helado negro Double Youth (CD, £10.95)label: Asthmatic Kitty
Helado Negro recorded ‘Double Youth’, his fourth album, in his home studio with a computer, his voice and telepathic input from a poster he found buried in a closet in his childhood home. Seeing the poster evoked a sudden rush of memories but also a sense of isolation and separation. Who was this person in the photo? And what else had Helado Negro forgotten? The poster’s impact was significant - it framed a new recording process for Helado Negro and now serves as cover art, title and the conceptual framework for the lyrics and song structures. Helado Negro certainly owes something to his contemporaries Bear in Heaven, Young Magic, Empress Of, Prefuse 73 and School Of Seven Bells but ‘Double Youth’ is more a spiritual long lost cousin to the great masters of funk, like Parliament, Prince and George Duke, whose finely tuned beats married the ear with the body in new ways. Bass drum machines in ‘Double Youth’ pulse like a robot dance movement. Bass undercurrents fuzz. Sine waves tickle the brain stem. The melodies weave through the air like fish. And Helado Negro’s voice, which grows more and more confident with each record, is a cool, clean dance partner to the beat and melody.
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