Tejada is a 41 year old producer and Dj based in LA who joined the Kompakt imprint in 2011 with Signs Under Test following his previous album The Predicting Machine and a load of 12 inchers.

This is very much in the bleep and beats techno category with Tejada working the machines at his disposal with assurance and self confidence to produce an album of individual tunes that work well together.

This is clever stuff that is best at home in the murky and dirty underground clubs  – no main room, four to the floor bangers here – but for the dedicated follower of anti-fashion this album is equally relevant in the sitting room.
What you have is a collection of tunes that hark back to the days of producers using proper synths and manipulating them to create that gorgeous analogue sound that many will be familiar with.

Signs Under Test is dark and broody and manages to have a meditative and yet foot stomping quality to it. The beats are skippy and clever with enough variation to never feel like you are listening to a variation on a theme.

Texturally the tunes on Signs build and build taking you to a place of bliss before releasing sparse stabs that draw you in and hook you.

For me the tune Rubric is the standout and it sort of encapsulates everything about this record. A clever beat opens the track, a warbly little synth line comes in and gets in your brain before the squelchy melody comes to the fore. It builds and builds before the hands in the air, blissed out break and then gets back to the business of noodly spaced out techno with a funky edge.

Meadow is also a killer of a track too with a nagging and insistent beat that underpins the whole track keeping it firmly rooted in place  whilst around it Tejada builds soundscapes and textures that let your mind drift to another place.
If you like what I used to call “proper” techno that eschews the immediate rush of formulaic dancefloor fillers in favour of carefully crafted, spaced-out, insistent and slightly sinister tunes then Signs Under Test will be right up your street.

As Tejada comments  “Everything is built from the ground up using hardware synths – mostly analogue, but that’s a bit annoying to say nowadays. It’s not a record that fits in with any current stuff, but something that hopefully holds up as it ages. Something that hopefully reveals more on repeated listens.”

Out now on Kompakt.


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