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Go Back`Live´ and unusual... the latest from John Tejada.

Posted: 15/11/07 12:15

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Don't come to Live 07 expecting a typical Tejada floor-wrecker. For many DJs the Austrian-born, American-based techno demi-god is the go-to guy when nothing less than filth incarnate is required. In fact, one Ibiza-Voice staffer took exception to an earlier Tejada release because it was "too hard." For her - and anyone who's ever felt like that - Live 07 showcases a different, softer side of Tejada's work.

Not that he is taking all the credit here: his co-producer is long-time collaborator and live touring partner Arian Leviste. They've been working together for over 15 years and you can sense their assurance on this three-track offering, the fruit of their first-ever live tour together. Basically, the pair has nothing to prove. Not to each other, not to themselves, not to anyone else. Thus they are quite happy to step outside of expectations and experiment a bit.

If what you want from Tejada & Leviste is a ripping dancefloor anthem the nearest you'll find here is final track Half Live, which wouldn't be out of place in a terrace set. It has fat, echo-y drums and sharp synth ornamentations done in fine minimal style, complete with scratchy metallic effects straight out of the Detroit handbook. It ambles rather than gallops but its grumbling bassline makes up for the slow tempo. At the opposite end of this EPs spectrum lies Lost In Thought. This is what might be called progressive techno: luxuriantly paced, packed with crisp percussion and ripe melodies. The central synth motif is almost classical-sounding, softer than you might expect. It woos, rather than demanding an audience. Arguably, there are a lot of producers who do this kind of thing as well or better (anyone on the Kompakt roster, for example) but that "it's been done before" isn't necessarily a criticism. In a certain light, it's a rather brave move of Tejada & Leviste and Lost In Thought grows richer with each listen.

Between these two poles likes Forbidden Planet. Apparently space-referencing techno never goes out of style, but if the name is a little jaded the music isn't. This has the reverberating drums and scuzzy claps of main room techno but retains the airy, proggy vibe of Lost In Thought. Of the three, it is perhaps the one most immediately, obviously "live" - it's clearly itching to be heard on an outsized soundsystem by people in search of musical mind expansion.

It's definitely a different trip for Tejada/Leviste, but one you'll enjoy joining them on.

Words by Jenny Lee