Helado Negro: Invisible Life
Press play on Invisible Life and you lose your season. Roberto Lange - Helado Negro - is talking to you in Spanish. He?s talking to you, perhaps with more volume, in the language he?s been teaching us all over the past three years through the lessons of the seductive full-length Canta Lechuza, the sub-narrative exploration EP Island Universe Story One, and the all-in collaboration,OMBRE, with Juliana Barwick. This immersive curriculum, paired with our own capacity for feeling, will make Invisible Life visible. At least as much Roberto Lange wants us to see of himself. Translate the name of that first song for the first clue: it illuminates you.Jon Philpot, The Bear In Heaven frontman, is one of a key few contributions on the album, including more old friends like Eduardo Alonso (Feathers) and Matt Crum (Lange?s longtime bandmate in ROM), as well as kindred and vast spirit Devendra Banhart. Banhart?s guitar on ?Arboles? multiplies the whispered dream of Helado Negro into technicolor parallel existences. Roberto Lange, the conductor, the man alone, has always kept his family close, even if its definition has expanded from his mother?s kitchen to the long-stretching road that sends him from one show to the next.
Helado Negro: Canta Lechuza
Canta Lechuza is an intimate, personal beast, a solo affair built lovingly from live instruments, percussion, and field recordings, all processed through electronics, computers, and synthesizers. It is an album with very defined songs, its song-structure has been labored over; choruses count bigtime, confident breakdowns and digi-pop bridges are all part and parcel of the greater good. Canta Lechuza is dance music turned inside out?percussion plipping and plapping, basslines smooth and dry as a tube of blue neon. Deep-space micro-drones emerge from hibernation, growling out from a wash of sun-filtered haze?morphing, squeezing, then bending themselves around globular droplets of blood-red electro.
Helado Negro: Awe Owe
Drawing from a rich variety of influences from the cradle to his crate digging years, Lange cites influences such as Funkadelic, DJ Premiere, South American 60's pop, Arthur Russell, Ecuadorean ballad singer Julio Jaramillo, and Adrian Sherwoods's production style in the early ON-U Sound releases. But when asked about his contemporaries, Roberto references all the players on the album, adding the names of visual artists David Ellis and Christian Marclay, two artists who use elements of DJ culture in their work. This is apropos when listening to the record, which it seems as if the songs have been sculpted or painted.