Juno Reactor - _Shango_
(Metropolis, 2000)
by: Aaron McKay (8.5 out of 10)
This label is making things pretty easy -- most of their artists are completely enjoyable and easy to appreciate. Juno Reactor is no exception. About three years ago, the band had a brief stint on Wax Trax / TVT for their _Bible of Dreams_ release, their fourth album. Since the band's formation in the early 1990s, it would appear that experience has been a kind teacher to Ben Watkins and Stephan Holwick, Juno Reactor's two current collaborators. _Shango_'s inspired trance-techno sound has been meticulously combed into a truly sanctified listening experience. A fine working through complicating their techno approach with samples and dubbing, Juno Reactor has mastered the term "trance" with _Shango_. By "trance", I certainly do not mean boring. Nothing could be further from the truth. "Trance" in the sense of your first beer of the evening after a long day of laboring outdoors. I also feel celestial vibes from this effort like watching a Pink Floyd laser light show at mid-night in late July. The band's potential has not gone unnoticed, either. Having tracks appear on movies such as "Lost in Space" and "Mortal Kombat", among others, Juno Reactor now stands on the brink of releasing the musical score for "Beowulf", which, I understand, stars Christopher Lambert. Furthermore, former Billy Idol guitarist and ex-Atomic Playboys pioneer, Steve Stevens, entwines his considerable skill to the first cut off of _Shango_, "Pistolero". The song, though not my favorite on this release, gives the listener a nearly exclusive gaze inside Mr. Stevens's expansive talent while flavoring JR's track with a Spanish flair and zest. I mention these things only because I felt an undercurrent within myself swelling with outrage that I had not realized JR before this point in my life. As you can see, their talents have been utilized in many great ways prior to _Shango_. This newest offering would be a fine place to jump inside Juno Reactor's soaring macrocosm to cease your endless drifting through the cosmos of merely adequate bands seemingly polluting the atmosphere recently.

(article published 25/10/2000)

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