‘The Mutant Theatre‘ is an interactive live show created by Juno Reactor where music, theatre, dance, wifi-controlled LED costumes and a vast array of stage weaponry en-trance the audience into a fantasy world of adrenalin fuelled dreams and hard wired adventure. ‘Pans Labyrinth’ meets ‘Barbarella’ in a sci-fi invasion of the mind and body. Ben Watkins aka Juno Reactor is a pioneer of the electronic trance scene. From the back streets of London to the Hollywood blockbusters of The Matrix trilogy, his group has constantly morphed and evolved, exploring new areas visually as well as musically. Juno Reactor will release its new album, ‘The Mutant Theatre’, on Metropolis Records in June 2018, which will be followed by globe-spanning shows in the summer and autumn, from Caesars Palace in Las Vegas to Mt. Fuji in Japan.
Juno Reactor – Biography
Juno Reactor is one of the best known, ambitious and musically diverse acts associated with electronic trance music, renowned for their exploratory, genre-fusing recordings and spectacular, theatrical live performances that incorporate state of the art lighting, costumes and choreographed dance. The group has also scored music to numerous blockbuster films (notably The Matrix trilogy) and video games, and has amassed a large global fan base among ravers, techno heads, industrial fans, cinephiles and gamers.
Juno Reactor was founded in 1990 by British musician Ben Watkins, who had worked with Youth (in both The Empty Quarter and Brilliant) and formed post-punk group the Flowerpot Men in the mid-80’s. Watkins had then travelled the world with a portable DAT recorder, using the results to soundtrack a mobile art exhibition, before co-founding Juno Reactor in 1990.
His group initially signed with Mute’s techno sub-label NovaMute to released their debut album, ‘Transmissions’, in 1993. They hit big on the dancefloor with the single ‘High Energy Protons’ and toured with The Orb, who then issued the second Juno Reactor album, ‘Luciana’, on their Inter Modo label. Porn star Traci Lords recruited the group to produce her 1994 debut album, ‘1000 Fires’, before they signed to Blue Room Released for the release of ‘Beyond The Infinite’ in 1995. ‘Bible Of Dreams’ (1997) saw the group add tribal drumming and other global music influences to its sound, with Natasha Atlas providing guest vocals on the single ‘God Is God’. Songs from the album subsequently appeared in films such as ‘Mortal Kombat: Annihilation’ and ‘Beowulf’. Juno Reactor also brought their exhilarating live show to the masses, collaborating with South African percussion ensemble Amampondo at the 1998 Glastonbury Festival before embarking on a US tour with Moby. They also collaborated with The Creatures (Siouxsie & The Banshees side-project), contributing a song to the 1998 soundtrack for ‘Lost in Space’ and appearing on the band’s 1999 album, ‘Anima Animus’.
The fifth Juno Reactor album, ‘Shango’, maintained the global genre fusions of its predecessor with appearances by Amampondo and steel guitar from B.J. Cole. The single ‘Hotaka’ was also released; recorded in Japan, it featured traditional Taiko drumming by percussion ensemble Gocoo. The group also celebrated its first decade with the retrospective ‘Odyssey: 1992-2002’. Following collaborations with Don Davis on the film scores to ‘The Matrix Reloaded’ and ‘The Matrix Revolutions’, Juno Reactor next released the 2004 album ‘Labyrinth’, which featured an extensive list of guest musicians including The Hollywood Film Chorale. Watkins also composed the orchestral score for the 2006 Japanese anime film ‘Brave Story’, which was recorded with the Slovak National Symphony Orchestra and released by Sony Japan.
Juno Reactor’s seventh album, ‘Gods & Monsters’ (2008), featured several new additions to the Juno family, such as Japanese guitarist Sugizo and dancehall reggae toaster Ghetto Priest, while Budgie (Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Creatures) began drumming for the group from 2009. The remix collection ‘Inside The Reactor’ appeared in 2011, with a Japan-only sequel (Inside the Reactor II: From The Land Of The Rising Sun) following in 2012. The eighth Juno Reactor album, ‘The Golden Sun Of The Great East’, appeared in 2013 and saw a partial return to their early Goa-style trance sound while still incorporating their trademark widescreen cinematic vision and global influences. ‘The Golden Sun…Remixed’ followed in 2015 as the group continued to tour around the world.
From the album ‘The Golden Sun Of The Great East‘ (2013):