Will there come a time when Helado Negro ceases to impress us? Sufjan's Asthmatic Kitty means well, but we only seem to get wound up when the Ecuadorian wonderboy is behind the boards or in the booth. We gushed for his Julianna Barwick collaboration, OMBRE. We get neck cramps from nodding to his Epstein project. We welcome the evolving world of Helado Negro from folk meditations to plugged-in 80s new wave re-ups.
“Dance Ghost” is precisely the single we want to hear from Roberto Lange, even though we had no idea it was lurking in our deepest desires. Amid revivalists and posturing 80s poster boys, Lange adopts the new wave pop genre, takes it to his dojo, and waxes his school of thought into its spongey skull. When you listen to “Dance Ghost” you don't get the impression that Helado Negro sought the emotive John Hughes soundtrack tableau to get chicks, prey on our nostalgia festish, or inject a new age cool to those corny, quirky 80s days. You just sort of accept that's where he's at right now with his music and was headed there since Canta Lechuza. It's as though Lange has sought more earthen worlds, sought his Ecuadorian history while occupying Savannah and Brooklyn, and is finally ready to take on South Florida's eastern coast line of pastel high rises and glamorous night life. On “Dance Ghost” he's there for anyone willing to accept a little sadness into their lost ways.
Helado Negro's Invisible Life is out March 5 on Asthmatic Kitty.