Federico Aubele / Leif Vollebekk
Federico Aubele's haunting signature sound, with its precise beats, scattered bandoneon samples, and dark atmospherics, can be described as cinematic, tripped-out, tango-infused instrumental music. "I always loved instrumental music. From Pink Floyd's Atom Heart Mother, to Piazzolla's album Pulsacion, to Baden Powell's Afro Sambas to Boards of Canada. When there are no lyrics, a barrier is lifted and the music connects directly to other areas of your subconscious, often with emotions that are hard to put into words."
Patiently crafted over two years in his Brooklyn studio, Aubele's new album, 5, takes you into that room. And you don't want to leave. You want to dive into that narcotic sway and remain there. Aubele works alone, like a fisherman waiting for the tide, painstakingly, making sure every sound marries other elements on the track.
Leif Vollebekk spent two years searching for perfect takes. This search took him from his home in Montreal to a studio in Manhattan, from a farmhouse in Woodstock, New York, to a mansion outside Paris. The result is a dusty, polished, new, and old record called North Americana.
North Americana took years to make. “All this time,” Vollebekk says, “trying to get one take.” But the result is beautiful, alive, human—shambling ballads, noisy folk songs, and vivid portraits of a 27-year-old’s watercolor life. “I feel like I created a record from 1970-something that no one’s heard before,” Vollebekk says. “I’m haggard and this record is all I got.”