Experimental electronic musician Helado Negro, aka Roberto Lange, has a new EP out this week, "Island Universe Story Two." I'm delighted that Boing Boing gets to premiere a song from it today: "Stop Living Dead." Those of you who've flown Virgin America this year and watched our in-flight Boing Boing TV channel may recall this video, in which Helado Negro teamed up with Wilco's Mikael Jorgensen to jam.
I've been listening to the new record for the past week, and it grows more delicious with each play. Expansive, three-dimensional, emotionally dense electronic ambience.
Best played on really good headphones, or very loud speakers; buy the record, then close your browser tabs, crank it up, then share your thoughts in the BBS.
Roberto shares the label's writeup for the new record below.
"Island Universe Story Two" is the second in an ongoing series of EPs that shadow Helado Negro's LP catalgoue, moving darkly alongside them as fully filtered, distilled, unified recordings, chapters in a continuous narrative. They're less like the flipside of a record than they are like the dark side of the moon: always present but (until now) just out of sight.
"It's a parallel to the continuum of the album," explains the Brooklyn-based artist. They're "something next to the albums, on kind of their own timeline," a second stream, offering an alternate glimpse into Helado Negro's ongoing process. "This is more of what I do. I'm really making music every day."
But they're about more than process. While Two is underpinned by truly luminous collaborative work—the orchestral sound on the opening "Stop Living Dead," for instance, was created with composer Trey Pollard and a double string quartet, and "Mitad del Mundo" features the talents of Wilco's Mikael Jorgenson—Helado Negro has never operated in a vacuum. Working from that Brooklyn, he has always been quick to point out the importance of other people, sometimes in other places, who have contributed to his music, and of the collaborative dynamic itself: some aspects of his process "are wildly free," he says, "and some of them are very structured and have a large amount of direction. It's widely variable in terms of what freedoms are given and what control is taken."
Ultimately, he says, "I like the idea of process, and then what happens on the other side, too. Both are important to me"—aesthetically satisfying product, as well as experimental process—and like any Helado Negro release, this new chapter in the Island Universe Story delivers on both counts.
Link: "Island Universe Story Two" [asthmatickitty.com]