September 1999

Saving the German cinema seems like a campaign to save the boll weevil, but with LOLA RENNT, Tom Tykwer did the job. A simple but powerful story filmed in a wildly experimental style, mixing fast-moving action with philosophical questions about fate and coincidence, making for a highly exciting ride -- this very "un-German" movie was a critical and commercial success with international appeal. LOLA RENNT was so much Tom Tykwer's own vision that he did not only write the screenplay and direct the movie, but he also (together with Johnny Klimek and Reinhold Heil) created a powerful soundtrack which blended perfectly with the images on the screen. Basically, the LOLA RENNT soundtrack consists of high-paced techno music; the pounding score effectively underscored the desperate running of Lola attempting to save her boyfriend Manni. Without seeing the movie, the music at first seems to be rather bland, a bit generic and not as strong as in the film -- but this is a wrong, hasty assessment. After a couple of listens (seeing the movie more than once helps, too) the atmosphere of the film starts to shine through the soundtrack, the memorable visuals of the movie are slowly evoked again until both the music and the movie are logically linked.

Before Hancock's 1984 album SOUND-SYSTEM was released, this advance single (referring to the album as being called HARDROCK) allowed a first glance at the FUTURE SHOCK follow-up. With "Hardrock", Laswell and Hancock took their "Rockit" approach into, well, harder regions. The funk-meets-beats-meets-turntable-scratching foundation of the original song (and album) is spiced up with rock guitar riffs (by Nicky Skopelitis and Henry Kaiser), more sound effects, more rhythm changes, and more of Laswell's cut-ups. Though the song is called "Long Version," it's actually the album version. The B-side of the single features Grandmixer D.St.'s "American Mega-Mix," which is a remix featuring all songs from FUTURE SHOCK (except "Earth Beat") plus the famous bassline from "Chameleon" (taken from the 1984 remix), and several other records as well (such as Shango's "Shango Funk Theology"). It's an interesting listen for Hancock fans and shows D.St.'s turntablist skills, but it isn't necessarily a brilliant track. The third track is "TFS" (taken from the FUTURE SHOCK album), a groovy mixture of robotic drums, futuristic synths and funky keyboards.