Famed producer John Tejada’s latest album, Parabolas, is his first in three years. After two decades of producing quality tech-house music, Tejada has remained true to his sophisticated style and trend-defiant groove in this minimal, pattern-driven LP. Dreamy sounds pervade the album, electronically ethereal in their invasive harmonies.
The album begins with “Farther and Fainter”, a light piece best placed into the groove set, replete with electronic tones and minimal percussion. Repetitive and hypnotic, this well-placed opener serves as a mood-setting piece, paving the way for the heavier tracks to follow.
“Mechanized World”, true to its name, is a fantastical construction of hyper-electronic techno sounds, busy and chaotic, all the while maintaining a sense of forward motion. The mysterious “The Dream” follows, reminiscent of Thom Yorke’s solo album The Eraser – electronically ethereal, dark and purposeful. “Subdivided”, a bouncy and excitable number, kind of feels like you have been placed inside an old-fashioned pinball machine, complete with rapid-fire flippers and neon flashing lights.
There are other less-successful tracks, like “Timeless Space”, whose awareness of time is a little too non-existent, and “The Mess & The Magic”, which meanders on in an uninventive manner. A trademark of the successful tracks on the album is their ability to take an unexpected turn just when the music seems to be lagging a little. Tejada knows when to pounce on his listener, and this serves as the most vital ingredient in his success on Parabolas.
A little bit like Depeche Mode, and at other times like early Massive Attack, Parabolas is a genre-defying set of instrumentals, somewhere at the intersection of techno, house, and downtempo. Whatever it is, it is certainly good. And Tejada, even after so many years of successful music production, apparently has much more up his sleeve.