Telectu’s Camerata Elettronica sounds like Mark Mothersburg and Henry Cow were asked to collaborate on a soundtrack for the film The Man With the Golden Arm.
This is a noir-y album of experimental jazz composed using plastic-sounding synth approximations of standard jazz instruments, samples of live instruments on a Roland-s10, and live instrumentation. The results are spectacular, bizarre, and still avant-garde by today’s standards.
Some musical relatives can be found on the weirder tracks off Frank Zappa’s Jazz From Hell (1986), but Camerata Elettronica is far more raw and unhinged. The album’s post-modern logic is both jarring and endearing – there is a quota of artifice per every song. On some of the earlier tracks on the album you will hear live guitars and bass juxtaposed by thudding drum machines and synthetic saxophones, and on some of the later songs you will find the opposite.
Telectu was a duo formed in 1982 by guitarist Vítor Rua of the Portuguese rock band GNR [no, not Guns ‘n Roses] and keyboardist Jorge Lima Barreto. Both Barreto and Rua are accomplished musicians who who have released a lot of experimental music that can be described as minimalist and improvisational. Most of it is not quite my bag, but this album really hits the spot.