LP £20.99 ZAM001LP
Reissue LP on Holuzam. Includes reproduction of original xeroxed insert + bonus CD with the abandoned first version of the album. LP Remastered in 2017; CD remastered in 2018 from the original cassette tape.
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- Belzebu by Telectu
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Fledgeling label Holuzam have reissued this little gem originally released back in 1983 on Cliché Musica before pretty much slipping into obscurity. OG copies of this record change hands for £130+ so this affordable reissue is most welcome. It includes a copy of the original xeroxed technical insert and an English translation, plus a CD of the abandoned first version of "Belzebu", remastered from the original cassette tape.
The label has done a fantastic job in giving this work a second chance, as upon its initial release it was so out of step with what was happening in Portugal at the time it was pretty much ignored. Had this came out of Germany, for example, it could have been a much different story.
Jorge Lima Barreto and Vitor Rua were active as Telectu from 1982 until 2003. ‘Belzebu’ was their second album and was the result of live shows, studio improvisations and influences from NYC’s avant-garde/minimalist scene they encountered on their travels. Bringing this influence home, these recordings were apparently the first minimalist creations released in Portugal. Using drum machine, synth, repetitive guitar phrases and other electronic and acoustic gear, their sound on this record sits somewhere between the krautrock/kosmische musik coming out of Germany and the New York stuff - like a sort of hybrid ambient proto-techno minimalism that draws from both without ever really sounding like either.
Over its almost twenty minute duration, ‘Rotas Opera Temet’ is a beautifully paced and magical ride - a really absorbing, otherworldly sound is conjured with complex, nuanced patterns and a very pretty, fluttering and twinkling sound palette that occasionally sounds like electrified insects.
‘Arepo Sator’ is equally as immersive and seems to radiate and glow. Where the NYC stuff they drew upon was the relentless sound of the city, they manage to soften that energy here and permeate it with the Portuguese sunshine - a sort of Iberian electro-minimalism. It has a similar feel I suppose to Manuel Göttsching's hugely influential 'E2-E4' which came out the following year in 1984, and maybe a bit of Ragnar Grippe's 'Sand', but I’m clutching at straws for a comparison as this is a record that just sounds wonderfully out of time, even today. Highly recommended.
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