When John Tejada made the move to Kompakt Records in 2011, it seemed like a match made in techno heaven. Four albums in with the Cologne-based label, the L.A.-via-Vienna producer has seemed to revel in his role as reliable electronic throwbacker, giving fans yet another round of no-frills old school beats.
After his chill and murky 2015 LP, Signs Under Test, Tejada has rediscovered his love of lush and brash rhythms for Dead Start Program.
Working off cascading four-on-the-floor beats, Tejada keeps things running high throughout this 11-track/50-minute LP, punctuating pulsating melodies with popping beats and heart-thumping rhythms. Although Tejada does create some of his most sturdy and digestible tracks on LP number 11 — like the low-end/hi-hat crash of body mover "Sleep Spindle," the wild synth knob-turner "Telemetry" and the Latin-inspired beats of "Heal" — he unfortunately fails to break new ground.
Even when he messes with the blueprint on leftfield tracks, like the wobbly "Autoseek" and "Duty Cycle," it all seems too familiar. Twenty years into his career, it's remarkable that John Tejada hasn't made a sub-par album, leaving Dead Start Program as another dependable collection of quality techno that will satisfy his fan base, even if it fails to bring in new ears. (Kompakt)