This song appears on Tom Holkenborg a.k.a. Junkie XL's album 'Radio JXL, A Broadcast From The Computer Hell Cabin', released in 2003. The song was created by Junkie XL; the vocals were written by Dave Gahan; vocals were produced by Andrew Phillpott. Junkie XL then remixed Dave Gahan's song 'Dirty Sticky Floors'.
Dave Gahan said in issue #53 of BPM magazine in 2004:
"When Tom initially approached me I was working on my own album [Paper Monsters], and my first reaction was that I didn't really have time for it. I didn't really know who Tom was but I said, 'Send me something over and I'll have a listen,' and of course I really liked it. I think what appealed to me the most was that we were collaborating in a way that wasn't about structure and arrangement, but using my voice as a texture rather than in a traditional song writing sense. I think ultimately, that's what's interesting about his album; the fact he's able to adapt his sound to fit the artist; and it's not just all these beats and someone just waffling over the top. He's actually taking on the personality of each singer and songwriter, and that's why you get that diversity. He's definitely a talented guy, and there's a lot more behind the scenes that we haven't seen yet."
Excerpt from a press release for Junkie XL's album:
The frontman of synth pioneers and stadium rock conquerors, Depeche Mode, Dave Gahan is another of Tom’s heroes to collaborate on what he admits has become "a wish-list come true". 'Reload' was initially intended for the soundtrack to the Matrix sequel, Matrix Reloaded, but by a twist of fate found its way onto Tom's own album. "It's a track that Dave normally wouldn't sing on and I think that's the beauty of it," he says. "It's a very funky track with a really funky guitar line and in the chorus it really explodes. His voice gives it kind of dark atmosphere and at the same time it's uplifting as well... Depeche Mode were so important for my perception of what electronic music could be in pop music."
Junkie XL recounted the creation of this song here for a webseries called '#JXLOneTake' in 2018:
"[I]t's a track that I did in 2002 with Dave Gahan and it's called 'Reload', and it's on the album Radio JXL. So let's go to Spotify, let's play the track, and I'll talk you through it. So we already hear a snippet of Dave Gahan [at the beginning of the song]. There's a lot to tell about this song, because, the reason why it's called 'Reload' is because it was meant to be the title song for the second Matrix movie Reloaded. So Dave and I just got together to do a song together. We were actually not "together" together: I was in Amsterdam, and funnily enough, he was recording this song in LA in the studio where then, at the end of 2002, I moved into, to start my studio here in LA. So he was recording primarily during the nights. He was also allowed to smoke there, while nobody in the studio was, but, you know, it's Dave Gahan, what are you gonna say to Dave Gahan? So it was like, "Okay, you can smoke." So I made this track, and we went back and forth with the vocals, and I start working on it in the studio. By the time I had submitted the track, we were way past the deadline to even make it to the Matrix Reloaded movie. And then eventually, obviously, it wasn't useful to Matrix or anything, but, great for me, I was able to put it on my record. So that was really great. You know, the thing with Dave Gahan is, his voice is just one of those really amazing voices that don't seem to age. Even if you go back to earlier recordings in the '80s, and especially some of their earlier stuff in the '90s that they did, like 'Personal Jesus', that whole album. He's such an amazing character, amazing voice, it just keeps getting better, like a good bottle of wine. So it was amazing to do this with him. Now, regarding the track: this was a track that I did in the same time period as I was producing Airdrawndagger with Sasha. And I mentioned this in other videos, I had this technique of mixing sounds up on a mixing desk and splitting them up in different frequencies, and then gate them with different analogue gates and trigger these gates to go open and closed with different rhythmic figures. So we hear a lot of that in this track too, which is the opening riff, but we still hear it in some of the synth sounds. Like the other track that we recently discussed, Breezer, I was playing a lot with these analogue tape echoes that I really loved. And I used it a lot on this vocal. You can constantly hear the echoing versions of his vocal. So in the chorus, when he sings "reload", there's these higher vocals from Dave Gahan that are like reversed versions of other takes that he did of the same song. And, again, I pulled it through all kinds of effects, especially the tape echo, that, at the time, really was like THE go-to [effect], like, every time someone [said], "Oh, we need another tape echo!", and it was sitting always there, right at that time. I remember Sasha saying at one point, "Can't we work on one track without the tape echo? Do you think that's possible?" I said, "Well, okay, one track without the tape echo is fine." But this track, it has the tape echo. The other thing that this track has, is the really typical "Duuunnnn..." [drop effect], you know, that brass drum, that is like, tuned down. That credit completely goes to the Chemical Brothers, because they used that the very first time in 1993 when 'Chemical Beats' came out. For me that was such a revelation, that track. So this is almost eight years after that. But it's such an iconic sound, a break beat, and every two bars is like "Duuunnnn...", that bass drum that tunes down. Chemical Brothers deserve the complete credit for that. Brilliant musicians, as always. So, the track continues with more of these trippy vocals, with the chorus. We come out pretty quickly, this is actually the album version: there's a version that's slightly longer, that I did separately. But this album was mixed like it was, like a hit radio station, so there are all these commercials happening, before it goes to the next song. I forgot what the next song was, I think it was a song with Robert Smith... [song ends - ed.] So that was a little bit of the commercial right there, but to hear the ending of the commercial, you gotta play the Robert Smith track that I did from that same album that was called 'A Perfect Blue Sky'."
Dates where Reload was played
Reload has never been played live.