Holger Hiller





HOLGER HILLER in Hamburg, in early 1980, was a co-founder of Palais Schaumburg. Alongside the other rising stars of the then healthy Neue Deutsche Welle, Palais Schaumburg (their manifesto read 'Method: Improvisation over a limited range of notes within a defined framework. Keynote: Minimalism') pursued a line of Dada-tinged pop explosions.

They released a couple of ear raising singles on Zick Zack, played ravishing live shows and then signed to German Phonogram. The release of their debut lp, produced by the enraptured David Cunningham, coincided with Holger leaving and, apparently, becoming a recluse.

Palais Schaumburg went on to make the distinguished, neglected and expensive (recorded in Zurich, mixed in New York, produced by Coati Mundi) 'Lupa'. Holger still lurked mysteriously out of public view as the UK eventually spluttered into an awareness of German affairs. Slowly the bods here began limbo jigging to the screech and clang of Einsturzende Neubauten while the dark glitter of Xmal found adoration in a cult home from home.

And now Holger, more by good fortune than consciously opportune timing, reappears with a lp called, 'A Bunch of Foulness In The Pit.' Cherry Red (an employee only had to be smacked in the face twice before admitting that Holger's record was in a "different league" from that stable's other output) scooped the thing from Dusseldorf's Ata Tak as, like most German indies, they continue to slide into financial instability.

'Holger Hiller' is almost the second Palais Schaumburg lp – or what it might have been if that group had followed (should I say trailblazed) a path of adventure less obsessively sugar coated.

To continue reading this article and to discover many more (over 140,000 words-worth!), purchase Mick Sinclair’s Adjusting the Stars: Music journalism from post-punk London. 



mick sinclair

any use of the text on this page is subject to permission