Juno Reactor
Shango


4.5
superb

Review

by Acanthus USER (46 Reviews)
March 21st, 2012 | 43 replies | 3,967 views


Release Date: 2000 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Simply put, Shango is superb.

4 of 4 thought this review was well written

Juno Reactor are, for those who can't be bothered to read band descriptions, an ever changing trance group who often find themselves throwing world music influences into their art as well as the occasional guest artist or two. Though some might find themselves a bit numb after reading the genre tag (imagining endless seas of fast paced syth lines and driving bass), Ben Watkins, the bands founding and central member, enjoys changing things up with each new album; the terms goa, trip-hop, world, industrial, and electronic all fit the band as well. Shango is something of a novelty, as all the albums influences fit together so well; it's a very unique experience.

Interestingly enough this influence isn't held back for some later track, or woven slowly into a more tradition trance offering; “Pistolero” holds nothing back. Opening with the sounds of a spaghetti western sample, it soon turns into a toe tapping, flamenco guitar oriented ride. Spanish lines are thrown in and out of the mix as the music picks up the pace, each guitar note fitting the quasi-western/Spanish vibe while accompanied by low pounding drums and hair thin synth lines. One becomes pleasantly surprised to realize that not only does this collaboration work, but that it works on so many different levels; the trance beat infused with the wails of a Spanish woman, the hand clapping during the guitar solo's, the way the synth line is kept underneath the other sounds but still remains apparent to the keen listener, all these unit to form one song.

Though fun the world music is not always a fixture of each track; later the bands trance heritage becomes more apparent with “Insects” being a perfect, dark example. Strange sounds accost the listener as a near constant drum pattern that can only be harkened to a “swish” continues eerily in the background. A veritable smorgasbord of electronic sounds rise and fall throughout “Insects;” one similar to that of science fictions depiction of lazers weaves in and out, a chime is played briefly in the foreground, and a futurepop synth line enters only to die before coming to fruition. Though it might sound like a daunting affair this is all within three minutes of one song, Juno Reactor know how to reward the keen eared listener. “Masters Of The Universe” is more straightforward as well with its clear drum and bass lines. The wails found in “Pistolero” make a return here, as do the foreign vocals. One special aspect of the track are the tribal drums, as one cant help but imagine that they're being played by hand.

Atmosphere is something that Juno Reactor do very well, Shango could very well have been a disaster if the layering and track listing had been even a bit off. With trance the nuances of an album are different from other genres; weak points aren't found in vocals or in the production qualities. The album's are meant to be an experience, either one enjoys the trip they find themselves taking or they don't. For example, even though “Solaris” might seem to the casual listener as if it's out of place compared to the faster paced “Masters Of The Universe” but it'd be a mistake to skip it; the slow start hides the tribal infused gem underneath. The ebb and flow of the album is essential to its existence, and any listener that has done drugs to album's similar in nature can attest to this.

Simply put Shango is superb. From the wonders of “Pistolero” to the gorgeous vocals and ambiance on ending track “Song For Ancestors” this is an album that remains one of a kind. Watkins and co. have created something entirely different from the rest of Juno Reactors catalog, a feat that most definitely deserves praise. Innovation combined with creative use of world influences allow Shango to remain an experience that is stunning in scope even if it may appear to be short when glancing at the track list. Though not an excellent starting place for those that don't enjoy the trance moniker or album's that are meant to be an almost spiritual experience Shango is worth at least a small portion of the potential listeners time. Trance isn't as cookie cutter as it may appear, Shango is astounding.



Recent reviews by this author
Gary Numan Splinter (Songs From A Broken Mind)Ryan Amon Elysium
Shpongle Museum of ConsciousnessAnamanaguchi Endless Fantasy
Sneaker Pimps Becoming RemixedJuno Reactor The Golden Sun Of The Great East
user ratings (45)
Chart.
4.1
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Acanthus
March 21st 2012



9537 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

My last review wasn't up to my standards, having been out of the review writing process for so long. Hopefully this is better, if not let me know!

And no, I don't use drugs other than alcohol.

Digging: The Cure - The Head on the Door

ThroneOfAgony
March 21st 2012



3485 Comments


this album is fcking insane. like seriously i've never ever heard of a trance record as fcked up as this one is

Acanthus
March 21st 2012



9537 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I didn't know what to put in the rec section, there's not much else like this around.

ThroneOfAgony
March 21st 2012



3485 Comments


what about infected mushroom? from what I've heard they sound a little similar, but yeah not much

Acanthus
March 21st 2012



9537 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Oh they're fun, but not the right sounds to be terribly similar; the world influences throw that for a loop.

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
March 21st 2012



30873 Comments


Album still rules

Digging: FaltyDL - In The Wild

Acanthus
March 21st 2012



9537 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I want to get Gods and Monsters, just haven't got around to it yet.

StreetlightRock
Emeritus
March 21st 2012



3762 Comments


I pretty much love everything Juno, but I can never really tell one album from another most of the time and have to listen to them in small doses. Too much trace makes my brain go funny.

So I'm pretty sure this is good.

Digging: Towers - Bel Air Highrise Plantation

Acanthus
March 21st 2012



9537 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I get into bad, trance only periods, girlfriend dislikes that.

The7thVermicide
March 21st 2012



925 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Pistolero and Nitrogen part 1 and 2 brought me back a lot of memories

Willie
Moderator
March 21st 2012



15877 Comments


Nice review. I haven't heard this one, but Beyond the Infinite was awesome.

Digging: Emperor - In The Nightside Eclipse - 20th Year Anniversary

ThroneOfAgony
March 21st 2012



3485 Comments


Gods and Monsters from what I've heard kicks ass

Acanthus
March 21st 2012



9537 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks Willie!

I want their discography, same with Infected Mushroom.

Willie
Moderator
March 21st 2012



15877 Comments


These guys are really cool. I first heard them on some old Mortal Combat soundtrack.

Acanthus
March 21st 2012



9537 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This was my introduction to them, I found them here one day randomly.

Its cool, wikipedia says Watkins helped with The Matrix soundtrack too.

Willie
Moderator
March 21st 2012



15877 Comments


I didn't know that. If this is your introduction than I would definitely reccomend Beyond the Infinite and Bible of Dreams too.

Acanthus
March 21st 2012



9537 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Cool, will do.

pizzamachine
March 21st 2012



12571 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

YES FINALLY A REVIEW FOR THIS THANK YOU ACANTHUS FOR LIKING GOOD MUSIC!!!

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
March 21st 2012



30873 Comments


He does a few tracks with the movie's composer

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=76OlAlULBEc

Acanthus
March 21st 2012



9537 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

@pizzamachine - yes! Same ratings again!

Thanks for the link Dev!



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2013 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy