When talking about his new album Parabolas, his first for Kompakt, John Tejada tells of making “an album of songs for myself without worrying about the usual pressures”.
It shows. Tejada has been making techno albums for the last 12 years, so knows his way around a recording studio with his eyes closed, but Parabolas brings back a freshness to his approach, enjoying rhythmic play and unforced intimacy.
There is music of great variety to be found here, whether it is the intriguing The Mess And The Magic, upfront with heavy percussion and hints of Caribbean influences, or the unfocussed The Dream, where a stately piano riff is suffused with hazy memories and afterthoughts.
Tejada shows off instinctively his uncanny ability for creating an atmosphere, a thought or a feeling in each track. He doesn’t necessarily need beats to achieve his aim either, with the four to the floor certainty of Farther And Fainter working just as well as the soft insights of The Honest Man.
Some of his music moves through time and space with the comforting certainty of an orbiting satellite. The Living Night and Mechanized do this particularly well, the former pointed towards the dancefloor while the latter has far off chords supporting the movement closer to hand. Subdivided follows on naturally form this but takes the intensity up a notch, reaching for the stars.
Later in the album the structures begin to stretch, Tejada operating within the confines of five and six minutes rather than three and four, relishing the opportunity to space out the development of his subtly applied riffs. The atmospherics are just as keen, mind, the attention to detail as close as we have come to expect from him.
The elements fuse together extremely well, creating a document of a music maker totally at ease with his direction, heritage and invention coming together in equal measure as Detroit techno and rhythmic originality mix effortlessly. Even for a producer as well established as Tejada, Parabolas lands as one of his very finest achievements.