When you have an incredibly impressive body of work like internationally-renowned electronic pioneer JUNO REACTOR, the pressure of a remix doesn’t lie solely on what direction to take but also how to do justice to the already perfect original. This is the challenge that this collection of multi-culti artists undertook to present INSIDE THE REACTOR, the fascinatingly and otherworldly remix album due out on July 12, 2011 on Metropolis Records.
Inside The Reactor mines Juno Reactor’s catalog vault and puts a spin on such classics as “Conga Fury” (remixed by Israel’s Ace Ventura), “Guardian Angel” (remixed by UK’s Dino Psaras) and “Mona Lisa Overdrive” (remixed by Germany’s Thomas P Heckmann). Even the Juno Reactor’s seminal Spaghetti-Western-inspired “Pistolero” gets a fascinating Bollywood spin by Bombay Dub Orchestra whose members are scattered between Monmouth, London and Mumbai.
“The remix album fell into place very quickly, and mainly by a series of coincidences,” explains Juno Reactor mastermind Ben Watkins. "For a long time, I have wanted the MIDIval PunditZ [who remixed “Navras” from 2004’s Labyrinth] and the Bombay Dub Orchestra to remix Juno Reactor.”
Luckily for Ben, he got his wish.
Filled with different textures, rhythms, and a host of cultural anchors, Inside The Reactor traipses across the globe via different remixers and delivers a rich musical experience. From the atmospheric and trancey “Navras (MIDIval PunditZ Remix)” to the sinister cut-and-paste of “Zwara (Thomas P Karni Remix)” to the propulsive electrobeat of “Children of the Night (Soundvandal Remix)”, the collection has a very cohesive feel due to Juno Reactor’s distinctive source material, regardless of the remixers behind the board.
“I was also lucky that I had met other artists that wanted to remix their personal favorite tracks of mine, in some cases the tracks that inspired them to start producing,” he explains. “We also ran an internet remix competition for the first time that received an amazing response with many great remixes submissions. We ended up with this fantastic remix of 'Zwara'."
To kick off the release and dive deeper into the world of Juno Reactor more intimately, virtual world creator ResLive will be hosting “Inside the Reactor,” a multimedia event hosted Ben.
“It is virtual night out where I can play music and meet whoever wants to have chat... or a have virtual shag behind the virtual speakers,” he says about the event.
Taking place in a full 3D Virtual Arena that is heavily daubed in Juno Reactor branding and memorabilia, the online world is filled with user-operated avatars, interacting with Ben and each other while enjoying the music that he will be creating and mixing live. Two events are scheduled: Wednesday, July 13th at 1:00pm EST (18:00 GMT) and at 10:00pm EST (03:00 GMT on July 14th). A limited number of users are allowed, so early RSVP is encouraged at http://www.facebook.com/ResLive?sk=app_201348773250407
Ben is currently hard at work wrapping up a brand new Juno Reactor album due for release this Fall.
“I am in the Studio all the time working on this new album,” he says. “I have over 16 tracks nearly finished that I have to cut down to nine or ten - ten being the magic number... I’m getting there.”
In addition, he recently completed work on the Guy Moshe CGI film Bunraku (featuring the voices of Josh Hartnett, Demi Moore, Woody Harrelson, etc.) that will be released this Fall and is beginning work with industrial stalwarts Laibach on the sci-fi comedy Iron Sky (featuring Udo Kier, Julia Dietze and Götz Otto) which is about, he laughs, “NAZIS FROM SPACE!!!!”
Juno Reactor's music has been prominently featured in films and commercials such as Beowulf, both Matrix sequels, Once Upon a Time in Mexico, Tomb Raider among many others. His last album Gods & Monsters was released on Metropolis in 2008. Inside The Reactor will be released via Metropolis Records on July 12, 2011.
INSIDE THE REACTOR
1. Navras (MIDIval PunditZ Remix)
2. Conga Fury (Ace Ventura Remix)
3. Rotorblade (Perfect Stranger Remix)
4. Mona Lisa Overdrive (Thomas P Heckmann Remix)
5. Zwara (Thomas P Karni Remix)
6. Pistolero (Bombay Dub Orchestra Remix)
7. Hotaka (Uber Tmar Remix)
8. Children of the Night (Soundvandal Remix)
9. The Heavens (Juno Reactor Lost 1995 Mix)
10. Guardian Angel (Dino Psaras Remix)
11. Navras (Jayant Remix)