Release Date: May 9, 2011
Record label: Asthmatic Kitty
Genre(s): Latin, Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Rock, Post-Rock, Experimental Rock
Roberto Carlos Lange recorded his second Helado Negro album, Canta Lechuza, holed up in a rural Connecticut cabin, but it sounds like it could have been made in an orbiting space station for all that it has in common with where it was made. Actually, that would be a fitting explanation for the album’s playful, peaceful, and decidedly insular sound, which is a drastic change from the expansive collaborations of Helado Negro's debut Awe Owe; if anything, it has more in common with Asthmatic Kitty's library music series than their regular output. In splendid isolation with an arsenal of loops, samples, drum machines, live instruments, and synths at his disposal, Lange flexed his muscles as a sound-shaper, and the sonic trickery that decorated Awe Owe is Canta Lechuza's focus.
Roberto Lange makes Latin-tinged electro-folk music under the name Helado Negro (Spanish for "black ice cream") and a recent stint the woods of Connecticut seems to have had a curious impact on his music. Most of Canta Lechuza (which translates as "Owl Singing"), the second full-length offering from the Helado Negro moniker, feels like something of a one-man vacation. The compositions conjure images of lantern-lit patio parties and lightly narcotized comet-gazing, with less focus on the folkier aspects that shaped his debut, Awe Owe.
Not to judge, but if you’re still here after reading of ‘field recordings’ ([b]‘Allanzar’[/b]), ‘Spanish mumblings’ ([b]‘Globitos’[/b]) and ‘bubbly psychedelic meanderthons that sound like exotica popster [b]El Guincho[/b] and sonic smartypants [b]Arthur Russell[/b] nipping out of their minds to the moon and making love in some craters’, you’re probably the kinda cat that takes to breezily bizarre future-pop better than your average grit-pop tit-shop. This is good, but [b]‘Canta Lechuza’[/b] deflates its ambition by bleeping and whirring in every direction at once, landing in a confused heap of awkward samba jangle and rippling steel drums, a curious and compelling mess. Jazz MonroeOrder a copy of Helado Negro’s ‘Canta Lechuza’ from Amazon .
For musician Roberto Carlos Lange, music has now taken many different forms. Also combining music as Epstein, Lange has now delved back into Helado Negro’s nervy, worldly touch. On Canta Lechuza – which directly translates to ‘sing owl’ – Lange fuses the sounds that he grew up with, along the support of electronic beats and synth rhythms. Often Lange is able to transform songs into something worldly and like the title implies, there is a mysterious glean to it.