A Few Monikers Later, The Brooklyn Producer Still Soothes
Name: Helado Negro, or Roberto Carlos Lange, OMBRE, ROM, or Epstein depending on who you ask
Where he’s from: Brooklyn, borne of Ecuadorian heritage
Genre: Electronic soundscape
Most Like: Keep Shelly in Athens, MMOTHS
Sounds Like: A trip to a spa atop a mountain in a cloud. But not as expensive.
Over the years, Roberto Carlos Lange has cropped up under different monikers, usually sticking to experimental, quirky, understated soundscape tinker music — as well as some sculpting. His most current, lasting title however is Helado Negro, or “black ice cream,” and, though it sounds unappetizing (would it be licorice? ), the name has made the biggest internet footprint of them all.
There’s his 2011 solo album Canta Lechuza, or “owl sings,” aptly titled because much of the album was derived from field recordings surrounding Lange’s Connecticut cabin hideout. Coupled with live, filtered instruments, grounding new wave beats and Roberto’s disembodied voice, the whole package was romantic, intimate and soothing to its core. It’s alone-time music that won the hearts of music critics and sufficiently weird people, whether or not they spoke the language of the lyrics (Spanish).
Most recently, Helado Negro teamed up with indie darling Julianna Barwick under the moniker OMBRE. They released the single “Cara Falsa” (or “false face”) with the promise of their debut album Believe You Me out August 21 under Asthmatic Kitty. It’s more ambient than the stuff on Canta Lechuza, but it’s just as dramatic.