John Tejada - Year of the Living Dead |  Album reviews

(Compact) UK Release Date: February 26, 2021

In keeping with a compact release, John Tejada’s new album takes us back to the days of the micro house: Downsampled pads, dubby bass and clinical precision characterize these tracks, and although there are slight dynamic shifts in the album, it is geared towards sustainable immersion and individuality Highlights.

The year of the living dead begins capriciously with The Haunting Of Earth, an unpredictable groove complemented by lightning bolts from gated reverb. It’s spacious and driving at the same time, supported by a bed of synthesizers that reverberate endlessly and fade in and out within earshot. Sheltered is less sparse, a 4 × 4 beat alternating with breakbeat snapshots and a more dominant bass line.

The pads mentioned above are mostly the star of the show, holographic pools of clear, blue water that glitter and ripple to the beat. On Echoes Of Life they hiss ominously and break out into trembling fractals, while Panacea has an ambience that regularly comes to the fore like a wave lapping a beach.

Spectral Progressions takes Tejada’s sound design in a more surreal direction, woozy bell-like frequencies and deep Reese bass in contrast to a heavily plucked lead synth. Eidolon plays with the tempo through the use of a kick drum combined with eclectic rhythmic sounds that are reminiscent of Matthew HerbertSound design. Abbot Of Burton initially stands out for focusing on a sour synth line, but soon the pads are back to ensure continuity and they go well with the bubbly syncopation of the lead.

As the Year of the Living Dead draws to a close with the fun but uneventful Anchorites, Tejada was obviously on a nostalgic trip to the land of the early 2000s, where digital music making was developing at breakneck speed and producers were looking to the vast horizons. This gives an unexpected level of sharpness to a technically perfect collection of tracks that is highly recommended to fans of those glorious days.