John Tejada is one of a growing number of DJs and producers who got their start in Detroit-style techno but have moved well beyond its stylistic borders, incorporating elements of hip-hop, downtempo, classic funk, and found sound to create a style that manages to balance nicely between avant-garde experimentation and booty-shaking dance funk. At his best, Tejada draws hugely disparate elements together into a surprisingly unified whole: "Create Fixate" takes what sounds like music box samples and marries them to glitchy breakbeats and cheesy synthesizer, to very fine effect, while his sly and subtle use of Cuban rhythms adds a welcome hint of warmth to "Shifted." "In Coach" sounds a bit like a tribute to Brian Eno's early ambient phase, only with beats. There are disappointments here and there -- "Stop the Mechanism" doesn't really go anywhere or do much, and guest rapper Divine Styler is not at his best on the so-so "The Silence of Us" -- but this is a highly rewarding album overall.
Daydreams in Cold Weather Review
by Rick Anderson