John Tejada Logic Memory Center

There’s something distinctively "laptop” about the tracks on Logic Memory Center. The hi-hats are really compressed, the bass kicks with a cold, square wave feel, and the programming is incredibly precise, yet littered with a wide range of techie noises that have been stretched, twisted and turned inside-out through John Tejada’s digital blender. In some cases, like on "Unit B1656,” these noises sound like they were originally sampled from a human voice and perhaps even one that was singing, but now scratches over the beats like cyber-insects in mating season. The line between songwriting and sound construction is a fine one on Logic Memory Center, but for Tejada the art lies in keeping it fine rather than letting it dissolve completely. His tracks are experimental, but they’re always designed with an emotional spark. Some of that comes from guest vocalists like Carl A. Finow, whose flat-toned, melancholy on "Alone With You” sounds like an ’80s synth-pop star crooning over chilled-down techno, but without the irony that’s typical of most contemporary electro. A few more of these and Tejada might come up with a tune that’s perfectly pop without losing his laptop signature. (Plug Research)