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Baker's Dozen

Compiling & Filing: Jan St. Werner's Favourite Albums
Nick Hutchings , April 30th, 2015 11:23

With his operatic performance-cum-radio play Miscontinuum released as an album earlier this year, the Mouse On Mars man takes Nick Hutchings on a trawl of his favourite avant-garde and experimental records


Holger Hiller - Oben Im Eck
Holger Hiller has been revitalising his old band Palais Schaumburg, which was my favourite German band from the 80s. They had absurd, Dadaistic lyrics and vocals and some good drums - Thomas Fehlmann - sometime member of The Orb - was in this band. Then Hiller went solo and did a few amazing records. Oben Im Eck, Ein Bündel Fäulnis In Der Grube and As Is: those three records to me are really part of my all-time archive. They're very idiosyncratic and neurotic and at the same time the production's great.

Two weeks ago Russell Haswell played a show in Berlin and I hadn't been aware that he had editedAs Is. Holger Hiller is not like the biggest technical nerd. He's not like an engineer or a technical guy - he's kind of like an artist or a composer who envisions something and then channels it through people who help him. He was really good with the Emax sampler but in terms of producing a record he wanted to collaborate with people. He approached Mouse On Mars at one point but it wasn't the right thing or the right time, although I was very flattered. Oben Im Eck really showed me how to use a sampler. Not that I imitated it, because I always wanted to get further into the structure of a sound. Hiller's very much quoting things. He's using Stravinsky samples and mashing them up. He writes theatre plays in sound, but the way he does it is by using technology. I was always really mesmerised by the mood and the ambience of his stories. They're very manic and neurotic and sometimes Kafka-esque. Absurd and strong.