The pairing of John Tejada and Kompakt is not a surprising one, with both parties holding arguably legendary status within the techno world. Tejada is a prolific chameleon of sorts, having releases to his name on a number of respected labels (Plug Research, Immigrant, ~scape, Poker Flat) over the past ten years while also running the excellent Palette imprint, where he's often found crafting adventurous 12"s along with the likes of Josh Humphrey, Justin Maxwell, and more. Yet the LA-based producer remains most widely known for his 2004 tech-house anthem "Sweat on the Walls," a stellar track that nonetheless only highlights a small section of the man's talent, as proven by his newest full-length, Parabolas.
The LP jumps in without hesitation, kicking into gear with the bouncing "Farther and Fainter," a tune with the familiar Tejada sound of crisp chord progressions paired with glistening, percussive techno. Then Parabolas begins to stretch its ambitions, first passing through a sparkling ambient interlude before handing us off to the more customary stylings of the veteran producer. Tracks like "Mechanized" and "Hollow Hemispheres" really show off Tejada's melodic flair as he flawlessly weaves syncopated bleeps and bloops around the songs' driving core, effectively blurring the line between melody and percussion. The album really seems to click on tracks like "The Living Night" and "Hollow Hemispheres," where we find Tejada aligning himself with the tried and true Kompakt aesthetic, exploring pockets where straightforward techno fuses with pop sensibilities to create poignant, moving electronic music. As in any Tejada-related project, the sound quality of the album is superb, showcasing how this veteran producer has truly refined his sonic palette over time to create stunningly clean, intense music densely populated with fine aural details. That said, Parabolas is not a genre-defining or boundary-breaking outing, but Tejada has done that before. Now it seems he's intent on honing his craft, chipping away at his earlier ideas and making ever more mesmerizing, efficient techno with every release.