Roberto Carlos Lange, better known as Helado Negro, is back with his eighth album, called “Phasor”, released today. The South Carolina native, son of Ecuadorian immigrants, has come up with a 35-minute avant-pop bliss. His voice at times rueful, almost always somewhat melancholic, and it is able to transport you to places you didn’t realize they exist. Throw in the electro-acoustic soundscape on pieces like “Flores” which turns out to become an insistently dreamy trip. Sometimes the music comes close to Lambchop material and with tracks such as “Wish You Could Be Here”, it really pays off to stay put until the end. There is a magical way how these experimental tunes unfold.
I was a bit irritated at first when I heard the album opener “LFO (Lupe Finds Oliveros)” because of its cracking sound but then was more than relieved when the fascinating and brilliant “I Just Want To Wake Up With You” came next. Clearly the album’s highlight, Roberto delivers a pure gem with this amazingly beautiful melody and a vocal performance which perfectly matches the ambiance. I also really dig “Best For You And Me” and its atmospheric groove and breezy background vocals. We then get a hilariously outgoing “Colores Del Mar” which boasts with layers of synths and tripping vocals. There is more of this meticulousness regarding overall soundscape and ingenuity on “Echo Tricks Me” which has so much going on in the background, but really never loses track because of its repetitive motif. Wunderbar! On “Out There”, Roberto goes into driving, pulsating mode with just another gorgeous little wonder.
The album’s beautiful closer, “Es Una Fantasia”, shows a more tender, vulnerable side. It’s both eerie and luscious and concludes this amazing 9-track collection of highly imaginative pop songs. Helado Negro is currently on tour in the US throughout this month and hops over to Europe in March. Don’t miss!
02/29 Tallinn – Paavli Kultuurivabriek
03/01 Cesis – Cesis Concert Hall
03/02 Vilnius – Kablys
03/03 Copenhagen – Musik Loppen
03/05 Berlin – Hole44
03/06 Warsaw – Jassmine
03/07 London – Scala
03/09 Luxemburg – Kulturfabrik Krefeld
03/10 Paris – La Maroquinerie
03/12 Brussels – Botanique
03/14 Utrecht – EKKO
03/15 Stockholm – Kulturhuset