The work of LA-based Kompakt affiliate John Tejada has been instrumental in shaping the sound of what many consider to be modern techno. For nearly two decades, the man has been turning out clean, efficient, and well-oiled tracks that are sleek enough for everyday listening, but also have enough thrust for the dancefloor. His latest single is a two-track affair for his own Palette Recordings, an effort that follows the same format as the recent Kompakt-issued "Somewhere" b/w "Elsewhere" 12," which surfaced back in May.
The a-side, "Anaphora," builds a droning loop over a familiar kick-and-clap rhythm while an alternating major and minor pattern is supplemented by a flute-like counter-melody and a thicker, more boisterous lead line. Tejada uses weaving, portentous melodic variations to carry the bulk of the weight of the track, yet the tune feels a bit flat despite his usual attention to carving room in the sonic spectrum for each element.
"Bode's Law," the tougher b-side, fares better in building on Tejada's already impressive arsenal of sonic tricks. It starts out with a straightforward four-to-the-floor kick and an acid-indebted bassline before ebullient hi-hats and an arpeggiated synth crank up the energy level. A slippery, delay-smothered lead line pans from side to side, adding an impressive melodic counterpoint. Following a classic build-up and drop, the entrance of a mangled, bit-crushed pad finally signals Tejada letting loose with his production—something that is even more apparent when one takes into account the stock drum sounds.
Timbre choices aside, long-time Tejada devotees will certainly find something to love in these two tracks, but as a stopgap measure before his next long player, "Anaphora" b/w "Bode's Law" seems more like a lateral step than a forward one.