Momento.” Like his Brazilian counterpart, Bebel Gilberto, Aubele has found a way to bring South American pop, willingly, into the next century.

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