Thursday, 22 October 2020

Holger Hiller ‎– As Is (1991)

Style: Synth-pop, Experimental, Electro
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Mute

01.   Königinnen
02.   Sing Songs
03.   Bacillus Culture
04.   Sur La Tête
05.   Neighbours
06.   Abacus
07.   Gut Und Böse
08.   You
09.   Mosaik
10.   Egg
11.   Trojan Ponies
12.   Cuts Both Ways

Arranged By – Karl Bonnie
Drums – Stefan Van Campenhout
Programmed By – Mimi Izumi Kobayashi
Producer – Holger Hiller

Not quite so much a collection of songs as a series of sonic experiments, 1991's As Is is German avant-gardist Holger Hiller's fourth release, and his most uncompromising to date. Earlier albums like 1984's A Bunch of Foulness in the Pit had a certain low-tech charm, but the advent of digital sampling and sequencers gives As Is a hard-edged sheen. Singing in English some of the time for the first time since his days in the Hamburg art rock trio Palais Schaumberg, Hiller creates songs that are subtly disturbing even at their most musical, as in the unsettling wobble that underpins the otherwise dreamy "Bacillus Culture." Other tracks, like the weird cutup experiment "Sur La Tete" and the herky-jerky plod of "Neighbours," sound uncannily like a less playful version of the Residents. "Abacus," which sounds like early Art of Noise jamming with the Baader-Meinhof gang, is just plain disturbing. Not for the timid, but often fascinating for electronica fans.
Stewart Mason / AllMusic

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