Los Angeles techno producer John Tejada and musical chameleon Reggie Watts — who also happens to be a successful comedian and bandleader for “The Late Late Show With James Corden” — have furthered their musical partnership by announcing the release of their debut album as Wajatta.
“Casual High Technology,” a 12-track double LP and digital release, is set to arrive on May 11, and comes after the team issued a teaser called “Runnin’” a few months ago.
On paper, it’s an unlikely pairing. For the last two decades, the Austrian-born, L.A.-based Tejada has been meticulously crafting synthetic minimal techno and house tracks for respected international imprints including Cocoon, Pokerflat, Tigersushi, Plug Research, 7th City and his own Palette label. Since 2011, he has also been releasing records for the German minimal techno label Kompakt.
Tejada’s work is designed to lift dance floors, and he does so with an architect’s eye for design. That said, there’s nothing funny about his music.
Watts is way better known. The musical comedian has carved out his own wild niche, using his multi-octave voice, in communion with looping devices, to build improvised skits and bits. He’s also a big house and techno fan who digs Tejada’s tracks, and he has secretly harbored a desire to go full diva.
The two clicked in Tejada’s studio and issued “Runnin’,” the first of a dozen tracks on “Casual High Technology.” The full-length by Wajatta (pronounced “wa-HA-ta”) is coming out on Comedy Dynamics, so one could call this a comedy album, but Tejada’s beats and Watts’ wildly enthusiastic delivery make the humor glisten like light refracted off disco balls.
For “Let Me Come to Your Party,” Watts inhabits the mind of a suave gangsta who, when he hits the exuberant chorus, repeatedly sings, “Let me come to your party,” before adding, “Let me show you how it’s done.”
On “Make Some Sense,” Tejada builds a Chicago house-inspired pedestal upon which Watts scats in various octaves. “Red and the Blue” is a cavernous techno jam crafted to be cranked at the exclusive Berlin club Berghain.
On Wednesday morning, Wajatta announced its official album release concert, an all-ages, KCRW-presented show set for May 23 at the Teragram Ballroom. On the turntables that night will be Dntel, a.k.a. Jimmy Tamborello, who contributed to a song called “Easel Does It” on Wajatta’s new album.
Here’s the track listing for “Casual High Technology”:
1. “We Know More (Than We Let On)”
3. "Get Down (With Ya Bad Self),” featuring Justin Maxwell
4. “Make Some Sense”
5. "The Solution”
7. “Je Wa Soto”
8. “Red and the Blue”
9. "Let Me Come to Your Party”
10. “Easel Does It”
12. “Somethin’ Bout the Way”