Helado Negro (aka Roberto Carlos Lange) served up some robot realness last month when he debuted “Runaround,” the first track off of his upcoming album Private Energy. Today, he’s giving us another peek at what we can expect from the new project with a second song called “Transmission Listen.”
“Runaround” was a slow, somber tune lamenting our fragile political climate. Helado Negro revealed that he wrote it shortly after a grand jury failed to indict police officer Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown.
“Transmission Listen” shows us some of the lighter sides Helado Negro is playing with on Private Energy. Sonically, it’s more upbeat than its predecessor — not by much, though, since the Ecuadorian-American artist likes to keep his dance beats sparse and laid-back in a way that feels like swaying through space. Scratchy synths skip around a bit, like a transmission coming through with a touch of static. He said the song’s concept came from learning about the Buddhist idea of esoteric transmission.
“I became obsessed with the idea of transferring knowledge without showing, talking, or doing it mind-to-mind. [In Buddhism], the teacher has to be able to say that the student received it and vice versa. It comes across like a beautiful relationship…maybe not romantic, but intimate,” he said.
Helado Negro sings about hoping to make a connection, and that signature, languid croon works perfectly here as he pleads: “Blink once if you know me/And blink twice if you heard me/And blink again if you love me.”
We’re blinking, Roberto — we’re blinking a lot.
Private Energy is due out October 7, 2016 on Asthmatic Kitty Records.