Thursday 4 June 2015

Review: Juno Reactor – 'The Golden Sun... Remixed'

'The Golden Sun... Remixed'

Ben Watkins, AKA Juno Reactor has enjoyed an enviable career releasing a slew of genre bending dance albums that have gone one to fill dance floors and inspire artists all over the world to secure his legacy and an innovative electronic artist. It has been two years since the release of 'The Golden Sun Of The Great East' – the first studio album since the acclaimed 'Gods & Monsters' – and 2015 finally sees Watkins return with the remix companion to the 2013 full-length, and it is safe to say we're overdue another visit to the reactor.

OK, so it is only a remix album, but even Juno Reactor remix releases have a strong fanbase and often show of a range of approaches to the source material that is just as varied and interesting as Watkins' originals. And 'The Golden Sun... Remixed' is no exception... it's perhaps the strongest one yet.

The original album was a solid and methodical exploration of world music and body moving electronics that worked as a whole, but sadly lacked that one lead track that reached the heights of 'Navaras', 'Mona Lisa Overdrive, or 'Conga Fury'. But the remixes displayed on 'The Golden Sun... Remixed' more than just extends the club potential of the original songs. It completely revitalises them.

Tracks such as the GMS remix of 'Zombi', Bliss' version of 'Guillotine', the Zeologic reworking of 'Tempest', Modus' remix of 'Shine', and 'Tanta Pena' as re-imagined by Mickey Noise all illustrate the power and integrity of Watkin's songwriting with each track still sounding overwhelmingly like Juno Reactor rather than becoming vehicles purely of the remixing artists. The album still feels like a proper Juno Reactor album rather than a quickly put together extra to set up an excuse to tour.

'The Golden Sun... Remixed' is a strong album in its own right that returns to and preserves the psychedelic, ethnically infused trance formula that fans crave, and throws in just enough interesting additives to keep it fresh. This is an extension of the original that sees the artists complete Watkins' vision rather than totally reinterpret it. For long-term fans of Juno Reactor, this is exactly what you have been waiting for. 

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