Roberto Carlos Lange is the voice and mastermind behind Helado Negro. With three full-length albums under his belt, as well as his side project OMBRE with Julianna Barwick and production/mixing work on Prefuse 73 and Bear In Heaven, Lange has cultured his identity, ideology and musical dexterity with constant artistic and introspective development.
Due for release 3rd November via Asthmatic Kitty (Sufjan Stevens, Mozart's Sister, DM Stith) in the UK and Europe, 'Double Youth' owes something to Lange's contemporaries (School of Seven Bells, Juana Molina, Twin Shadow) but is more of a spiritual long-lost cousin to the great masters of funk, like Parliament, Prince and George Duke, whose finely tuned beats married the ear with the body in new ways.
The first single from the record, 'I Krill You', is bathed in an amalgamation of sounds, unravelling layers of rich textures, coupled with Lange's soulful vocals. It is amongst the most intimate and emotive songs Helado Negro has produced.
Helado Negro recorded his 'Double Youth' in his home studio with a computer, his voice, and telepathic input from a photo he found buried in a closet in his childhood home. Seeing the photo after cleaning out a closet evoked a sudden rush of memories, but also a sense of isolation and separation. Who was this person in the photo? And what else had Lange forgotten? The photo's impact was so significant it framed a new recording process for Helado Negro, serves as the cover art, title, and the conceptual framework for the lyrics and song structures of the new record.
Born in Florida to Ecuadorian immigrants and currently residing in Brooklyn, Lange's upbringing provides essential elements to the backbone of his music. His childhood was suffused with tropical heat, humidity, hurricanes, all refracted with the rich sounds and colours of the various Latin American cultures of southern Florida. Pounding bass beats from passing cars, boom boxes bouncing down the block, and late-night parties called "peñas" provided a foundation for Helado Negro's interest in sound and quest to discover the unlimited variety of objects used to produce music.
Additionally, Helado Negro has a consistent bilingual - English and Spanish - presence in lyrics. With a hybrid identity and music as a vehicle, Lange creates a statement by eradicating barriers of communication and language and allowing the listener to be genuinely captivated by a boundless experience and universal feeling - music.
Lange is an innovator involved in every phase of his creation, his previous LPs including the most recent 'Invisible Life' - featuring Devendra Banhart - hold a common denominator of experimentation and each new release unveils a new layer of Lange's talent.
Throughout 'Double Youth' are beautiful musical arrangements and a hypnotising combination of carefully crafted sounds and voices. It's an album without a hidden message; it's honest and sincere, exhibited in Lange's vocals, which are more present and exposed than before.
1. Are I Here
2. I Krill You
3. It's Our Game
4. Myself On 2 U
5. Friendly Arguments
7. Ojos Que No Ven
9. Invisible Heartbeat
10. That Shit Makes Me Sad
It's Monday morning and my bones hurt. I'm tired, hung-over, and there's a slight ringing in my ears.