Best of ’09: Federico Aubele Brings His “Amatoria” Album To The Troubadour

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, we wanted to revisit an album that is certain to spice up the soundtrack to this special day. The sounds found on Federico Aubele’s Amatoria, proved to be so intoxicating that I’ve found myself (and my girlfriend) constantly replaying it from start to finish since its release over the summer. No surprise that it comes from one of our favorite labels, ESL Records, and I remember how I thrilled I was when Federico brought this beautiful album to life at The Troubadour this Autumn.

When I talked to him earlier in the day, I found that Federico Aubele knew all too well that his music inspires certain desires – particularly those of the baby-making variety.

“If you’re at the show and you feel like caressing and grabbing the person next to you, I won’t tell anybody,” he joked.

Following a rousing set by Castilian crooner DePedro, the honey-voiced Argentinean took to the stage, sporting his trademark Hendrix Experience afro. Accompanied by a crazy keyboardist, a newsboy drummer and an enticingly gyrating female vocalist, Aubele brought us all a little closer to the Southern Hemisphere for a good hour.

The songs he showcased from Amatoria were lovingly arranged for the live stage and his older songs also shined a little brighter as Federico has now taken over full vocal duties this time around. It’s certainly something that’s been a long time coming since his first album, Gran Hotel Buenos Aires, was released back in 2004.

“Ever since I did my first US tour, I started singing a lot more when I was on stage. I was only singing one song back then (2004), and the rest of the songs were sung by other female vocalists. So, I felt kind of stupid almost just sitting on stage in the center, being the guy that’s just playing guitar and just saying ‘thank you’ to people after the song was done. So that’s why I decided to start working on my vocals, but it was a very slow process. I just started singing more songs and more songs until eventually I was singing about ninety percent of the show!”

I just thought that it was about time I reflected that on record really, so that’s why I decided to take the step forward and do the lead vocals on this one.

The album, compared with his first two releases is a lot more personal and showcases a side to Federico that hasn’t been fully  revealed in the past. On songs like, “Este Amor,” and the gorgeous “Hermosa,” he really shines bright but it’s perhaps on the album’s instrumental closer, “Amatoria,” where he really lets you inside his heart.

“The whole idea behind the album was that I noticed that I would naturally write songs about love, so I decided I wanted to have an album only about love,” he shared.

To call his sound “world” music would be a grave mischaracterization as Aubele’s music is worldly music, splicing flamenco, tango and dub reggae into a unique concoction that reflects the guitarist’s sweeping travels. He’s lived for years at a time in Buenos Aires, Berlin, Barcelona and most recently settled down in New York, with his wife (and fellow ESL artist) Natalia Clavier.

“I moved to New York last February and I must say that it’s definitely a very exciting city with a lot of things going on. It’s very inspiring in a way to somehow be exposed to all that energy because that’s such a positive thing.”

Federico’s also got plenty of love for Los Angeles as well and often finds himself outside of the bright lights of the big city in search of some low key — yet still equally grand — pursuits.

“I’ve found some really excellent restaurants here,” he said. “I’m vegetarian myself and it was nice to find some nice spots and also some nice music stores where I’ve found some really good gear.”

The audience is also really, really receptive to my music and very supportive here.

Despite being a vegetarian, Federico still found time to sin in our city as he freely admitted to some recent gluttony.

“Well, last night I ordered this huge dessert. It was like a chocolate waffle with fudge and a lot of vanilla ice cream on it. I think that’s a deadly sin.”

We think Federico’s earned himself a few sinful City Of Angels experiences. Especially after giving me and so many other people an album to truly cherish with the ones you love the most.