Born in Florida and inspired by Latin vibes, the voice that is Helado Negro has a new album out: Invisible Life. If you’re unfamiliar with “the voice that is Helado Negro,” meet Roberto Carlos Lange. Roberto was born and raised in Florida, surrounded by Latin American culture, and on top of that, his parents were Ecuadorian. It’s said that everywhere he went he was surrounded by music, and that played a key role in shaping him. So far Lange has had a number of musical endeavors be it producing, or playing. The man’s grown into some sort of sound genius. With his solo project, Helado Negro, Roberto Carlos Lange demonstrates his skill and creativity through simple electronic rhythms, and delicate singing.
Invisible Life is interesting. It’s like an adventure in chillwave, minus any overbaked electronic melodies. Helado Negro keeps everything in the right proportions while also trimming away the fat. That isn’t to say the album is minimalist in nature, but rather just manages to continuously hit the nail on the head, and deliver the music in just the right way. Each song introduces itself just right, the album transitions along fantastically, and it quickly becomes an amazingly enjoyable listen.
There’s something special about Helado Negro. The lyrics, while primarily Spanish (with maybe an English word worked in there –we’ll get to this in a second), seem to transcend language barriers and do a number on the soul. It’s the perfect low, almost conversational tone that really pulls the listener in. Now, if you’re a fan of picking apart a song’s lyrics, word from word, hopefully you know a lot of Spanish. I’m not sure there’s any English here, but it really doesn’t matter. About three tracks into Invisible Life, you kind of give up on trying to understand anything, and just accept the fact that the musics good, and they could be singing about anything –it wouldn’t change how perfect the album sounds. The truth is the singing is free from being just a vocal track, it’s almost instrumental. It’s beautiful, it’s incredibly well done.
Let’s dissect Invisible Life a little more. Instrumentally, the album is primarily electronic. Normally this would turn me off, but Helado Negro has managed to persuade me that there’s nothing wrong with a little digital sound. The second track, “Lentamente,” is a perfect example. Helado Negro demonstrates that it’s subtlety and tact that give synths and the entire spectrum of electronic instruments meaning in today’s musical world. Even at the instrumental climax of the song, things stay simple, and yet seem so significant. Furthermore, every sound in Invisible Life has been carefully handpicked, and it shows. The music teleports you away from the horrors of reality, and drop you in a rainforest, or on a beach, or some other scenic area. It’s an auditory escape.
Overall Helado Negro is the perfect music to chill out to. It’s refreshing and satisfying. I wish I could tell you when I fell in love with Helado Negro’s Invisible Life, but I can’t. Somewhere between track one and the end of the album, something mystic happened; and damn am I glad it did. Each time I’ve listened to the Invisible Life so far, I couldn’t help but crack a smile. It’s just that good.
MP3: Helado Negro “Lentamente”
Buy: iTunes or Insound! vinyl
I for one am similar to the author, in that an all electronic album usually turns me off. However I heard the first few tracks off the record today for the very first time and I was very impressed. For an electronic album to capture the attention of a rock musician, it truly says something.