With a background in both alternative rock and electronic dance music, it's reasonable to assume that sooner or later Dutch remixer Tom Holkenborg would find a way to combine the two. The result of this logical inevitability is Junkie XL, a project that combines all the best bits of dance, metal and hip-hop.

Teaming up with the likes of Rude Boy from Urban Dance Squad and Dino Cazares of Fear Factory, Holkenborg has given us a vision of what a true fusion of dance and rock can sound like. Few bands can do this with competance: Senser spring to mind; The Prodigy have had their moments too. Saturday Teenage Kick shows that Junkie XL have that fusion in abundance.

"For me, crossover has always been the ultimate musical direction," says Holkenborg. "Ten years ago it was Rap with a band, then it was Metal with raps, all these different styles blending together. That's the interesting side of music.

"What I try to do is blend the guitars and dance elements into something new so that they don't lose their original strengths."

Now if he didn't succeed in that, I'd be the first one to tell you. But right from the first track, "Underachievers", Holkenborg hits the mark. Starting with a hip-hop groove, the guitars cut in like a meteor storm, and the track settles into a banging dance-metal stomper. Nice. Elsewhere you'll find a variety of sounds. "War" is junglist, "Metrolike" has a house-like beat, while the likes of "Dealing with the Roster", "Def Beat" and "No Remorse" have a groove reminiscent of the Chemical Brothers.

On the strength of this album (and, if reports are to be believed their live appearances with Rude Boy and a full live band) Junkie XL are going to be huge.

BIOGRAPHY UPDATE: On June 6th 2000 Rude Boy announced his decision to leave Junkie XL. He wasn't happy with the direction of the band (to a more purely dance-oriented sound) and with his position within the band. June 25th saw the release of the album Big Sound of the Drags in the UK.

Junkie XL Links

Official Junkie XL site.

Official Roadrunner Records site.

The first JXL page on the Web.

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Last updated 30/6/00