When: Sat., Sept. 22, 9 p.m. 2012
To make Canta Lechuza (Asthmatic Kitty), his second album as Helado Negro, Roberto Carlos Lange holed up in a rural Connecticut cabin, where he layered terse samples, synth parts, and programmed beats to create restrained, atmospheric grooves—in combination with his whispery Spanish-language vocals (he was born in Florida to Ecuadoran parents), they suggest a DIY Bryan Ferry. Lange isn't the greatest singer, and the instrumental tracks, not his wobbly croon, tend to dominate the music's mood—which is intimate, relaxed, and romantic. He makes music in several very different styles under many names (Hombre, Rom, Epstein), but for this solo set I'm betting he'll do his best to re-create the homemade vibe of Canta Lechuza.
London-based Estonian Maria Minerva (born Maria Juur) also made her name with homemade-sounding music: washed-out, reverb-drenched techno-pop, with dreamy, almost somnambulant vocals that are just as distant as the backing tracks. But on her new album, Will Happiness Find Me? (Not Not Fun), she's cleaned up and filled out her sound—and it seems fair to assume that this is simply a side effect of increasing technical skill, not evidence that she wants to break out (the third song is called "I Don't Wanna Be Discovered"). The electronics have more depth and clarity, and her voice feels more present, but the music's philosophical underpinnings—Minerva titled her previous album Cabaret Cixous, after feminist thinker Helene Cixous—remain in place, and they're as hazy as ever. —Peter Margasak Helado Negro (see also Sunday) headlines; Maria Minerva, the Natural Information Society, and Father Fingers open.