Yes In My Backyard: Download Helado Negro’s “Deja”


Yes In My Backyard is a semiweekly column showcasing MP3s from new and emerging local talent.

Visual artist and sound sculptor Roberto Carlos Lange, a.k.a. Helado Negro, is a sponge that soaks up nothing but the breeziest sounds. Summertime hip-hop jams, Tropicalia, and ’80s New York club bangers are all present on his debut album Awe Owe (Asthmatic Kitty). But Lange inverts the textures of sunny pop from joy to melancholy, downtuning his ecstatic bursts until they’ve become introspective, citywise apartment pop. Think of him as a Tom Ze in a post-Madlib universe, equal parts mesmerizing loops, confounding gurgles, and killer hooks. Album closer “Deja” treats acoustic strums as dull thunderclaps, echoing into hypnotic bliss (and woodwinds!) until it floats on like some rainy day version of Os Mutantes. Or maybe Deerhunter en espanol.

Helado Negro’s Roberto Carlos Lange on “Deja”

What is this song about?

“Deja” means to leave it, or to leave something, or leave it alone. The lyrics translate literally as a protest song but it’s a poem as well.

What inspired you to write it?

Everything came all at once. Everything was an inspiration. Moving to New York, reading too much in the news and seeing things on the street.

What is your favorite sound on this song?

The end. Jason Trammell conjured vibrations that became the residue of the lyrics.

What’s your favorite place to eat in Brooklyn?

My home in Crown Heights!

What’s your most memorable New York show?

My own? I don’t think I have one yet. Still looking!