4AD · October 22, 2021
Far In, produced and performed by Helado Negro, is a beautiful tribute to loved ones and nature. Each song paints vivid imagery with descriptions of colors, textures, and cosmic symbols. The 41-year old artist, born Roberto Carlos Lange, wrote most of the album’s songs in Marfa, Texas, during the pandemic. He took heavy inspiration from the flourishing art scene in the town and the beautiful nature, according to a July 2021 Pitchfork interview. If the listener closes their eyes while listening to songs like “There Must Be a Song Like You,” “Aureole,” “Agosto,” “Wind Conversations,” “Thank You Forever,” and “Mirror Talk,” they are transported into Marfa, Texas, where they can see and feel the warm glow of light coming from the sky and the breeze blowing through their hair. Beyond setting up amazing imagery for listeners to imagine and view in his music videos, he also produces a groovy, trance-like soundscape that is composed to be at the forefront of his songs, unlike in previous albums. In the interview with Pitchfork, Lange discusses focusing more on a clear beat that grabs the attention of the audience rather than having his vocals stand out in the songs. This choice truly asserts Lange’s proficiency in creating soundscapes and sticking to his own unique style as an artist.
Lange creates a new world in his album, pulling the listener into the workings of his mind. It seems like he is coming in and out of a dream-like trance throughout the album by using chimes and a soft gong to create a subconscious soundscape. Described as meditative sonic art installations, Lange refers to nature and art in his music from a different perspective with groovy bass and drums. These soundwaves bring images of soft light shining through purple and brown, just like the cover art of Far In. His artistic genius shines through in every song, conjuring images of shapes, colors, and textures solely by his use of sound. He seamlessly eases the listener into his beautiful imagination from the start of the album with “Wake Up Tomorrow,” and gets the listener addicted, not wanting to leave the paradise that Lange creates with his words and instrumentation. A perfect example of Lange’s use of sounds and poetry in the album is in the track titled “Wind Conversations.” This song has a dream-like quality depicting the end of a relationship that is full of “blissed out” kisses. Though beautiful, this song has a melancholy feeling. Lange elicits the image of “old dust [that] forms our shape through time.” It seems that his memories of the relationship will never fade away – even though their bond dissipated into dust, his memory will keep its shape like the wind.
This is an amazing album to listen to and reflect on the soft beauty of art and nature. Helado Negro created an extremely strong and sophisticated piece of artwork, and he deserves high praise for it.