Hoger Hiller was born there in Hamburg in the late 1950s. In the mid-70s he befriended an old lady who'd been a pupil of gebrauchsmusik composer Paul Hindemith. She taught him concept improvisation.
In 1980 he co-founded one of the interesting band Palais Schaumburg which sounds a bit like "A Certain Ratio", and has great lyrics.
Then, his first personal releases with the famous Ata Tak label (Pyrolator, Die tödliche Doris, Der Plan...) were significative as a new impressive form of techno pop. A short but amazing discography with 7 LPs and a few EPs, including the famous "oben im eck".
Holger Hiller lived in Tokyo for a while in the mid-80s, marrying Izumi "Mimi" Kobayashi who composed the theme song to the manga "Urusei Yatsura" and later worked with Mathilde Santing. Hiller and Kobayashi had a son, Kentaro, and Hiller's most charming album is his 1995 horspiel "Little Present", a record of a trip to Tokyo to see his son which combines ambient sounds -- train stations, TV commercials, his son playing -- with compositions built out of samples from Hiller's DAT recorder.
a few links:
- an interview (in german langage) around the album "Ein Bündel Fäulnis in der Grube" on www.thing.de
- 10 little facts about Holger Hiller by the Scottish songwriter and blogger Momus.
- One of my favorite song "You" to listen to here.
& the complete John Peel's session
broadcasted on BBC Radio 1 the 25th March 1987.