Things to do in Miami: Helado Negro at North Beach Bandshell on November 20, 2021

Twelve years after he started publishing music under the name Helado Negro and 22 years after leaving South Florida to pursue a career in multidisciplinary art, Roberto Carlos Lange returns to a city that left a lasting impact on his creative spirit as he takes the stage at North Beach Bandshell on Saturday, November 20th.

The upcoming concert at the Miami Beach Outdoor Venue, which will also feature local band Seafoam Walls as support, will be Lange’s only major performance in 2021. Appropriately, attendees will be among the first to hear the talented songwriter and musician perform. new material from his latest studio album, Far inside, which was released to great acclaim last month via the independent British label 4AD.

Far inside has received long praise from media right from NPR to New York Times. Consisting of 15 colorful and vibrant tracks squeezed into a 68-minute playing time, Far inside marks Lange’s seventh studio album under his Helado Negro moniker and features contributions from an eclectic mix of guests recruited from across the indie music scene, including Luis Del Valle (Buscabulla), Opal Hoyt (Zenizen), Jason Trammell (Sinkane), John Herndon (Tortoise), and former Kanye West backing dancer / singer-songwriter Kacy Hill, to name a few.

Lange is now a member of the 4AD family after a decade of releasing music through independent imprints such as Asthmatic Kitty and RVNGIntl, and Lange is among a list of respected, non-conformist, genre-breaking artists like Deerhunter, US Girls and Future Islands, all of whom , just as Lange has created niche fan bases without mainstream success.

“4AD has such a unique story,” Lange said over the phone during a recent conversation with New Times. “It’s been exciting because they’re just really generous with the way they make room for the artist, at least for me. They were really generous that way, ‘We want to participate in your world as much as you do.’ will participate in our. ‘ It was like a collaboration in many respects and there was no kind of harsh thing. They just wanted to know what I wanted and what I wanted to do and it felt really easy to do that. ”

For Lange, who grew up in the Fort Lauderdale area in the 1980s and 90s, the upcoming show will be the first time the talented multi-instrumentalist will have a chance to fully explore his new material in a live setting. in front of fans. He returned to the stage for his first appearance since March 2020 earlier this year with a set at the Hopscotch Music Festival in Raleigh and delivered an intimate, private performance in New York City last month to celebrate the arrival of his new album.

“The festival was a little different; it was the first time I played again. It was just a kind of different atmosphere,” Lang says of his return to the stage after a pandemic-forced year away from performing. “It’s really the first time I’ve going to play this music from the new record live, whereas the festival was more of a ‘best of.’ For everything in the world, this is the first and last show this year. but also like to have the right scenario. ”

Lange was in Marfa, Texas, when the concert business closed down in March 2020. He and his partner, visual artist Kristi Sword, were working on a multimedia project commissioned by the nearby Ballroom Marfa Art Center. They ended up staying in Marfa for six months, during which Lange was able to use the West Texas background to develop songs that would end in Far inside, including “Aguas Frias”, “Agosto” and “Thank You for Ever”, in addition to the completion of his astrologically inspired, feel-good single “Gemini and Leo.”

“One big thing for me, who was a little sober, was losing a lot of work last year,” he openly admits as he discusses the impact of the pandemic on his career path. “To lose all those tours, lose all those shows and lose a lot, to be honest.”

While Lange has fallen over some midlife success in the music industry thanks to Far inside and its predecessor in 2019 How to smile, he was at a crossroads due to lack of work. He decided to leave his longtime home in New York City earlier this year and move to Asheville, North Carolina.

“I think I’m really looking forward to coming back from a tour in the middle of the night, and I do not have to unload any equipment. In New York, sometimes when you come home from a tour, you have so much things, and you have to drag it all up three or four stairs, “says Lange with a laugh.” For me, the move is a change of perspective. It felt like a great time to have a change and to live elsewhere. It’s not necessarily changing my perspective on what I want to do – it’s just having an opportunity to be somewhere. other things.

“I really thought I would live there forever,” he adds.

click to enlarge Helado Negro's show at North Beach Bandshell should be a triumphant home.  - PHOTO: NATHAN BAJAR

Helado Negro’s show at North Beach Bandshell should be a triumphant home.

Photo by Nathan Bajar

Although life as a working artist is not a walk through Central Park. Lange points out that he felt he only lived in the city 100 days a year, what about the whole tour. New York is where he began his career – working on post-production sounds for film and television after graduating from the Savannah College of Art and Design in 2003. While New York will always have a place in his heart, it was in the cultural diverse surroundings in South Florida, where the first sparks of musical inspiration flared up in his creative mind.

“I grew up with so many people from so many different places where Miami is like the capital of Latin America in many respects,” he says of formative years spent in Lauderhill and Davie with his first-generation Ecuadorian-American parents. “So all these people from different places were in my house all the time saying different words in different languages.”

That said, Lange did not learn about artistic expression at home.

“I did not grow up around it,” he says. “My family was not going to museums. My family is not musicians or artists or anything like that. My parents worked.”

But his ears soon picked up on the then-new 1980s sounds of early electronica, reproduced on cutting-edge musical technology such as the TB-303 bass synthesizers and Roland TR-808 drum machines. (“It was sounds that kind of pushed out of every car that rolled down the street and that were definitely absorbed into my subconscious,” Lange said of his past experiences during a recent appearance at Aquarium Drunkard’s Transmissions podcast.)

“My first consciousness-expanding experiences were through music and specifically in Miami,” says Lange New Times. “I do not remember the name of the club – maybe it was Beat Camp. It must have been ’97 or ’98 and I remember there was such a ragga jungle room downstairs and I was really into jungle and ragga because my brother had brought some CDs back from Europe and one of them was a ragga jungle CD from 1994. I thought, ‘This is great, I wanted to hear this somewhere live and watch these MCs just do their thing over. This instrumental music. ‘

“I was attracted to this music and I can see that there were other people who are into this,” he continues. “So later, when I left high school and went to college, I wanted to come back a lot, and some other friends that I already knew had become part of this community that was involved in the places where I used to go. was when I started hearing about Miami-based labels like Schematic, Counterflow, Beta Bodega, Merck Records and Chocolate Industries, these were like beacons of light for me because there is all this amazing output and community that generated and shared and brought people thither unto the place where I come from. ”

Yet it was only after college that music began to manifest itself through early projects such as Rome, which Lange formed with his friend Matt Crum. And even after his move to New York City, he more often returned to South Florida around 2006 to collaborate on various art projects.

“I’m glad there’s a lot more attention being paid to artists working in South Florida now,” Lange says of the scene, which has blossomed in the Miami area in recent years. “I think it’s really important. I think there’s an obsession with [the idea that] New York or Los Angeles or Chicago are the only places where these things can happen. The world is really beautiful everywhere and there is so much art everywhere. I would always hope and wish that South Florida had these communities and vibrant scenes to go and experience. ”

Lange’s show on November 20 was to be a triumphant homecoming. If they listen carefully, those in attendance may be able to hear his earliest musical influences sprinkled throughout the performance – influences that are forever ingrained in Lange’s artistic subconscious from the first mind-expanding experiences in Miami many years ago.

Sort is. With Seafoam walls. 8pm Saturday, Nov. 20, North Beach Bandshell, 7275 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 786-453-2897; Tickets cost $ 34.50 to $ 60.


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