Invisible Life

Invisible Life

Studio auteur Roberto Cantos Lange’s latest release as Helado Negro finds his distinctive pan-Latin sonic influences channeled into more mainstream forms that retain his idiosyncratic touch. Subtle rhythms and ‘80s-era synthesizer filigree are applied to caressing melodies and surprisingly catchy hooks in these engaging tunes. Lange’s vocals have the inviting warmth of classic bossa nova as they float above tracks that softly clatter and cheerfully percolate. Switching between Spanish and English for the first time, his singing captures both an international sophistication and a childlike sweetness. Funky, George Clinton–like bass lines give “Dance Ghost” and “Relatives” a hypnotic sway, while “U Heard” moves with a dubstep gait and “Arboles” slowly uncoils to a tropical beat. “Catastrophe” takes Lange into a clean, dry techno-pop direction that suggests the early work of Depeche Mode and The Human League. More than anything, Lange’s Ecuadorian heritage is present in the sensuous mysticism that lurks behind tracks like “Lentamente” and “Cuantas,” giving Invisible Life the feel of a dance ritual offered to the Gods of Joy.

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