Wajatta is the brain child of techno artist John Tejada and the crazy musical wizard known as Reggie Watts. Wajatta has just released their debut album, Casual High Technology, on May 11th, and it is unlike anything in the industry right now.
I’m sure some of you may be asking “who are these people and why should I give a damn?
Well, John Tejada began his music career in the mid-90s, rising to international success and travelling the world DJ-ing at various clubs and festivals.
Tejada’s been responsible for remixing dozens of acts including The Postal Service, Télépopmusic, The Field, Bomb the Bass, Way Out West, Kevin Saunderson, Derren Emerson, Gui Boratto, and Simian Mobile Disco. Tejada also released another album earlier this year: Dead Start Program.
Reggie Watts may be much more recognizable as the band leader on the late late show with James Corden. Watts also starred in the IFC hit, Comedy Bang Bang. Watts also began his music career in the mid-90s,playing synthesizer for Wayne Horvitz’ 4+1 ensemble as well as being the frontman for rock/r+b group Maktub.
In the mid-2000s Watts began mixing music and comedy, performing solo shows comprised of looping vocal and synthesizer tracks. Watts also throws in ad-libbed non-speak into his shows, meaning he’s saying a bunch of words that sound somewhat coherent but ultimately mean nothing.
Wajatta is the collaboration that you didn’t know you needed in your life. Watts’ smooth and soulful vocals blend so well with Tejada’s electronic compositions. The second track on the album, “Slippin’ “, is a great example of how the duo can turn Reggie’s voice into the back bone of the song’s beat from beginning to end, opening with him beat boxing, followed by a vocal harmony loop over which he begins the actual lyrics.
Another track I love on the album is titled “Solution” which begins with single track of Reggie beat boxing with a low pitched hum, and then the electronic drums and bass kick in and take it to another level of coolness. The lyrics are difficult to decipher on this one, giving it a mysterious feel. Then Watts starts scatting over the beat in a variety of accents, adding further to the mystery.
One of my favorite tracks on the album is “Synchronize” which features a funky bass line reminiscent of a Rick James tune. Reggie’s vocals kick in with a sexy falsetto then drops down to a sweet and soulful tone. It kinda feels like an old funk song was having a trippy dream.
Each song has its own unique flavor to it, from slow and mello to upbeat and quirky. Casual High Technology is my new favorite electronic album. I’ve had it playing on repeat all week while I drive, clean or just play video games. If you like techno or are just a fan of Reggie Watt’s strange brand of entertainment, this album is going to treat you right.
Here is Wajatta performing “Runnin” live on CONAN: