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Invisible Life

Helado Negro

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Album Review

After Canta Lechuza's spacy experiments, it seemed like anything was possible for Helado Negro's third album. So it comes as something of a surprise — though not an unpleasant one — that Roberto Carlos Lange returns to the subversively tropical-sounding territory of Awe Owe for much of Invisible Life. Not that these songs are a rehash of where he's been before; instead, he expands on his debut's warmth and sensuality with tracks like "Arboles," which bounces along with a sunny, unhurried charm. Some of Canta Lechuza's fascination with old-school electronics creeps into two of the album's more expansive showcases for Lange's music: "Lentamente" lets bubbly tones ricochet off each other as the song rolls out over the course of six minutes, while "Junes" anchors its breezy sounds with a more propulsive, dance-inspired beat. Perhaps Invisible Life's biggest development is that Lange sings in English for about half of the album, which suits some of the more pop-oriented tracks here. "U Heard" evokes TV on the Radio's soulful electro-rock ballads, although its weightless feel is all Lange. "Catastrophe" proves that he can do concise synth pop as well as his more expected reveries, but it's the hypnotic pull of even his simplest songs, like the lonely and lovely "Dance Ghost," that makes his music special. Invisible Life reaffirms that Lange can keep that quality, regardless of which direction he takes Helado Negro in next.

Biography

Formed: Brooklyn, NY

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

One of experimental electronic producer Roberto Carlos Lange's numerous monikers, Helado Negro is a collaborative project associated with Asthmatic Kitty Records that made its album debut in 2009 with Awe Owe. Born in South Florida in 1980 of Ecuadorian heritage, Lange made his recording debut in the early 2000s, when he released music under a few different monikers, most notably ROM (a collaboration with drummer Matt Crum), Epstein, and Boom & Birds. The eponymous album ROM (2005) on Wimm Recordings...
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Invisible Life, Helado Negro
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