After five years of living and touring abroad, Argentinean songwriter Federico Aubele looked to reconnect with the Americas, where his inspirations have always thrived. Named after the Pan-American Highway that stretches from Alaska to Argentina, Panamericana
is meant to be diverse to capture the panorama of his influences; threads of tango and hip-hop weave throughout the album, as well as flourishes of Jamaican dub/reggae (“Su Melodía”) and Mexican bolero (“Tan Difícil”). In addition to production by Thievery Corp.’s Eric Hilton, the songs feature cameos by Calexico, Los Fabulosos Cadillacs and a bevy of lovely voices; heady Latin breezes carry the romantic lines of Aubele’s lissome guitar-playing. With a pronounced folk spirit, the record retains its cultural identity even in the face of modernity that comes in the form of ambient trip-hop nuances. This emotional warmth keeps the electronic gestures urbane but not icy, stroking the music’s essence in clean, distilled lines to paint an album that’s a model of elegance and economy.