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. So while Lange continues to flex his many weapons, the black ice cream he’s created continues to flourish.
Songs like “Cenar en la Mañana” are tranquil settings where tapping floor drums and escalated tones are subdued to reveal a soothing swoon. Between a delicately placed vocal line that places Lange under the basking light and the syncopated drumming in the background, is the grinding electronic blend that comes at the end. Twisting the song into something downtrodden – perhaps for the seamless transition into “El Oeste” – it introduces the focus onto electronic music. For its betterment, the latter burps with a jagged beat that is melodically sweet. It’s during these sorts of melancholy sections, Lange asks “Donde estas?” (Where are you?) in a sad tone, that allows for the synths to shape the feel.
The feel of the album is definitely one of its chief standouts, allowing for smooth changes and modifications that end up creating lush orchestrations. On “Regresa” the mood is reflective and always transfixing but it never shades the fragile tension between the beats. Intersecting from synth taps, to the splash of a frozen pipe, Lange takes hold of the passages with a careful attention to harmony. The thickness of the sounds sometimes reminds of TV on the Radio and while Helado Negro will probably be most compared to someone like Twin Shadow, there is a worldliness touch to the music that evokes a fashionable style and flair. Through working with people like Guillermo Scott Herren and Bear in Heaven, Lange’s sound has definitely risen to a new high.
Through songs like “Calculas” – that just happen to find the perfect balance between slow and fast, smooth and hard, and all other interesting blends – Canta Lechuza is always aided through the music’s atmospheric fusions. “Calculas” features an advising Lange in a chanting stance, back-dropped by keyboards and synths. And the opening “Globitos” is fitting in depicting the image of various balloons lifted in the air. The songs that allow for his all-encompassing sound to take over – thus allowing for the spectrum to be fully covered – always supplement the album better. This type of lifted attitude in being able to reach for the heavens while firmly staying grounded is one that Lange apparently has mastered.
“Regresa” by Helado Negro