There’s a clear transformation and a natural maturation in the evolution of the craft presented in 5, Federico Aubele’s most recent full-length recording. The Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter has taken his music on the road and will be in Chicago this weekend as part of his coast to coast tour.
We never mind revisiting Aubele, especially when it seems like it’s been just a tad bit too long since the last time, that first time we met him at Panamericana. Shortly thereafter we quickly sought the musings of Gran Hotel Buenos Aires (GHBA), which is all urban elegance, sophistication and cool reigning heavy. The song “Postales” was a particular favorite as it slithers along in the sexy lines of tango. It is guitar-heavy in just the right spots, and hip with the pulse of a city’s musical electrons. In essence, it’s quite amazing.
Everything feels just fine as long as you can hear Aubele’s story in his provocative baritone, as backdrop to your perfect day. His music is an unceasing flow of creativity. Amatoria and Berlin 13, albums a couple of years apart, followed GHBA. And as 2013 approaches the end of its chapter, Aubele presents us with, “the year’s last, loveliest melody,” or as as William Cullen Bryant penned the original line describing the change in seasons: “… the year’s last, loveliest smile.”
Although Aubele enjoys creating solo, several guest performers on 5 refine the luminous sounds that he molded to perfection over the course of two years. He worked alone in his Brooklyn studio, explaining “I like working like a painter, by myself, in my atelier. Or like a writer. Technology nowadays allows you to be the producer, writer and engineer. It’s an intimate process for me, and I need to respect that intimacy.”
The 12-song album features Natalia Clavier on “Noche Lenta” and “Carrousel Sin Fin”, a song which also includes percussion by Mauro Refosco (Atoms for Peace). Jazz saxophonist Ilhan Ersahin adds his touch to “El Mago” while Melody Gardot introduces the album in the smoky opener, “Somewhere Else”. Each track has noted Aubele-esque elements such as dub, classical guitar and of course electronic beats seductively dancing to the sensuality of Buenos Aires. It’s electronic magnificence.
From beginning to end, and over again, the music alters your state of being. Traveling on sound waves manifested in reflections of a past in the future will jolt you out of your comfort zone. The album 5 will stretch the confinement you didn’t realize you were in until exposed to the beauty of creative freedom. It’s introspective as it allows you, the listener, to decide to what degrees you shall succumb to being content or extraordinarly ecstatic.
I, for one, choose 5 as my happy pill.
Federico Aubele performs at Martyrs’ on Saturday, Nov. 2. Tickets are still available online!