To listen to a Juno Reactor album is to be transported to an intergalactic space station where astronauts drink not Tang, but Red Bull. The brain child of Ben Watkins, the electronica act has specialized in high-energy, jungle-rhythm trance for nearly 20 years. Although not a household name, Juno Reactor has been a pioneer in modern electronic music, straddling the space between the dance floor and the mind scape. (If you’ve seen any of the “Matrix” movies, you’ve no doubt tripped out to at least one of the group’s tunes.)
“Gods & Monsters” marks the seventh full-length explosion from the Reactor, and it sounds a lot like previous efforts: a little loopy, a lot of South American influence; whether this strikes you as a carbon copy or comfort food depends on your tolerance level. I happen to dig it.
The deep female vocals that drive the opening tracks “Inca Steppa” and “Tokyo Dub” are seductive and slightly dangerous, while other cuts let crashing and clashing instruments do all the dirty work.