Actualites Electroniques - Your daily dose of electronic music  
Actualites Electroniques

You will find in this category each week, an interview or a biograhpy of a Dj or artist which is breaking the news. All styles are on the “menu” of this category: minimal, house, electro, techno or even trance in some cases.

The topic will be supplemented by other Djs following the latest electronic music news.

John Tejada - Interview

Normally associated with his peers in techno from Detroit, Europe and elsewhere, John Tejada has embraced electronic music as a personal frontier, expanding on his resume as a techno recording artist as producer, remixer, DJ, and label owner. Known for crafting a brand of subtle, musical techno, his recorded output ranges across tempo and genre lines, from chilled out affairs with spacious arrangements to pulsating, densely layered, deeply energetic tracks that work magnificently in the hands of DJs as well as on the home stereo. Whether on his own Palette Recordings, Poker Flat or Plug Research plus a Fabric Mix CD under his belt, it’s thanks to a steady stream of massive releases (like “Mono On Mono” and “Sweat On The Walls”) he remains a mainstay in the charts of Beatport and uncountable DJ’s. Following his welcoming on the German imprint Kompakt, the records gave us the chance to offer you an exclusive interview with this producer. It follows notably the interviews of other famous techno producers like Troy Pierce, Umek or Thomas Schumacher. First, I wanted to thank John who answered our questions.

"Hello John,

It has come as a surprise to many as the Kompakt family warmly welcome you in this family some days ago, with the release on the 2nd of May of your new « Unstable condition EP ». Could you please give us more information about this new EP? Which did you choose Kompakt to release some of your future tracks?
>The EP is tracks 9&10 taken from the upcoming album, with the extra cut “Tropical” as a digital bonus. I’ve worked on album projects with various labels in the past. For this album, I wanted to work with a label that has stood the test of time and also has diversity in the styles they release. I wanted to work with a strong base on this project so that I can have the freedom to be creative and not worry about the administrative side of things for a change.

More precisely, what will be your next release?
> My next release will be the album, “Parabolas”, due out June 20th

Indeed, in a few days, you will also release under Kompakt your own album “Parabolas”. How this project was born? Could you please give us some exclusive info about it, if possible or anecdotes?
> The album sort of began in April of last year. It took a few tries before it all started working together, but by the end of summer I knew I was on my way to another full length and the rest started developing easily in a nice creative flow. I wanted to get the feeling back of some of my earlier full lengths that explored different styles. I didn’t do it on the last 2 albums so I really wanted to get back to those ideas and explore different sounds.

If you look back to 2010, what can you say about it? What is your vision of the couple past months?
> 2010 wasn’t too exciting for me to tell the truth. For the past couple of months I’ve been focusing on this album and upcoming shows.

After you give us these info about your music news we would like to go back to your musical roots. Could you briefly tell us how did you become DJ and producer?
> I moved from Vienna to LA in 82. Around 84 when I was still quite young I started hearing all these early Hip Hop sounds on a great radio station we had called KDAY. They played a lot of different things. I would record the mixes on there and I wanted to figure out how the Djs were doing what they did. Not too long after at the age of 12 I got my first decks and starting trying to emulate what I heard on the radio. In a similar way, 4 years later I wanted to figure out how to make the music I was hearing. At first it was mostly hip hop production, but in 91, I shifted my focus to house and techno type sounds and began writing tons of material along with Arian Leviste. At first we didn’t know how records got released, so it took about three more years. In 94 we pressed our first release and soon after I began to release my music on various labels internationally.
[What a fantastic sum-up!]

At the beginning, did your family understand what you did for a living? And now are they proud of what you achieved along the years?
> My mother has always completely understood it. I moved from Vienna to LA with her. My father is still in Vienna. My mother has appeared with me on a few recordings and I even produced her own recording for a Plug Research compilation a few years back. My father also being a musician can appreciate what I do as well, but I feel my mother has a complete understanding of it.

In 1991, while still in high school, you were already recording your first productions. You were also involved in college radio, even though you were just a junior in high school. You had a spot on “The Fly ID Show” with DJ Rob One and you produced the show’s first record for Rob and also went on to do some hip hop production on Ruthless Records. What does evoke this period?
> I was very much into the hip hop scene in LA at the time. Having gigs and a radio show while still in high school was great even though high school was completely awful. After meeting people in the scene I started doing some productions for Ruthless, but at that time I was really shifting my focus to more of a Techno sound. At the time the hip hop world on that scale just seemed unappealing to me and the underground scene that was rising up of all these fresh new electronic sounds was much more exciting to me, so I decided to fully focus my creative energy on that.

Besides your production schedule, you have worked tirelessly to bring your imprint “Palette Recordings” to fruition. How do you manage all these tasks? You need to have a good team to help you I can imagine! When we interviewed Fedde le Grand some weeks ago, he was mainly help by his family. What about you?
> I do it all myself 100%. I prefer it this way and enjoy it. I like learning from the process as I go along. It’s just what I do for a living.

How would you describe the American scene of electronic music from your point of view?
> It is different to the scene in Europe, but it has a few benefits as well. Once in a while there are opportunities for certain kinds of shows that I don’t run across in Europe or elsewhere. Over the last few years the scene has definitely been on the rise in the states. However, I am not the greatest person to answer the question because I don’t worry about it too much. My main concern is the music itself and not being out at clubs.

Are there are one or two American artists you would like to introduce us, today that has maybe been signed under your imprint?
> I have a new collaborator, Josh Humphrey who I’ve been working with for the past 2 years. Then there is Dave Hughes, who is also in LA and has done 3 EPs for us.

John, the interview will be published on a website mainly read by French people. So, what do you know about the French electronic music scene? Are there some artists that you personally know or especially love their music?
> I’ve been lucky enough to come to France quite a few times over the last few years and always find it interesting. I will miss the Minimal Dancing nights. Those were really great. France has had so many classic artists, too many to mention which have made a strong influence on my life for sure.
Besides music, what are your hobbies?
> I like running, biking and have been playing quite a bit of golf.


John, before we conclude this interview we have a few more questions to better know you. Sometimes one word is enough!

The track you advice us to listen to in your discography? 
> “Subdivided” on the new parabolas album.

An artist you would like to work with one day?
> It’s always a bit scary to meet your heroes, so I usually prefer to admire them at a distance and keep it that way. I know that’s not quite a satisfying answer. Funny enough, there may be a collaboration in the works, but it is too early to talk about it.

3 words to define your music?
> Melodic, hopeful, rhythmic

Are you using vinyl or mp3 for your mix?
> Vinyl

The software you use to produce?
> Logic sometimes live

One word about France?
> Fromage

One privilege, being DJ, gives you access to?
> Traveling, seeing great places and making great new friends.

Did you use your aura of being a DJ to go out with a girl? Did it work?
> Ha, no, it’s usually just dudes wondering what synthesizer I used. Luckily I have a wife.

Your favorite track these days?
> Always too hard to answer.

Some words about the website I manage: Actualités Electroniques?
> Thanks for having me take part. It looks like a very informative place for music lovers.

John, thank you very, very much for the time you devoted to Actualités Electroniques and particularly for this full and exclusive interview. We will wait for sure for your next productions. We hope to see you soon in France too. A bientôt!”

Dj Aroy


Written by Dj Aroy
Article en Francais       
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