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Go BackFILTHY BIZ - John Tejada new album and Palette of sounds...

Posted: 16/10/06 13:36

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John Tejada lives in L.A., California but is originally from Vienna, Austria and still makes frequent trips to his homeland. Constantly on the move, John loves to travel and tour the world from Detroit to Europe and Japan, where he has an impressive fan base. 

John is probably one of the most industrious producer/remixer/ DJ/label owner in the US techno scene and his Palette record label has seen close to 50 CD and vinyl releases. As a prolific producer, Tejada never restricted his sound palette to any particular style or genre and his multifaceted production skills run the gamut of drum & bass, house, and techno, although his current releases have a strong minimal sound. He just finished a brand new album cleverly entitled,
Cleaning Sounds Is A Filthy Business, which is expected to release towards the end of the month on Palette. Tejada talks about his new album and explains why cleaning sounds really is a filthy biz!

I can't wait to hear your new album Cleaning Sounds Is A Filthy Business. When is it scheduled to be released and can you describe the overall tone and emotion of the album?
It will be released October 26 in Europe and November 7 in the States. The album is tough to explain since I just sort of write what I'm feeling. But in a way, along with my studio, my ideas are coming full circle a bit. I've had this time in mind recently around 1991/1992 when the new sounds I heard were really exciting and influential to Arian and me. So there is a hint of nostalgia in all my work. But I'm also concentrating on merging that with new ideas and techniques. So I guess the album is a mix of old and new. But maybe that's all music. 

What kind of sounds did you use and what software tools enabled you to produce the album?
I've got a studio full of hardware again. Lots of boutique type synths like Cwejman Doepfer Elektron and Semtex as well as some better known bits. I then use the computer using either Cubase or Live or Logic to track in the synths and do some further mixing and arranging with the audio in the box. Then mixing again out of the box for the final mix. 

Did you encounter any surprises or obstacles during its production?
Not really apart from moving house. It took a little while to set up the new studio acoustic wise and to get comfortable working in there. But it didn't take too long. 

How does your new album compare to some of your other material that released on Palette this year?
I'm not really sure. That will be up to the listener. I don't usually have a set agenda when writing. Only to make myself happy. 

Do you think being a producer really can be a filthy business at times?
Absolutely. Dirty, dirty stuff. From molding sounds just right and getting all the dirt off, to performances at late night sketched out places. Dirty! 

Did you love for music begin at an early age and if so, was your family supportive of your artistic pursuits?
My father started training me on the piano at an early age. I was about four. My mother was always more than supportive of all my music and plans I had. That was great support to have. 

Do you have a tour scheduled for the upcoming release of your new album? What excites you the most about being on the road again? 
Actually it's sort of the opposite. I've been traveling constantly for years and have a couple of trips planned, but no tour for the album just yet. I'm actually trying to scale the traveling down a bit to concentrate on some new ideas at home. 

You´ve produced a massive amount of music over the years. How do you continue to keep your sound fresh and innovative?
I just make music because I really enjoy it. I did loads of writing before I ever had a record out. As long as I'm happy with it that's what counts. 

You’ve experimented with many different types and styles of music. Do you find yourself changing with the times to produce music that’s popular or do you strictly create music for your own tastes?
It's just for my own tastes. I've always enjoyed many types of music and enjoy making different types of music. Some of the "different " music, I don't find to be so different at all. I don't worry about genres much.  

What’s been going on with your brain child, Palette, lately? Besides Cleaning Sounds, do you have any other releases scheduled? 
I've got a new release in the works now with my 15 year music partner Arian Leviste. We just started working on a new EP. There is also a new Justin Maxwell EP being pressed up now and another project in the works from the both of us together. As you can tell, for the last three years or so, the label is just reserved for the three of us and our output. 

How did you get involved with PFR? Would you like to release more music through them?
I'm friends with Steve and Tobias and we talked about a release years before I did one for them. It just started gradually. I focus mostly on Palette but I enjoy working with them a lot. I think the possibility of more music for Poker Flat is definitely there. 

What do you think of the big minimal surge lately and of all the minimal and techno that’s coming out of Germany right now? Any plans to move to Berlin?
Ha-ha, no there are too many DJs there already.
I was born and lived in Vienna and I prefer the chilled
out lifestyle here on the West Coast. I remember an interesting minimal surge around '93 with Mika Vainio, DBX, and Robert Hood etc. that was really exciting and truly minimal. I think many of the tracks called minimal these days have about a 100 short sounds. I don't think there's anything minimal about that. 

I understand you have roots in Detroit Techno. Can you tell us a bit about that?
Well, I suppose if you say you make techno you are definitely influenced by all the classic sounds of Detroit. How can one not be? It was some of the most groundbreaking music. I guess my strongest tie to Detroit would have to be working with Daniel Bell for years and appearing on his Seventh City imprint. 

How would you describe the current electronic dance music scene in California right now and the rest of the US?
I feel like I've seen a big surge of people interested in all the new sounds that are so popular in Europe. I really enjoy the audience here in California because they are excited about new sounds. I also seem to hear about more things happening all around the country.  

Words by Julie Anna Bates