Juno Reactor – The Golden Sun Of the Great East (CD Album – Metropolis Records)Posted on 28/04/13
Genre/Influences: Trance-electronics, electro-soundtracks.
Content: Set up by Ben Watkins this progressive- and goa-inspired project remains a unique reference when it comes to trance-electronic music. Every single album reveals a bunch of surprises, sometimes unexpected innovations, but always a full guarantee for a visionary result.
The new album by Ben Watkins and his acolytes doesn’t sound that different from previous releases although it probably is one of the most diversified albums in the discography of the project. It all sounds like a kind of summarize featuring the famous and powerful trance parts on one side and Watkins fascination for movie soundtracks on the other side. In between the heavy and terrific trance-opener “Final Frontier” and the final cut “Playing With Fire” which is a pure soundtrack exposure there’s an important gap.
This album not only sounds like a kind of trance cultural and –sonic exploration, but also a feature of Watkins’ genius featuring multiple –and sometimes opposite influences. Even if Ben Watkins no longer has anything to prove “Final Frontier” confirms his amazing talent. This song is for sure one of the best cuts in Juno Reactor’s career and can be compared to “Pistolero”. The Spanish guitar riffs featured on “Pistolero” have been replaced by a kind of sitar-sound mixed with the impressive and powerful trance style. Mysterious and transcendental chants are elevating this song to a real dancefloor hit. Watkins added his familiar deep bass sounds and merciless rhythmic leading the listener into a frenetic dance.
The next few songs are pure Juno Reactor-like. The compositions are characterized by the pumping rhythms, heavy and deep sounding bass lines, some Eastern-like touch and Taz Alexander’s sensual chants.
“Shine” is a terrific and interesting piece getting us back to the famous sitar-sound of the opening cut. It all seems to indicate the explicit Eastern influence this album has been made of. “Tempest” coming up next is quite different and showing Watkins in one of his darkest days ever. You can recognize the typical Juno Reactor-style, but achieved with some real dark atmospheres. This song also sounds like the start for an unexpected move into quieter and total-soundtrack devoted compositions. Juno Reactor already illustrated this other side on the different features for the “Matrix”-soundtracks. But these cuts are different for the pure atmospheric and quieter format. I expected the famous epic element characterized by chants and bombastic arrangements, but Watkins here moves into darker and even zombie-inspired fields. He achieved the songs with numerous details in sound and other electric piano arrangements.
Production wise this album again excels in meticulous treatments and overwhelming chants. It’s a master production in the genre.
Conclusion: Juno Reactor didn’t lost its original magic touch and already hits you right in the face with impressive pieces like “Final Frontier”. But the album also features much quieter and chilling atmospheres. The fans will be not disappointed!
Best songs: “Final Frontier”, “Invisible”, “Shine”, “Zombie”.
Band: www.junoreactor.com / www.facebook.com/junoreactorofficial?rf=109132312438972
Label: www.metropolis-records.com / www.facebook.com/MetropolisRecords
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