Reviews: Carl Craig DJs


John Tejada: Watching and Waiting



"Watching and Waiting" [164k RealAudio]

"Daydream Disaster"

[168k RealAudio]

A sequel of sorts to his masterpiece for 7th City, To Lead a Secret Life, Watching and Waiting represents the diversity and drive of California's John Tejada. With a barrage of singles and albums on other labels over the last year or so, it's anyone's guess how he still has manages to keep quality releases coming out on his own Palette imprint.

Leading in with a furious, Suburban Knight-style dive-bomb, Tejada shakes up your expectations quite nicely. "Stealth Mission" is tight, funky and malevolent, stacking and staggering repetitive structures to a frenzied pace and then easing off ... as if searching for a new part of your eardrum to attack.

The next cut is what connects this EP to its counterpart on 7th City. "Crosswired" contains the moodiest of chords, basslines and layer upon layer of fresh components like the continued live jazz guitar work (added by Tejada himself this time). The end result places the sound somewhere between Aril Brikha and Fila Brazillia, and speaks to his knowledge of and openness to the wealth of the world's music. Hey, this kind of mindset allowed techno to take off in the first place, right?

"Re-Fill" is another stormer, almost as forceful as the A-side lead-in. It has the same kind of Morse-code urgency as "Stealth Mission," but is a shade or two more slick in the production department. Lastly we have "Daydream Disaster," a Plaid- or Kushti-class techno and hip-hop reunion (there, how's that for dodging categorization?). A plucked-instrument melody gallops alongside lots of digital effects and leads to an amazing bridge where all the sounds start to overwhelm, coming in from all angles.

Thanks to Tejada's talent and technical prowess, we never hear the "seams," just great, innovative music.


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