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It’s Not Goa * It’s “Whoa” 

Wednesday, Sep 17 2008

Once just another early-'90s Goa trance act, Juno Reactor grew like an exquisite corpse: programmer Ben Watkins kept adding new limbs — a tribal drumming troupe here, a flamenco finger-picker there — until his band became the broadly gesticulating techno creature we see today. To be sure, a Juno Reactor show ain't no laptop copout. It's a stage-swarming parade of percussionists, guitarists, singers, and, dancing in the back, Watkins himself, running the few nonhuman machines like a synth svengali. The resulting cyber-organic hybrid of angelic vocals, African drums, Andalusian guitar riffs, and Watkins' anabolic trance sequences combines prettiness with a deadly punch. How deadly, you ask? Whenever Keanu Reeves was kicking computer ass in The Matrix trilogy, Juno Reactor was the soundtrack. Whoa, indeed.

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John Graham


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