Monday, May 23, 2011

Worth the Effort: The Reincarnation of Luna - My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult - 2001

Reincarnation of LunaIn a class with few others (White Zombie, perhaps?), My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult were, in fact, the soundtrack to the best B-movie you never saw: sex, Satan, sex, horror, sex, motorcycles and sex all set to a danceable industrial beat. Originally Wax Trax darlings, the Kult peaked commercially in the mid-nineties, started bouncing from label to label and their records, while always remaining engaging, were hard to find new and fell out of print almost as quickly. Rykodisc has recently rescued most of the catalogue but one great title, The Reincarnation of Luna, remains the domain of secondhand stores. 

the band circa 2001

The Thrill Kill Kult's records seem to occur in distinct phases. The early ones were the Satanic records. The sex records followed and then the swinging road classic, Hit & Run Holiday. A Crime for All Seasons, a murder record on Red Ant, barely showed on shelves in '97 before the label tanked (now known as "Dead Ant") and the band virtually disappeared. The Reincarnation of Luna came out on TKK's own Sleazebox Records but, by 2001, the momentum was lost. It's a damn shame, too, because this is the record where it all came together: sex, violence, Satan and chemicals a'plenty, all set to irresistible beats.

Rave-ups are followed by grooves, girl group vocals and some of the filthiest lounge music you could ever hope for. Calypso merges with disco and some sinister samples and, over and over, track for track, it works. The Reincarnation of Luna is a first for Thrill Kill Kult: an album with no filler, no lulls. It's a triumph - and one that went largely unheard.

Resurrection of LunaRykodisc started to reissue the klassic Kult katalogue in 2004, worked their way through A Crime For All Seasons and had been home to the band's new releases through The Filthiest Show in Town. The Reincarnation of Luna seemed forgotten until 2007 when Ryko and the band released The Resurrection of Luna, which has been remixed, re-edited, resequenced and, some say, re-recorded altogether (anyone got the skinny on that?). Resurrection... remains in print and is a fine record but, for someone who loved Reincarnation... from its release, it feels wrong. It doesn't particularly sound better, the cover's a boring blah white nothing and the album's sequencing was just about perfect as it was. Three bonus tracks are the only real reason to turn to this "reissue" versus a search for the original.

Golden Pillz: Luna RemixesAlso worth seeking out: Golden Pillz - The Luna Remixes. Long before Resurrection..., a radically remixed version hit in 2002. Another long-lost Sleazebox release, it's no rival to the original but is a lot of fun and, like Reincarnation..., can be found online for low prices. If you like My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult even a little, you owe it to yourself to reach for these records after you've enjoyed the klassics.

My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult is on tour right now. If you've never caught them live, they're a hell of a lot of fun. Find a date near you at the band's official site.

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