Album Review: James Teej / ‘Eight Bit Ocean’ (Last Night on Earth)

James Teej Eight Bit Ocean


Teej fosters a strength setting up a set of deep house that prides itself on the exactness of its level head, the Canadian looking you square in the eye and daring you to test him. Completely, authoritatively in control, he’s not here to lift you up, or maybe even entertain you; his task-mastery, ignorant to the title’s lo-fi suggestions, pays to pay you physical attention. Pro-fortitude without being stiff or tuneless, color is limited to transient flecks (“Right at Home”), making it a perfect disconnection for the end of the day.

“Liking Your Disorder” couldn’t be any more clinical if it had its own waiting room and surgery hours, one loop engineered into a go-getting, deal-crushing Gordon Gekko of the dance floor, popping tech pep-ups to stay on track. A silent fumer, as losing your head gets your nowhere, Teej’s restraint perhaps comes from the imposition of a limited studio set-up to test itself and show its mettle.

“Disclosure,” dusting off a lava lamp to groove to, and “Leaving the Island,” showing signs of comfort and relaxation and perhaps a grudging admiration for rave, are still laced with a grimace that shows that the deck-hand never takes time off. Teej is much happier preaching his wisdom on “The Last Request” and although not adverse to the neon lights of the club, the notion is dismissible like change petulantly chucked to a beggar. Get your game face on in preparation.

File under: My Favorite Robot, The Kings Arms, Âme