(HUDSON, N.Y.) – Ecuadorian-Floridian pop experimentalist Roberto Carlos Lange, a new generation’s answer to Tom Zé, performs his gauzy electronic soundscapes under the nom-de-band Helado Negro at Club Helsinki in Hudson, N.Y., on Saturday, July 30, at 9 p.m. Helado Negro’s alternate universe features lilting melodies, purred Spanish lyrics and beats that dance from tranquil funk to chugging avant-rock to bossa nova.
The son of Ecuadorean immigrants, Roberto Carlos Lange was born in South Florida in 1980. His childhood was suffused with the rich sounds and colors of the various Latin American cultures of southern Florida. Pounding bass beats from passing cars, boomboxes bouncing down the block, and late-night parties called peñas provided a foundation for Lange’s interest in sound and lifelong quest to discover the unlimited variety of objects used to produce music.
Over the last few years Lange has collaborated with prominent visual and sound artist David Ellis to compose a new series of kinetic sound sculptures. These include typewriters that self-type the lyrics to Grandmaster Flash’s The Message in rhythm to the song.
Helado Negro grew through projects and experiments Roberto would conduct while recording himself and others in his home studio. Loops, computer synthesis, record samples, and live instruments provided the foundation for the first full-length recording, Awe Owe, a vibrant, shimmering, full-band Latin psyche-funk-folk epic.
After taking time to create a new series of sound sculptures, release a Helado Negro EP, score one film and begin work on another (based around his animation), Lange recently recorded the follow-up. Canta Lechuza is a thoroughly modern affair, drenched in texture and mood, the kind of record that feels good to hear alone, but throw it on at your next dance party and you will have no complaints.