Helado Negro: “Regresa”
Helado Negro is Spanish for “black ice cream,” and it’s the namesake for Brooklyn-by-way-of-Florida artist Roberto Lange. May 11 sees the release of Canta Lechuza, an electronic record born of a decidedly non-electronic location.
Lange started out as a DJ, creating largely instrumental soundscapes and remixes before switching to live instrumentation for his debut full-length, 2009′s Awe Owe. The record was a mish-mash of funk, folk, and psychedelia, with some electronic flourishes here and there, but it mainly highlighted Lange’s complex song structures.
For Canta Lechuza, Lange chose to retreat both physically and stylistically. Consequently, he secluded himself in the Connecticut woods for peace, quiet, and inspiration. It’s a seemingly odd setting to write and record an electronic album, but it afforded him the time to truly focus on his songs. While a lot of electronic songs can devolve into endless noodling, Lange’s work function foremost as pop compositions. His deep baritone is front and center, delivering catchy choruses that effortlessly bridge the language divide despite being sung in Spanish.
First single “Regresa” shows off Lange’s focus and commitment. Buzzing synths serve as the base, to which he adds inventive percussive elements and that sigh of a voice. It’s a lazy song in the best way–easy to love, and hard to turn off.