As a kid I was a big fan of the Mortal Kombat games. I was technically barred from playing violent video games by my parents. BUT I PLAYED THEM ANYWAY! Of course, when the movie adaptation came out, I (successfully) pestered my parents into letting me see it. The movie was dumb. Some cool effects and some reasonable action sequences wasn’t enough to convince 11 year-old Jim. The soundtrack, however, was a revelation!
For me, KMFDM’s Juke Joint Jezebel was the highlight of the album. It was different to just about anything I had heard at the time. It was heavy, it was dark, it had guitars and electronic stuff, but it was curiously different from everything else. I liked it!
So this track was in the background for years to come, but I never cottoned onto this stuff called industrial music. To me, it was too close to the mainstream genres to strongly indicate the wealth I was missing out on. Even if I had chanced onto other stuff, unlikely given my sheltered childhood, and limited music distribution of the time (living in the sticks ‘n all that jazz), I might not even have known what to make of it.
Finally finding love
A whole decade it was until the name KMFDM lead me down the industrial rabbit hole. It might have been sooner if I hadn’t taken a detoure down a neo hippie dead-end. Anyway, it was a decade, and it has been love ever since. At first I stayed with bands that were on the rock/metal side of the equation, but here I am, another decade on, with a full-blown love of not just the digestible, dancable, but also of the avant-garde roots.
The Mortal Kombat movie may have been a huge disappointment to me (what could I have expected?) but I dug most of the OST, which heavily influenced the development of my music tastes.
Other highlights from the Mortal Kombat OST
The super cheesy, sample heavy, theme song by Utah Saints, even back then, was a guilty indulgence.
Orbital’s Halcyon +On +On – what is a track this beautiful even doing in a movie about fighting in a tournament to save Earth from trans-dimensional invaders?
Fear Factory’s Zero Signal, along with GZR’s The Invisible were too heavy for my sensitive tastes, but would later become favourites.
Sister Machine Gun’s Burn, probably one of the band’s best tracks, was a safe favourite of young Jim’s.
Type O Negative’s Blood & Fire (Out of the Ashes Mix) was another track that pushed me along in developing an interest in metal.