[sic] Magazine

Helado Negro – Invisible Life

Last time the fleeting glare of the wider music press lingered on Roberto Carlos Lange he was working alongside Julianna Barwick as OMBRE , a fine project during which his electronic tastes were toned down in order to allow Barwick’s otherworldly vocal to roam free. Before that, there was 2011’s Canta Lechuza , a solid template of chilled arrangements that no doubt set him towards today’s more eclectic Invisible Life LP.

Lange’s acoustic debut however, Awe Owe , is now no more than a smudge on the horizon come the closet disco minimalism of “Lentamente”, the track’s hotchpotch of effects sounding like a shootout in an ACME novelty shop and its rattling close like kitchen-sink composer Micachu gone tropical. Sweeping with crumpled beeps and blips, buoyed by budget synth play and Lange’s dreamy Hispanic croon, it’s on this rich palette of poppy electronic experimentation that Invisible Life is ultimately built.

Rounded out by Jon Philpot of Bear In Heaven , the nodding “Relatives”, for example, takes easy listening out on a dizzy Caribbean cruise. Furthering the supporting cast, Devendra Banhart reputedly contributes guitar to the shuffling, sandy isle riddims of “Arboles”, but far more noticeable are the ghostly backing vocals that blow in from who knows where.

Never less than unobtrusively enjoyable, Lange’s Invisible Life is seriously easy going throughout, even its two strongest cuts blending seamlessly into the mix like equatorial drug runners in a crowd of moustaches and Don Johnson suits. Nevertheless, the steel drum patterning in “Dance Ghost” manages to evoke memories of The Knife ‘s earlier work, Lange’s English falsetto the smooth disco-pop of fellow Latin spirit Twin Shadow . Poolside-pop jam “Junes” then sets itself apart with a lurching beat overlain with blissful xylophone, synthesised finger clicks and just a little funk all served over ice with the skill of a beachside bartender.

Truth be told, if you’re gonna get just one predominantly Spanish-language album to soundtrack your summer this year then you could do a lot worse than Invisible Life . Lie back and let this slice of sunshine wash over you, be you in reality either sombrero or dingy bedsit bound.

Advised downloads: “Junes” and “Dance Ghost”

~Invisible Life is given its European release the 6th May 2013 on Asthmatic Kitty .~

Helado Negro @ bandcamp