Helado Negro embraces the interconnectivity of it all.
It’s not difficult to imagine Roberto Carlos Lange exploring the wondrous Sal-Mar Construction at the University of Illinois. If you appreciate anything about the sonic artistry of Helado Negro, you’d rightly assume Lange’s five-hour visit with this interactive analog/digital hybrid synthesizer must have been a dream come true. “When you play it, it’s like sailing,” Lange says in the short film Stories of PHASOR. “You set a destination, but how you get there always changes.” Created by composer Salvatore Martirano in 1969, Sal-Mar is considered to be the world’s first composing machine, meticulously pieced together from parts of a gargantuan supercomputer. The sounds Lange created from this momentous occasion in 2019 became the foundation for Helado Negro’s latest album, PHASOR.
Shortly after moving to Asheville, NC, where the album was recorded, Lange felt a strong reconnection with nature – the surrounding trees, mountains, the wind, water…the very softness of the clouds as they moved across the sky. All of it intertwines quite naturally with each synthetically-created groove and texture to become “the noise for these songs,” says Lange. The result is a gentle, contemplative beauty attuned to many different frequencies. The journey is both inward and outward.
This should be on your list of must-see performances. Helado Negro returns to Austin for a show tomorrow night, Tuesday Feb. 13, at Empire Control Room on E. 7th. Doors at 7 p.m. Get there early so you don’t miss the opener – ethereal and impressionistic gorgeousness with a vintage feel created by New York-based songwriter June McDoom. Phenomenal.