Jan 2012 19

Juno Reactor - Inside the ReactorJuno Reactor
Category: Electronica / World
Album: Inside the Reactor
Stars: 2
Blurb: An uneven collection of retooled collaborations.


Remixes are a tricky proposition. At their best, they can redefine the original songs by injecting it with new dimensions. At their worst, they just add more sounds to drag out the song into a barely recognizable mess. So an entire album of remixes is understandably met with skepticism, particularly one from Juno Reactor, a project already based in Ben Watkins’ work with a revolving cast of collaborators.

For the most part, this collection of remixes falls into the boring/repetitive end of the spectrum. Many of the tracks, like the nine-plus-minute-long Perfect Stranger remix of “Rotoblade,” have some interesting elements like the clashing drums heard here, but the excessive repetition of the melody causes it to fade into the background. The Soundvandal remix of “Children of the Night” is even more forgettable; essentially a long, soft, and very slow beat dragged out for the entire track.

Another common problem of remixes – trying to cram too many sounds into one track – is also found here, as on the Ace Ventura remix of “Conga Fury.” There are some good drumbeats, but it again drags out far longer than it should. The off-kilter synth is interesting at first, but then becomes irritating, especially when mixed with echoing vocals and loud chanting. The segues in sound are not smooth, and the result is just a mess.

But the positive potential of the remix is also represented here, particularly on the Bombay Dub Orchestra remix of “Pistolero.” This is the track that best represents the global aspect to Juno Reactor’s sound, with a beautiful Spanish guitar well blended with a slow synth and soft wind instrument melody. The Uber Tmas remix of “Hotaka,” despite the chugging, tape struggling to start sound on the intro, offers a light, fast synth punctuated by a brief but powerful guitar riff, with a smooth segue into a more static electronic rhythm. The sounds mix well together, making this remix one of the good ones in a collection that could be called Remixes: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.
Track list:

  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)

Juno Reactor Website http://www.junoreactor.com
Juno Reactor MySpace http://www.myspace.com/juno_reactor
Juno Reactor Facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/Juno-Reactor/109132312438972
Metropolis Records Website http://www.metropolis-records.com
Metropolis Records MySpace http://www.myspace.com/metropolisrecords
Metropolis Records Facebook http://www.facebook.com/MetropolisRecords
Metropolis Records Twitter http://www.twitter.com/metropolisrec
Purchase at:
Amazon CD
Amazon MP3
Elizabeth Green (salomedesade)

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