Harald Sack Ziegler ‘Sack Heil’


01 W.S.f.O. 4 (0:43)
02 Neonlicht (2:16)
03 Ufftata (0:59)
04 Schokolade (1:34)
05 Plastikblume (1:31)
06 Frauensache (1:24)
07 Sie Riecht So Gut (2:17)
08 Langeweile (0:24)
09 Im Park (1:14)
10 Spielzeugriesenwalzer (1:14)
11 Ich Weiss Warum (3:55)
12 Zopf (0:38)
13 Ich Geh’ Kaputt (2:09)
14 Telefonbuch (0:38)
15 Ein Schluck (0:26)
16 Entenquak (0:42)
17 Quintettfetzen (2:03)
18 W.S.f.O. 5 (0:33)
19 Flat Frog (1:41)
20 Umtata I (1:31)
21 Im Büro (0:58)
22 Gross Genug (1:46)
23 Schneewalzer (0:10)
24 Another Queen (1:33)
25 Taschentuchwalzer (1:00)
26 12 Mandolinen (0:44)
27 Panzer War Dabei (1:46)
28 12 Violinen (1:24)
29 Kellerassel (1:34)
30 W.S.f.O. 1 Home Organ Version (1:19)
31 Der Dudelsackkönig Beisst Ins Gras (2:03)

Total time 41:30
LP released on Home Produkt, Belgium, 1990

This Harald ‘Sack’ Ziegler LP on Belgium’s Home Produkt is a collection of  early tracks from the 1980s. The fact that this was to be Home Produkt’s swan song is probably a coincidence, and anyway the LP is a nice addition to a bunch of highly idiosyncratic releases by Patrick Stas – see previous post ‘An Der Schönen Blauen Donau’ for instance. Apparently Stas created the tracklist for the album from the young Köln artist’s archive recordings ca 1990, and remixed the tracks in a professional studio, especially adding bass and presence notoriously lacking from previous Ziegler cassettes. Ziegler’s music is a unique mixture of German brass music (Blaseninstrumente), pop songs, reggae, Paul Hindemith’s organ music, synth/drum machine and home-taping esthetic. Ziegler plays French horn on many tracks, a highly unusual instrument in the rock format, though many things are unusual in Ziegler’s music when you come to think of it: erratic track editing, unusual mixing technique, strange instrument combinations, weird vocals and found sounds. Additionally, all the music here is suffused with Ziegler’s humour – the classic ‘Panzer War Dabei’, for instance, sounds like The Good Soldier Švejk set to music. Some tracks could be considered embarrassing for another musician, but not for Harald Ziegler, equipped like he is with the bravado of the shy ones. A title like ‘Plastikblume’ (plastic flowers) illustrates the yearning for leftovers, overlooked things no one would consider making a song about. On the other hand, the 3 tracks titled ‘W. S. f. O.’ (for Winzige Stücke Für Orgel or Tiny Pieces For Organ) pays homage to Hindemith’s organ music and through him to Bach’s church music. These short pieces for church organ were later compiled in an LP.


13 Responses to “Harald Sack Ziegler ‘Sack Heil’”

  1. 1 Lucky February 23, 2009 at 2:36 pm

    Listening to this right now, I’m very moved by it – it’s very straight in the face, which I love. And the variety of the cuts is amazing – from baroque organ to Blasmusik, Der-Plan-like electro-dada-pop, etc.

    The German book “Testcard” #2 describes this as Die Tödliche Doris for people without much education, Pierre Henry for Cheesy-Pop-Song-Fans, or Vader Abraham (a German poof who sang with the Smurfs) for people with education…

    It’s great to learn something about my own culture (German) – I always have that old Residents phrase in the back of my mind – “Ignorance of your own culture is not considered cool.”


  2. 2 continuo February 23, 2009 at 5:14 pm

    Thought provoking comment, Lucky, as usual. Glad you could re-acquaint yourself with your “heimat” via an english-written french blog. More H.S.Z. to come, and indubitably more german weird shit in the future. Could you send the references for the book “Testcard #2” if it’s still available? I’m interested.

  3. 3 Lucky February 23, 2009 at 6:16 pm

    Reference for Testcard #2:
    ISBN 3-931555-01-1

    I’m not totally sure if it’s still in print, but here you seem to be able to order it for €14,32…

    All testcard-books are in German, and #2 titled “Inland” is about German music, sort of.

    Chapters are f.e. Krautrock; Jazz in the GDR; label portraits like Selektion, Bad Alchemy, Ladomat, A-Musik; band portraits like Oval, Kelly Family (sic!); punk; men’s rock & nazism; etc. etc.

    I enjoy parts of it, others are whacko bull-Spex-shit.

    P.S.: you’re poss. the 1st to call me “thought provoking” – which I take as an compliment, of course — but I’m still surprised…

  4. 4 continuo February 23, 2009 at 8:13 pm

    Not all commentators write about emotions and culture, if any. That’s what I call thought provoking. Thanks for the reference. I’ll try to order it if I can make sense of the order form.

  5. 5 Lucky February 23, 2009 at 8:25 pm

    if music-blogging wouldn’t be so male-dominated, conversations about emotions and culture would probably occur more often, i guess.

    one last idea about “culture” here – i’m not sure how well known it is, how most germans feel about their own music culture – i don’t want to generalise here, and maybe i’m speaking more about myself than about the average german, but there are many who struggle with the german music history, their own music culture. part of that problem could be that there weren’t much discussions about what happened culturally in germany during the nazis and hitler – very late, in the riotious time of the 68’s there were questions, but mostly accusations, and still today many german musicians just turn away from german music culture and use ‘globalised’ easy material – pop music, hip hop, jazz, latin, world music, avantgarde… the residents sentence above really is sticking deep in my head – especially as a german.

    okay, enough of a lecture today :)

  6. 6 Lucky February 24, 2009 at 1:55 am

    Merci a beaucoup for the link to the Tonal Bride blog – what a treasure this is!

  7. 7 continuo February 24, 2009 at 8:33 am

    This one is impressive as well:

  8. 8 vespucci February 24, 2009 at 4:33 pm

    Actually the “young Köln artist” is now in his late mid-fourties, so to say. Being active more than 20 years now, he’s definitely one of the most peculiar artists in Germany, hard to define, and – a very nice guy. He lately got connected to the notorious Jaruzelski project which these days also often features Cristoph Clöser from Bohren & Der Club of Gore.

    His latest release is another album by Sack & Blumm:

  9. 9 Lucky February 24, 2009 at 7:47 pm

    @continuo: stumbled over this merzbow-blog before. this is impressive, even more if one is a merzbow-fan (which i am not).

    @vespucci: listened to sack & blumm from cjw, can’t remember if it made any impression… possibly not, otherwise i would’ve kept it (or stored it in the back of my mind, like hamster theatre, which i really liked).

    listened to this now for the 2nd time, and i think it’s a fountain for pleasure for a long time, so many varied things in there…

  10. 10 rippost February 25, 2009 at 4:43 am

    Thanks Continuo. I love H. Sack.

    -Kelly (P Somniferum)

  11. 11 continuo February 25, 2009 at 8:48 am

    Hi, Somniferum.

  12. 12 Manos VarthalitiS April 18, 2010 at 10:18 pm

    To me SACH HEIL is the most important in an amazing discography! I´ll have to purchase another copy of this gem as the old one is quite worn after long years of listenig pleasures!

  13. 13 continuo April 18, 2010 at 10:27 pm

    Let’s hope additional copies of Sack Heil can still be found today. Good luck!

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