Holger Hiller and Thomas Fehlmann rode on the tip of the surfboard hanging ten on the crest of the Neu Deutsche Welle (New German Wave) movement that arose in the early 1980’s. The two were founding members of the legendary NDW band Palais Schaumburg who made distinctly vibrant post punk that continues to electrify eardrums decades later. In 1981 the two musicians looked back from their perspective at the bleeding edge of innovation and referenced an earlier influential figure of German music, Paul Hindemith. In 1930 the composer had written a sound play for school orchestras called “Wir Bauen Eine Stadt” (We build a Town) in which the children steered society and the adults took backseat. Well, in 1981, it was Hiller and Fehlmann who were building the new city of sound so they recorded their own, true to score rendition of Hindemith’s piece, swapping out the orchestra for synthesizers and drum machines. The resulting music has an innocent simplicity wrapped infuturistic sensibility. The album was released originally on cassette by the awesome Ata Tak label and now has thankfully been revived for all to enjoy in vinyl and digital form by Felix Kubin’s incredible Gagarin Records. You can find more info and buy the album here.
“Mit dem Autobus”
Hiller and Fehlmann took it steps further and built their own NEW town with Palais Schaumburg. You can hear them in action in this video from 1981. Be patient because the good stuff starts 21 seconds in.