Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Juno Reactor are a trance music group, often known for their tribal influences, consisting of Ben Watkins and Mike Macguire . At one point, the group also included other members, including Johann Bley , Stephen Holweck , and Jens Waldenback .
The Missile Project
Juno Reactor was formed initially in 1990 by Ben Watkins and Stephen Holweck as an experimental ambient project to record soundtrack to accompany a sculptural art installation and performance project by the sculpture artist (and Watkins' girlfriend) Norma Fletcher called "The Missile Project". The centerpiece of the project was a a 70-foot replica of a decommissioned missile nicknamed "Juno Reactor" which they rolled around London while playing their music to raise awareness about nuclear war. According to Watkings, "[i]t was blue concrete. And it looked like a dinosaur tale. And a smoke came out of it."  The project took over a month to complete, however the exhibition lasted only several hours as London police arrived to break up the missile and arrested all members of the project. The music was eventually released as Juno Reactor's second album, Luciana.
1993 and beyond
In 1993, Juno Reactor released their first single, "Laughing Gas", on NovaMute. This was soon followed by their debut album, Transmissions. This release was considered a huge success and is considered to be one of the first albums in the goa trance genre. Later, the band released their above mentioned Luciana album on Alex Patterson 's (The Orb) Inter-Modo label. Juno Reactor left NovaMute and Inter-Modo in 1995 and signed to UK's Blue Room Released label to release Guardian Angel single. Their album Beyond the Infinite was released in 1996.
The 1997 release on Wax Trax! Records/TVT Records, Bible of Dreams, was Juno Reactor's fourth album. It had a sound much different from the previous albums and moved away from the traditonal dance beats by implementing tribal influences. Watkins collaborated with Amampondo , Nelson Mandela's favorite traditional South African percussion act, on the single "Conga fury". Ben Watkins and Amampondo went on a five week tour of the U.S., doing the opening for Moby.
Watkins released the fifth Juno Reactor album, Shango in 2000. It was the first of his albums on Metropolis Records. The first track from the album, "Pistolero", was done in a collaboration with guitarist Steve Stevens (Billy Idol). The song opened up an entirely new direction for Juno Reactor. This same track was also featured in the trailer for the movie Once Upon a Time in Mexico. In the fall of 2002, Juno Reactor released new single titled "Hotaka". It was in a Japanese studio overlooking Mt. Fuji. "Hotaka" once again featured Steve Stephens on guitar, and included traditional Taiko drummers, Gocoo . In 2003, the Odyssey 1992-2002 album was released as a compilation of the best Juno Reactor tracks of the past decade.
The latest Juno Reactor album was released in October 2004, and featured Watkins' work from the Matrix films. The new album once again cemented the tribal influences present in their music through tracks like "Zwara".
Appearances in media
Their remix of Traci Lords' song 'Control' as an instrumental was featured on the soundtrack for the Mortal Kombat movie. Later, the group, in collaboration with Don Davis, had a number of tracks featured on the soundtracks for the Matrix series of films (most notably the famous chase scene in The Matrix Reloaded). Other Juno Reactor tracks appear on movies such as Eraser, Virtuosity, Lost In Space, the Romeo and Juliet trailer, Beowulf and even Once Upon a Time in Mexico. Juno Reactor soundtracks have also been played during baseball, basketball, and gridiron football games, the Japanese Grand Prix, and appear on the PlayStation 2 games Jet Moto 3 and Frequency. Juno Reactor also scored the entirety of the Mark of Kri game.
- The name Juno comes form the Latin word meaning "God". In this fashion, Juno Reactor symbolizes a "powerhouse of the ancient religions".
- The title of the album Beyond the Infinite could be a reference to 2001: A Space Odyssey, and the sequence "Jupiter and Beyond the Infinite".
- Transmissions (NovaMute Records 1993)
- Beyond the Infinite (Blue Room Released 1996)
- Bible of Dreams (Blue Room Released 1997)
- Pistolero (Blue Room Released 1999)
- Shango (Metropolis Records 2001)
- Labyrinth (Metropolis Records, Universal Music 2004)
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