John Tejada - Voyager

John Tejada is far beyond any of his musical peers at present and on the evidence heard on his latest Voyager EP on Palette Recordings his intensely musical approach to techno innovation might well have even surpassed his Detroit based inspirations.

On the title track 'Voyager' the West Coast DJ and producer crafts simple building beats, sublime claps and a flexible distorted bassline. The production is out of this world and repeated listens reveal hidden layers of subtle electronic soundscapes. The trademark Tejada energy is generated by a pulsating rave riff that grows and grows before vanishing underneath the electronic layers, creating real moments of technologic drama. The breakdown trims down the electrifying riff resulting in a deeper feel before the main room intensity kicks back in. 'Voyager' contains just enough pace and emphasis on the beat to allow it to work as a peak time techno record in its own right. And hopefully it will get the main room exposure it deserves. Like many of his previous records it manages to apply basic components in a simple arrangement, whilst simultaneously creating a futuristic rhythm that is pure dynamite on the dancefloor. With 'Voyager' John Tejada effortlessly manages to shape an utterly unique groove that sparkles with energy and atmosphere.

On the B-side JT teams up once more with Qzen (heard most famously on one of the biggest tech tracks of 2005 - 'Sweat On the Walls'). With 'Sucre' deep minimal beats combine with vintage chords and uplifting, glittering keys. The vocals are perfectly programmed and merge seamlessly with the crisp background groove. Layered above this is nice and slow house percussion that chugs along lazily. In a similar style to the riff within 'Voyager' the chords fluctuate and evolve to add colour and originality. Borrowing from the same deep arrangement used in his recent remix of Claude Vonstroke's 'Deep Throat' on Dirty Bird - the overall mood is more restrained, making it contrast well with the peak time profile of the title track. As Qzen's vocals melt into the deep sub bass contrasting impressions emerge. On one hand an almost sexy feel is created by the sweet vocals, whilst on the other hand slightly haunting sound waves are also communicated to the listener. This strange sound combination is a new concept for deep techno music for sure, but the results are ultimately pleasurable on the ear. A new definition of minimal soul.

The Californian producer finishes his latest Pallette release with the electro flow of 'Degrees'. Tejada's unique sound development is ever present throughout the duration of the track as classic keys and electronic sounds support the punctuated bassline. The main melody is irresistibly simple and projects memories of old rave compositions, with the warm analogue feel also supporting this sentiment. Quiet hints of acid frequent the final bars as the melody swiftly travels through various peaks and troughs. It may be hard to separate all 3 tracks in terms of quality but 'Voyager' may just prove the most versatile as it combines main room sensibilities with lush electronic elements. A joy from start to finish.

John Tejada - Voyager
VERDICT
4.5

LABEL

Palette Recordings

CATALOG NO

PALETTE 038

RELEASE DATE

December 5 2005

PUBLISHED

January 22, 2006 at 9:39 PM CET

WORDS

Paul Pritchard

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