Friday, August 12, 2011

John Tejada - Parabolas

01. Farther and Fainter
02. The Dream
03. Mechanized World
04. Subdivided
05. Timeless Space
06. A Flexible Plan
07. The Mess and the Magic
08. The Honest Man
09. The Living Night
10. Unstable Condition
11. Hollow Hemispheres
12. Uncertain End

There are few producers who have as diverse a back catalogue as John Tejada. Parabolas, his debut full-length for German imprint Kompakt and his ninth album in total, is the first album, however, to rein in the genre-hopping to concentrate on simply making a collection of quality tech house instrumentals. At times coming across as a love letter to Detroit, the slick beats and synthesized emotion of intro "Farther and Fainter" and "The Living Night" could be a long lost B-sides on Planet E. Before becoming repetitive, though, he turns to Sheffield for "Subdivided," which is underpinned by luscious otherworldly melodies almost Autechre-like in their construction.

At certain points Parabolas threatens to be more fill than thrill; "Timeless Space" and "The Mess and the Magic," meander on pleasantly without achieving much; at first the beats trudge and the basslines labour. But Tejada's mastery soon becomes apparent, as he tears the techno murk apart with riffs of sheer joy. It's an unexpected turn to each tune, but it's also something that's to be expected from this veteran. He knows just as well as you do when things are starting to lag. Indeed, he probably knows better. Whereas Tejada's previous dance floor-orientated albums may have had a tendency to come across as a collection of tracks presented as an album rather than a long playing concern that actually flows, Parabolas is the opposite. It's an album of impressive scope and intricate detail, and one that proves that this California producer, almost two decades into his career, has plenty left to

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