Holger Hiller is a conceptual composer, music producer, writer and video director based in Berlin. His work appeared on German independent labels such as ZickZack and Ata Tak (D) as well as on Wave Records (J) and Mute (UK).
Born in Hamburg at the end of the 1950s into a working class family, Holger Hiller became immersed in all aspects of pop culture. At the age of 12 he met the influential band “Faust” and got into contact with the experimental life styles of the late sixties. In Holger's teen years this led to an interest in the works of Sigmund Freud and the creative methods of “automatic writing”. Due to his unstable family background Holger dropped out of school to play guitar and violin in a number of local bands. In 1976 he was taught concept improvisation by Lilli Friedeman, a pupil of the German composer Paul Hindemith. At that time Holger became familiar with the work of orchestral composers of the twentieth century.
The arrival of punk in Germany in 1978 proved to be inspirational and Hiller developed his own vision of how the DIY approach of the movement could be adapted to music with German roots. The result was the founding of Palais Schaumburg in 1980, a band whose unique sound was not only hugely successful with the post punk crowd but a major influence in Germany alongside bands such as D.A.F., Der Plan and Einstürzende Neubauten.
Hiller enrolled in art school and became interested in cultural theory. Always eager to push the boundaries of existing formats, he composed a short video opera called "Guten Morgen, Hose" in 1982 together with Andreas Dorau. One year later he left the group Palais Schaumburg and started a solo career. His first solo album "Ein Bündel Fäulnis In Der Grube" became a landmark of avantgarde pop music, pioneering the use of sampling and lyrics based on structural methods.
After touring Japan and Europe he moved to London. His next album "Oben Im Eck" shows influences of Japanese music and 20th century classical avantgarde. In 1988, Hiller produced a music video in collaboration with the video artist Akiko Hada and the musician Karl Bonnie entitled "Ohi Ho Bang Bang". The video pioneers the use of synchronized image and sound montage.
His next two albums "As Is" and "Demixed" already revealed a growing interest in electronic dance music. The latter one was a dance-remix style deconstruction of his work and collaboration with DJ AJ of Renegade Soundwave. Holger commuted between London and Germany, making music for TV commercials. At the same time, he produced some radio art pieces. In the year 2001, he moved to Berlin and took a long creative break. Here he became the co-founder of a society for African Philosophy and continued with his studies on socio-cultural and political topics. In 2009, his creative interest and energy returned and he started working on film projects and continued to play live performances.
With his pioneer work in constructivist sampling music, Holger Hiller has produced a number of blueprints which left their traces in contemporary electronic music culture. He has contributed to the search for identity in German popular music and lyrics, as well as to the application of montage principals and integration of diverse styles.