Ayo Jegede
reviews editor
March 20, 2004
Amazon Disco:
Radio JXL: A Broadcast From Computer Hell Cabin Radio JXL: A Broadcast From Computer Hell Cabin
February 10, 2004
Koch Records
Saturday Teenage Kick Saturday Teenage Kick
March 24, 1998
Roadrunner Records
Big Sound of the Drag Big Sound of the Drag
July 27, 2000
Universal/Mercury
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Rock Music Reviews
Junkie XL
Radio JXL: A Broadcast from The Computer Hell Cabin

it's often alarming when a musician voices discontent or dismay when their music, what many would view as a process entirely underrated, is taken without consideration (e.g. file-sharing). it makes sense to be violently attached to something which cost you time, money, blood, sweat and tears; as Maynard James Kennan said: "My music is not yours to take." but at the same time you can't wholeheartedly admonish those who pay little attention to the music-making process since they weren't involved and are quite ignorant of the trouble. ofttimes a musician's complaints of artistic robbery falls on deaf ears because, simply put, telling us that making an album was an arduous process won't repudiate the three hours i spent shoveling shit to pay for it. when it comes down to it, i don't care about the process; that's the musicians prerogative. i do care that i get the most out of my $9-$20. albums shouldn't just include actual liner notes and lyrics, for the price we pay they should come with a Macromedia Flash program, studio footage, and a certificate for $5 off appetizers at Applebee's. whatever happened to palpable bang for the buck?

if you're curious about the queer '7.9' ranking, i'll explain. Junkie XL's A Broadcast from The Computer Hell Cabin, herein referred to as just Broadcast, is a good album. split into 2 cd's--the more rabid 3 P.M. and the chilled 3 A.M.--if you're familiar with JXL from Saturday Teenage Kick or Big Sounds of The Drag and, furthermore, liked those pieces then Broadcast will sound pretty deviant. JXL has scrapped the terse, rough big-beat style for a cleaner, more palatable sound employing both Techno and Downbeat more often. the first half of the album, much like Oakenfold's Bunnka, is a veritable amalgam of guest performances featuring Saffron from Republica, Chuck D, Robert Smith of The Cure, Gary Numan, Dave Gahan of Depeche Mode, Peter Tosh, Terry Hall, Solomon Burke, and Anouk. for the most part '3 A.M.' manages to be satisfying enough. the best performances come from Saffron ('Beauty Never Fades' and 'Crusher'), Dave Gahan ('Reload'), Anouk ('Between These Walls'), Solomon Burke ('Catch Up To My Step') and Grant Nicholas ('Broken'). Chuck D's and Robert Smith's performances are somewhat underwhelming but not terribly weak and though 'A Little Less Conversation' featuring Elvis Presley is a good piece, it lost its luster long ago.

'3 A.M.' is, as previously mentioned, the chilled side. overall it's pretty good, even though the 12" cuts become derivative and a little mind-numbing. with all that said a reasonable score would have been a 7. but what bumps Broadcast past that score is the appreciated attempt to give listeners a lot of a good thing, almost totally ignoring the argument of music-as-occluded-process. besides the two hours of music you get with the album, on JXL's web site there's also an opportunity to buy a download-only 3rd and 4th disc together called '7 A.M.,' not to mention a 24-hour streaming radio of remixes and b-sides. it seems as though JXL offers listeners more than just a little glimpse into the unorthodox world of a musician; he offers a largesse of good music. as such the entire piece is more than just "good;" it's almost great.

Release date: February 10, 2004
Label: Koch
Rating: 7.9 / 10

[RMR]