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With Ein Bündel Fäulnis in der Grube, Holger Hiller presented his solo debut having left Palais Schaumburg. Originally released in 1983 on the Düsseldorf scene label Ata Tak, an international release followed in 1984 via Cherry Red Records. Combining electronic sequencer sounds and sampling fragments with unconventional lyrics its multidisciplinary approach locates it somewhere between the pop and avant-garde. Bureau B is now making the work accessible again on its 40th anniversary.
“In 1983, during the completion of this album, some ideas and views of the future changed for me. While everyone’s mind was still haunted by the admonishingly gloomy vision of George Orwell’s 1984, the release of the motion picture Blade Runner had a lasting effect. It depicted a world that can no longer be saved: Acid rain is pouring down derelict buildings and humanity has to confront fugitive cyborgs as a result of artificial intelligence gone wrong. The future however was not quite so clear-cut as those pictures: dystopian imaginings were also being layered with mosaic pieces of a pop history that saw itself as a source of hope, a supposed counterculture. Could this promise be fulfilled or was it simply a ‘productive misunderstanding?’ With the onset of digitalization, the new musical tools — first and foremost the techniques of ‘sampling’ and computerized sequencing — were enthusiastically met by me and many others, a generation of William Burroughs readers whose sensibility had been nurtured by ‘cut-up’ and ‘automatic writing.’ And so everything flowed together on this album: the esoteric heritage of various hippie and alternative movements and their expressions in ‘pop,’ the underlying currents of ‘Modernism’ and the influences of European ‘neue musik.’ The resulting musical pieces on the album celebrate this moment in its simultaneity, its confusion and its new confidence.” –Holger Hiller