Junkie XL Takes Breath From Scoring With New Album ‘Synthesized’
Dutch-born musician, remixer and producer JUNKIE XL returns with a strikingly eclectic electronic dance music album, SYNTHESIZED, November 27 via Nettwerk Records. Leading up to his first album in four years and the sixth full-length LP in his 15-year career, he’ll release “Gloria,” a pulsating club track with tough, bass-heavy stylings featuring Fredrik of Datarock (Available October 23).
SYNTHESIZED sees JUNKIE XL chilling out with beautiful, lysergic lullabies such as “The Art of Luxurious Intergalactic Time Travel” and “Take Off On Molly’s E.” The album also features performances by Curt Smith (Tears for Fears) on “When Enough Is Not Enough,” Tommie Sunshine on “Love Machine” and Isis Salam (Chinese Flash Mob, Thunderheist) on “Off The Dancefloor,” as well as spoken word by Timothy Leary on “Leave Behind Your Ego,” with a rare excerpt from “The Psychedelic Experience: Going Out.” On each track you’ll not only find JUNKIE XL helming electronics, but playing bass, guitar and/or drums himself.
The JUNKIE XL moniker by Tom Holkenborg began with 1997’s Saturday Teenage Kick. Unlike most producers swept up by the so-called “electronica craze,” not only did JUNKIE XL hang on, but flourish with a steady stream of solo efforts: 2000’s Big Sound Of The Drags and 2003’s Radio JXL: A Broadcast From The Computer Hell Cabin. Radio JXL included collaborations with Depeche Mode’s Dave Gahan, Gary Numan, The Cure’s Robert Smith and Public Enemy’s Chuck D. The U.S. release included the breakthrough remix of Elvis Presley’s 1968 single, “A Little Less Conversation,” marking the first time the Presley Estate ever granted permission to any producer to retouch any Elvis material. The track, originally created for a 2002 Nike World Cup Commercial, went on to be featured in several films, including Ocean’s Eleven. The song became a #1 hit in more than 20 countries worldwide.
SYNTHESIZED, the follow up to Today (2006) and Booming Back At You (2008), were written while doing production for other artists. JUNKIE has worked with a wide array of superstars, including The Sex Pistols, Justin Timberlake, Michael Bublé, Tiësto, Sarah McLachlan, Fatboy Slim, Robert Smith, Sasha, Madonna, Coldplay, Bloc Party, Scissor Sisters, Crookers, and Rammstein—it’s an endless list of musicians across varied genres.
In between the release of Booming Back At You and SYNTHESIZED, JUNKIE XL found himself submerged in soundtrack work. Last summer, Oscar-winning film composer Hans Zimmer invited JUNKIE XL to move into his Remote Control Productions to work together on the latest Batman film, The Dark Knight Rises. Included on the soundtrack is the producer’s remix of musical cue, “Bombers Over Ibiza.” This marks the fourth film the pair has worked together. Since 2010, the two have teamed up on several films—Inception, Madagascar 3, Megamind—as well as other musical projects, including this year’s remix of The Academy Awards® theme song.
In addition, JUNKIE XL keeps extremely busy creating music for EA video games: The Sims 2, Forza Motorsport, DOA: Dead Or Alive, Kingdom of Heaven, EA’s Burnout: Paradise and more. Most recently, he created the music for the video game Shinjuku, which features graphics from famous Japanese artist, Yashitako Amano (Final Fantasy).
If the mark of a great artist is experimentation, then JUNKIE XL is this generation’s Thomas Edison. Having released albums of his own original music, completed production for other artists, supervised and scored countless Hollywood film soundtracks and commercials, and written more music for video games and films than one could count, he’s done it all.
“I enjoy the process and love to challenge my creative self. With each production, I get a clearer vision of where the past, present and future of electronic music exists,” says JUNKIE XL. “It’s exciting and I’m glad to have watched it change and grow over the last fifteen years.”
The track listing for SYNTHESIZED is:
Take Off On Molly’s E
Off The Dancefloor (featuring Isis Salam)
Leave Behind Your Ego (featuring Timothy Leary)
When Enough Is Not Enough (featuring Curt Smith)
Love Machine (featuring Tommie Sunshine)
Gloria (featuring Datarock)
The Art of Luxurious Intergalactic Time Travel
Check out the video for “Off The Dancefloor” created by Japan’s TRIPPPLE NIPPPLES at: