Helado Negro: “Dance Ghost”
The mish-mash of cultures is at the heart of Roberto Lange, and he reflects this in his ever-changing music. Born to Ecuadorean immigrants, Lange grew up in the melting pot that is south Florida, soaking in the various sounds that soundtracked his childhood. In 2006, Lange moved to New York–the melting pot of all melting pots–and started to pursue a music career. It was then that he took the name he’s now known by: Helado Negro, Spanish for “black ice cream.”
Helado Negro debuted in 2009 with Awe Owe, a mostly folk album with psychedelic and electronic touches filtering through the subtle songs. Lange’s love of dance elements only increased with time. For 2011′s Canta Lechuza, the singer retreated to the woods of Connecticut to intently focus on his craft. Even in the bucolic setting, Lange set aside his folk roots and embraced more synthesized sounds, yet he was able to retain a personal, human touch that has characterized much of his work. You can certainly hear it in “Regresa,” a former KUT Song of the Day from Helado Negro.
Now Lange looks to take another big step with Invisible Life, out March 5. His discography has been sung entirely in Spanish up to this point, but Invisible Life features some of Lange’s first English lyrics. First up is “Dance Ghost,” a buzzing ballad underpinned by a slight reggae sway. In all honesty, the tricky beat would make for a tough dance, but perhaps that’s the point: it’s the sound of a tender moment, distorted by memory, time, and a confluence of different cultures.