John Tejada / The Predicting Machine
CD / Vinyl / Digital
Kompakt / Released September 2012
If John Tejada’s inaugural outing on Kompakt was still very much a John Tejada outing then it would seem the last year has seen him explore sounds a little more in keeping with the label. Being one of the most varied imprints in German techno and house, that’s hardly a useful description, so let’s delve a little deeper.
Opening with Orbiter‘s threatening synth and bleep line there’s clearly a tough undercurrent being proposed for what’s to follow. Don’t expect things to get particularly slamming, though- it’s more about build and immersion.
A Familiar Mood lives up to its name, clearly a work of Tejada’s, as gentile plucked and filtered chords melodise with stripped rhythms and immersive dub baritones. Similarly, Stabilizer nods to the same canon, only in ‘funky mode’- covered in sheen and detail but with a spring-like hook and acid accent. Eventually erupting into string harmonies, it’s nothing new exactly, but moves closer to European sounds, expanding and laying down huge building loops.
Glaringly Happy touches on pop, but in a way the likes of SCSI-9 have done so successfully whilst remaining underground to the point of relative obscurity, creating something akin to classical, read via dance. Hi-pitched keys and glittering synths atop a downtempo, classic break; all very smile inducing to say the least.
And the same can be said for The Function And The Form, another excellent breakbeat track. Nodding to classics like Jam & Spoon’s Stella and Lonely Planet from Pollen with the shimmering waves of sound, it’s brought up to date thanks to tempo, sharp percussion, piano arpeggios and organ stabs. Arriving somewhere near the avenues he explored circa 2004′s Logic Memory Centre and associated era, only with even more timbre and attention to detail then, it’s arguably Tejada’s most coherent LP in years, and ranks amongst the best.