ACL Fest Live Shots
Saturday, Sept. 16, Zilker Park
Why is club music difficult to stage? Translation. Samplers don't sweat, drum machines don't strut, and loops can't crack wise about the heat. Live, electronic music can be as hair-raising as trampled grass. Wisely, Federico Aubele takes a cue from Thievery Corporation producers of his 2004 debut Gran Hotel Buenos Aires by working a real band on stage, and one of ACL's behemoths no less. Impressive for a new act, and a testament to this Argentinean-born Barcelona resident's continental gifts. Aubele's music isn't monochromatic, but it follows a pattern: sultry female vocals floating over a trip-hop backbeat, subharmonic bass, snap percussion, spacey samples, and mellifluously relaxed Spanish guitar. The gestalt is mojito music sweet, easy going down, with a latent kick. Sexing sounds. Most of the 11 songs hailed from Gran Hotel ("Esta Noche," "Besos De Sal," "Postales," "Contigo"), the remaining few drawing from his pregnant sophomore offering, along with a 1940s tango classic. Aubele & Co. offered up the best electronic music: grounded in the past with a futuristic gaze.