Reggie Watts and John Tejada return with their second Wajatta album Don’t Let Get You Down, via Flying Lotus’ Brainfeeder imprint. If the new single (and title track) is anything to go by, it’ll be poppier and friendlier to a wider audience than their debut - something that perhaps comes from Watts’ day job, the bandleader for James Corden’s US chat show.
Vinyl Double LP £22.31 BF097
2LP on Brainfeeder.
- Includes download code
CD £10.50 BFCD097
CD on Brainfeeder.
So, how do you make an often-jaded, usually austere, sometimes depressingly predictable genre (techno-house) more fun? One way would be to team up with the creative whirlwind that is Reggie Watts, as John Tejada has done here (and once previously), as Wajatta. Because this, folks, is ‘Dance’ at its most panoramic, filmed-in-technicolor for IMAX, and it’s life-affirmingly great. This is pop. This is a record that’s warm and welcoming to a wide audience (some of whom, including me, who didn’t know about that earlier LP (2018’s ‘Casual High Technology’). This is their first outing together for the vaunted Brainfeeder stable.
The record sees the two combining Tejada’s ear for a bouncy house bassline and floating keyboard melody, with Watts’ compelling and ear-catchingly soulful vocal delivery floating and wending between the two -- this is definitely a Good Thing. It’s smooth, too. Yet quite the opposite of bland. Tejada’s long been a master of electronic soul, with one foot in the more rhythmic side of IDM and the other firmly planted in good, ol’ fashioned House. There’s quite a variation in tempo too; the slower, crisper flow of Tejada’s drum machine on ‘Realize’ is a perfect foil for Watts’ smooth vocal delivery, here sounding as sweet and soulful as Joe Dukie (of NZ seven-piece, Fat Freddy’s Drop).
‘Tonight’ is an uptempo tech-house tune reminiscent of Tejada’s more dance-floor ready jams on his solo records for the Kompakt label. Only it’s more catchy, and there again of course there’s the very fine voice of Reggie Watts. I’m still astonished, by the way. I’d completely forgotten how good a singer he is. Not just a beatboxer, comedian and comedy-beatboxer. Clearly. ‘138’ is proper techno-paced with a beautifully chunky bassline for the floor, very nice key stabs and a 303, which always helps. Reggie still sounds sublime. He even does a passable (and very funny) generic British accent on ‘Marmite’. Which I can’t help but love, obviously… Colour me a fan, mate.
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