This year we're asking our musically and culturally inclined friends to write our evening programs. Here's Eddie Cota on the Panoptica Orchestra and Federico Aubele.
I can’t think of a better place than Los Angeles for a lineup like Panoptica Orchestra and Federico Aubuele to take the stage together. This city is moving so fast culturally and expanding its global sounds, it's if we have a direct line out to every creative hub around the world.
One of the most important hubs is just to the south, Tijuana. It seems like we have a strong cultural link that exchanges and supports each other’s art. It has only been the last few years that the media has paid attention to the burst of arts and culture over there. They describe it as this progressive and hip scene where only adventurous art-seekers dare to explore.
Panoptica has been pioneering the sounds of the city’s progressive culture for some time. He was one of the founders of electronic-Mexican group Nortec Collective. When I first heard this group, it blew my mind.
The music felt so parallel to my experience of discovering where I belonged in Los Angeles when I moved here 10 years ago. Listening to them take a genre like Norteño and mash it up with electronic beats, provided a soundtrack for all those seeking to hold on to their cultural roots and also express creative exploration. Panoptica now with his own orchestra continues to redefine the soundscapes of this evolving culture, keeping the world tuned into where Mexico is headed musically. I’m more excited than ever to hear where he will take it.
Similar things can be said about Argentine artist Federico Aubele. You hear Latin folk influences, the tango rhythms, and his romantic Spanish lyrics. Federico has had his own journey in discovering his sound. He teamed up with electronic producers Thievery Corporation early in his career, and also moved to Berlin, which some consider the most progressive arts and culture scenes in the world. All these influences shine through his music of dark tempos and twisted folk.
What I love most about Los Angeles is that artists like Panoptica Orchestra and Federico Aubele can share the same stage and be embraced by an open-minded and diverse audience. Just like our city, these artists keep pushing the boundaries and bending rules of what culture means to them. Their music can be your guide as you set out to discover what it all means to you.
Eddie Cota is a Cultural Programmer working with venues and corporate brands to curate events in Los Angeles. He also freelances for the LA Weekly covering the global music scene.