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Johnny Klimek

Australian-born composer and producer Johnny Klimek's bold, dynamic film and television scores are informed by his background in rock and electronic music as well as classic Hollywood soundtrack traditions. He achieved international pop success as a member of the Berlin-based new wave group the Other Ones during the 1980s, then became heavily involved with the city's underground techno and trance scene, forming groups with Dr. Motte and Paul Browse (Clock DVA) and collaborating with Dr. Timothy Leary. Klimek began working with filmmaker Tom Tykwer and composer/musician Reinhold Heil on soundtracks, with the energetic, techno-heavy Run Lola Run (1998) emerging as a breakout hit. Klimek then became a highly in-demand composer, working on music for television series such as Deadwood, Sense8, and The Newsroom, in addition to films including Land of the Dead (2005) and The International (2009), often in collaboration with Heil and/or Tykwer. The trio's score for Cloud Atlas (2012) was nominated for Best Original Score at the Golden Globe Awards, and Klimek and Heil won multiple ASCAP Awards for their music for Without a Trace. Klimek maintained his high profile with his work on the soundtrack to The Matrix Resurrections (2021). Originally from Melbourne, Johnny Klimek performed in pub rock bands as a youngster before moving to Berlin in 1983. The next year, he founded the Other Ones with his twin sister, Jayney, and their brother, Alf (formerly of popular Neue Deutsche Welle band Spliff). Sharing management with Alphaville, the Other Ones had a highly accessible new wave pop sound, and after signing with Virgin Records, their third single, "Holiday" (taken from their self-titled 1986 debut), became a worldwide hit, reaching the Top Five in Germany and the Top 30 in the United States. The 1988 follow-up Learning to Walk tanked, however, and the bandmembers moved on to other projects. Johnny formed the techno duo System 01 with Paul Browse, formerly of British industrial/post-punk pioneers Clock DVA, and their 1990 debut From Psychodelics to Cybernetics included appearances by Dr. Timothy Leary as well as Jayney Klimek and Raymond Watts (Pig, KMFDM). System 01's second album, Drugs Work, appeared on Tresor in 1994, and the duo also explored trance and ambient as Effective Force, releasing two albums and a handful of singles throughout the decade. In addition, they collaborated with Loveparade co-founder Dr. Motte as Holy Language, releasing the full-length Choose Your Own in 1996. Klimek engineered and co-produced several tracks on trance superstar Paul van Dyk's first two albums, 1994's 45 RPM and 1996's Seven Ways. During the mid-'90s, Klimek struck up a friendship with Reinhold Heil, a former member of Spliff and a longtime Nina Hagen collaborator. Klimek played bass on Hagen's 1996 tour, and he co-founded the trip-hop-influenced group Babyloon with Heil and Jovanka von Willsdorf. The band appeared on the soundtrack to Tom Tykwer's 1997 film Winterschläfer ("Wintersleepers"), which also featured a score composed by Tykwer, Heil, and Klimek. The trio then provided music for Tykwer's next film, 1998's Lola Rennt (Run Lola Run), which unexpectedly became a worldwide pop culture phenomenon. Klimek moved to Los Angeles and became massively prolific as a film and television composer, working with Heil on other Tykwer films such as The Princess and the Warrior (2000) as well as movies by other directors such as Mark Romanek (2002's One Hour Photo) and George A. Romero (2005's Land of the Dead). They also scored television series such as Without a Trace (which won the duo five ASCAP Awards), Deadwood, and Awake. Klimek, Heil, and Tykwer composed the score for the 2012 film adaptation of the book Cloud Atlas, earning a nomination for the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score. Solo, Klimek composed the score to a trio of Greg McLean-directed films: Wolf Creek 2 (2013), The Darkness (2016), and Jungle (2017). He composed I, Frankenstein (2014) with Heil and A Hologram for the King (2016) with Tykwer. In 2016, Klimek and Tykwer were nominated for a Primetime Emmy (Outstanding Original Main Title Theme Music) for their theme to Sense8. Klimek then wrote music for the series Babylon Berlin, Jett, and Messiah. Klimek and Tykwer scored the 2021 film The Matrix Resurrections; the soundtrack included a second disc of techno remixes by the composers as well as producers like Thomas Fehlmann and Marcel Dettmann. A compilation of Klimek's early techno project System 01 was released by Mannequin in early 2022.
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