(NORTH ADAMS, Mass.) – Roberto Carlos Lange, aka Helado Negro, concludes a weeklong residency at MASS MoCA with several all-star collaborators in tow, including Mikael Jorgensen, the lead pianist for the museum’s rock band, Wilco, with a work-in-progress showing of the made-at-MASS MoCA Island Universe Story in the Hunter Center on Saturday, January 24, 2015, at 8pm.
Born into the vivid colors and pounding boom box beats of 1980s south Florida, experimental electronic producer and performer Lange incorporates the sensual tropical storms and irresistible Latin groove of his childhood into the eclectic, reflective sound of his most recent musical identity, Helado Negro. Spanish for “black ice cream,” Helado Negro’s style is at once primal and sophisticated, characterized by layers of ethereal Latin rhythms and contemporary beats that combine Lange’s rich, soulful voice and poetic lyrics in hypnotic soundscapes that have earned him the title of “experimental psych maestro” (Pitchfork). A multitasker on stage, Lange merges music and art in mesmerizing multimedia performances that often incorporate video, laser lights, fog, and backup dancers.
At MASS MoCA, Lange brings together eight musicians to explore and create a mosaic of sound for his music and (eventually) video project, Island Universe Story, set to premiere in March 2015 with the Liquid Music concert series. In addition to Wilco’s Jorgensen, the MASS MoCA work-in-progress performance features project collaborators including singer-songwriter Adron, David Byrne percussionist Jason Trammell, and members of the William Onyeabor Atomic Bomb Band and Marc Ribot’s band.
Lange made his musical debut in the early 2000s, releasing numerous full-length albums under various monikers, mostly notably a collaboration with drummer Matt Crum called ROM and a solo effort under the name Epstein.
Helado Negro made its album debut in 2009 with Awe Owe, following up with 2011’s Canta Lechuza, 2013’s Invisible Life, and most recently, Double Youth in 2014, all produced by Asthmatic Kitty Records. Lange is no stranger to working behind the scenes; he produced Brooklyn-based synth-pop group Bear in Heaven’s 2009 breakout Beast Rest Forth Mouth, hailed as some of the year’s “best new music” by Pitchfork.
Dinner and snacks are available from Lickety Split before and during the show. A full bar serves Berkshire Brewing Company beers and Berkshire Mountain Distillery spirits. Tickets are $8 for students, $12 in advance, $18 day of, and $22 preferred. Tickets for all events are available through the MASS MoCA box office located on Marshall Street in North Adams, open 11am – 5pm Wednesdays through Mondays; closed Tuesdays through spring 2015. Tickets can also be charged by phone by calling 413.662.2111 during box office hours or purchased on-line at MASS MoCA. All events are held rain or shine.
Artistic Residencies at MASS MoCA
MASS MoCA’s performing arts residencies offer well-equipped and professionally staffed technical facilities and stages, and a sophisticated, diverse, and sympathetic audience for new work, especially technically complex work that requires generous allocations of time and space. MASS MoCA’s vast galleries and expert fabrication staff offer visual artists the time and tools to create works of a scale and duration impossible to realize in the time and space-cramped conditions of most museums. Since 1999, MASS MoCA’s performing arts department has hosted over 50 artists-in-residence and their collaborators, including David Byrne, Laurie Anderson, Robert Wilson, Philip Glass, Shirin Neshat, Sekou Sundiata, Liz Lerman, DJ Spooky, Basil Twist, David Neumann, Cynthia Hopkins, David Herskovitz, Philip Miller, Terry Allen, Alison Chase, Kid Koala, and David Levine.
About MASS MoCA
MASS MoCA is one of the world’s liveliest (and largest) centers for making and enjoying today’s most important art, music, dance, theater, film, and video. Hundreds of works of visual and performing art have been created on its 19th-century factory campus during fabrication and rehearsal residencies, making MASS MoCA among the most productive sites in the country for the creation and presentation of new art. More platform than box, MASS MoCA strives to bring to its audiences art experiences that are fresh, engaging, and transformative.