Monday, July 03, 2006


Juno Reactor & Amampondo

If you want music to get the energy levels pumping, you just have to listen to Juno Reactor - Angie would have Shango playing nice and loud every day if she could.

Juno's Ben Watkins is an amazing character, and his music has always been considered groundbreaking. When asked to label his style of music, he says:

I think it's a collision, music that's waiting for the crash.

What many people don't know is that Ben has had a close relationship with South Africa through his musical collaborations with Amampondo and Mabi Thobejane. Feel some pride at knowing that Mabi worked with Ben and Don Davis, the composer of The Matrix, The Matrix Revolutions and The Matrix: Reloaded.

The 1997 release Bible of Dreams, Juno's fourth album implemented tribal influences Amampondo on the single Conga fury. Ben and Amampondo went on a five week tour of the U.S., doing the opening for Moby. In 1998 Juno Reactor played a stunning live set with Amampondo at Glastonbury Festival.

Amampondo also worked with Billy Idol's rock god guitarist Steve Stevens on Juno's 5th album Shango in 2000. The first track from the album, Pistolero, was also featured in the trailer for the movie ONCE UPON A TIME IN MEXICO.

Since then the guys have continued touring - the live performance is awesome, and made all the more striking when you see the live African element of percussion and drums, mixed with Ben's mind boggling performance.

Ben's main passion - and where he really shines - is the making of soundtracks for movies, and he's already got a string under his belt, with MORTAL KOMBAT and MORTAL KOMBAT ANNIHILATION, anime series TEXHNOLYZE, which featured their single Guardian Angel” as its opening theme, he composed the score for Graham Baker’s BEOWULF, and even had a track on the mid 80's film FERRIS BUELLER’S DAY OFF.

Juno Reactor will be releasing a mini album on 8 July 2006 to coincide with the launch of the film ‘Brave Story in Japan.

I think what really stands out in Ben's composition, is that he isn't scared to mix the old and the new, the traditional with the techno, cultures, languages and styles.

And its awesome to know that this knowledge gets to our local artists with every collaboration!

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