John Tejada is basically Los Angeles’ techno godfather. He’s had a long career of experimentation and dance floor hits and is one of the few Angelenos who have been represented by electronic iconic German record label Kompakt. This year marks the label’s twentieth anniversary, which means there are lots of new releases from nearly everyone on the label’s roster. Teajda’s contribution is a steely two track EP titled Somewhere, a duo of excellent techno that alludes to history and may be Tejada’s best work in years.
Tejada is a mastermind of the electronic world known for his polished, technical skill. Somewhere has him applying these techniques in a very refined, layered way. Title track “Somewhere” is a pulsing, bubbling, forceful track that builds from a one-two-three synth base into a hand-clapping, big bass track. A robotic voice eventually comes in like a wayward and confident train conductor from the future to announce, “See…I’m not really sure where it comes from. Or where it’s going. Somewhere. Yeah. It must be somewhere.” The vocals are a bit funny (Funny haha and funny awkward.) but Tejada’s beautiful landscape they travel on top of is so excellent that they almost don’t matter. It would be great to get a dub version of the song, though. “Elsewhere” is a more intellectual, stoic alternative to the title track and is based off of a pattern created by a warped cymbal, handclap, and simple build rhythm. This song is very, “Get you ass off that chair and move!!” with the brains of a few computer processors. Tejada feels much more present here from the track’s sparseness and smart dance approach. It even has the very Tejada break in the middle of it!
These songs feel very much like Tejada’s birthday gift to Kompakt. They represent their future trajectory into the unknown with the first track and a statement of present importance with the second track. There is a tiny hint of Los Angeles in the first track which come courtesy of that laxed, nonchalant spoken word bit. It’s an impressive little release and should be dedicated to anyone who forgot just how much of a techno ball buster Tejada can be. It’s a great new entry for him and Kompakt and you can take a listen to one of the tracks below. You can pick up the release over at Beatport, where it received an exclusive release.