Switched On – John Tejada: Sleepwalker (Palette Recordings)


written by Ben Hogwood

What’s the story?

John Tejada’s new album picks up where 2021’s Year Of The Living Dead left off. Sleepwalker was written at the turn of the year, when the status of the pandemic was completely uncertain. Tejada turned to music to express what everyone was feeling, showing at the time more of his continual creativity.

What’s the music like?

John Tejada is such a consistent writer, and Sleepwalker teems with activity, with melodic and rhythmic interest aplenty.

Shattered buzzes like an approaching insect, while Excursion has busy activity with some nice spatial effects, giving different perspectives around the stereo picture. When We Dead Awaken bounces ideas around like pinball but over a broad background, and Whip Hand feels like the components of a machine combining productively, with several rhythms and riffs to latch on to. Isolate is quite playful, a light response to the conditions of the pandemic, with chopped-up riffs. Arguably the pick of the eight is Unafraid, whose combination of calming harmonies, offbeat rhythm and bell-like background are beautifully managed

Does it all work?

Yes. The busy workings of Sleepwalker reflect a creative mind, eager to make new music and press on with positive resolve.

Is it recommended?

Like all of John Tejada’s albums, this one has a great deal going for it, not least the most positive of resolutions to create, inspire and press on. This is techno at its most free flowing and is a subtly inspiring experience.



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