Before Federico Aubele’s show began, I stood outside of The Parish and talked to a man from Argentina who recently moved to Austin and was excited to finally see Aubele perform. I asked him if Aubele was well known and loved in his home-country and the answer was a quick and resounding “No!” which was then followed by laughter. Confused, I asked why and the answer was simple: Aubele is quiet, prefers to stay underground, and rarely performs in high visibility areas in Argentina.
Back in The Parish, myself and about 30 other fans stood around the stage waiting for that Argentinean, curly-headed, skinny thing to come onto the stage, play us sweet nothings, and make us groove. Donning all black, Aubele discreetly made his way to the microphone while the drummer, Jerry Busher, and Will Rast, the man behind the keyboard, synth, and general groove machine, took their seats; cue the Jamaican jam reverb, Spanish guitar licks, and let the sultry exhales of passion and pain escape.
Aubele began with songs from his new album Berlin 13 and got the crowd to sway in a trance to the heavier dub style than what we had heard on his previous and more well-known album, Panamerica. Deep brooding vocals mixed with his familiar Caribbean rhythm and Argentinean allure saturated the atmosphere with songs such as “Berlin” and “No One” and set the tone of his new album which seems reminiscent of a disco western novella.
Increasingly becoming intoxicated from alcohol and the seductive nature of the show, the crowd grew anxious to hear the songs that made him a star and after holding off, Aubele finally gave in to our wants and needs. It was the highlight of the night when he returned to the past to play “Postales” and “Esta Noche.” The easy union of simple rhythms and detailed blends of musical style still make them a pleasure to hear and play.
The concert ended just as everyone was riled up and Aubele and his band departed as quickly and quietly as they had appeared. It’s no wonder the crowd was small and that Argentineans don’t know very much of him for Aubele seems to constantly be at sea where at any moment he could be anywhere. That anywhere is probably somewhere you aren’t but he will come around again with that Argentinean allure.
(Federico Aubele performed at The Parish in Austin, Texas on May 21, 2011. Live photos by Kristie Bocanegra.)