Published Sep 24, 2007The Pan-American highway that stretches from Argentina to Alaska acts not only as the backdrop for this musical journey but also as a winding path that connects all the different rhythms on Federico Aubeles Panamericana. Guitar strumming Mexican Boleros sway across Argentinean electro tangos and dubby Jamaican bass lines as Aubele paints pictures of distant homelands and lonely nights. Panamericana is a slight change from Aubeles successful 2003 debut, Gran Hotel Buenos Aires. This time he strips away his spaced-out electro tango vibe, creating gentler atmospheric compositions. By taking a step away from the effects-heavy vibe of Gran Hotel Buenos Aires, Aubele has given himself extra breathing room, which allows him to explore more complex songwriting and instrumentation. Aubele even puts together a semi-dream band, combining members of Calexico with legendary Argentinean rock band Los Fabulosos Cadillacs. Five years on tour and living in Europe have given Aubele some much needed time to reflect on his musical path and the roots of the music he loves so much, helping him create the mature and dreamy sound of Panamericana.
How has living outside of Buenos Aires helped your sound evolve?
In Argentina, especially in Buenos Aires, were always looking outwards, constantly watching whats happening in Europe. By leaving, it helped me look closer at the roots of the tango and a lot of the more folkloric music coming from the provinces outside of Buenos Aires. There are lots of beautiful things that we dont hear in Buenos Aires because they belong more to the outer provinces. I also connected with a lot of traditional Latin-American sounds and that helped me as well. Also, in Buenos Aires theres an old songwriting tradition that I tapped into. Its almost like the distance helped me connect more with my roots.
How were you able to bring together Calexico and Los Fabulosos Cadillacs to back you up?
Los Fabulosos are something else, because theyre a huge band, but I knew two of them well. When I had to record the winds, I wasnt in Buenos Aires, so I spoke with Mario [Siperman. keyboards] and he told me he would arrange it. He basically brought me the wind section of the band and arranged their parts and recorded them. The guys from Calexico were the same way. I met them at a few festivals and different places and I loved their horns. I told them I wanted that sound for my album and they said no problem and recorded it right away. It was great; I love collaborating with people like that. (ESL)