Roberto Carlos Lange (a.k.a. Helado Negro) has been one of the most consistently underrated producers around for about the last five years, but you’d be forgiven if his tunes have flown under your radar. So the fact that his latest album, Double Youth, is getting some much-deserved love is pretty fantastic for him, and really great for fans of lush electronic pop. They say that if you keep doing something good for long enough people are bound to catch on.
But for those uninitiated to Lange’s silky croon, Helado Negro was raised by Ecuadorian parents in Miami before making his way to Brooklyn. Along the way he’s produced albums for guys like Prefuse 73 and authored a wonderful series of experimental EPs under the Island Universe banner. “Invisible Heartbeat,” though, is a gorgeous standout from the Double Youth, and couldn’t be a better entry point to Lange’s work. Sung in Spanish (he switches between English and Spanish on the album), the song floats along like a warm, tropical breeze. (Arthur Russell comparisons have been made, and they are apt.) As for the video, it features a dapperly-clad Lange surrounded by psychedelic patterns that pop and swirl, before he gets a wonderfully unusual makeover. Usually I’m all for abandoning “chill” and “vibes” from the music writing lexicon, but what other words could capture the magic happening here? -- P&P
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