s/d popol vuh

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albums, mainly, i am wondering about...

marcg (marcg), Tuesday, 18 March 2003 18:20 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Hmm? I'm Popol Vuhless

girl scout heroin (iamamonkey), Tuesday, 18 March 2003 18:22 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

I've got all their albums but I will hold off making any recommendations till other people make theirs then I will violently disagree with them (cackle)

Dadaismus, Tuesday, 18 March 2003 18:23 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

The soundtrack to Aquire the Wrath of God is pretty great...my favorite....I don't think you can violently disagree to it being MY favorite.

ddb, Tuesday, 18 March 2003 18:40 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Search = all, destroy = none. My favourites are "Tantric Songs" and "Das Hohelied Salomos", both of which take thee direct route to yr unconcious mind in my experience. The later albums aren't as good, anything featuring guido heironymous is generally less spritual than the earlier stuff, so I'd start w/the 2 mentioned above.

Pashmina (Pashmina), Tuesday, 18 March 2003 18:45 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

can i find the albums around pretty easily, or will this be an ebay focused endeavor?

thanks for all your help.

marcg (marcg), Tuesday, 18 March 2003 18:50 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

If U R in the UK, you need to get in touch with "Ultima Thule" record shop in Leicester. Otherwise, any major rekkid shop should be able to locate all of the re-issues, stick w/"Spalax" and "Celestial Harmonies" labels - I have had Italian Popol Vuh reissues badly dubbed from vinyl in the past.

Pashmina (Pashmina), Tuesday, 18 March 2003 18:53 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Guido Hieronymous is Florian Fricke's son I believe - I agree, he should have left his Dad to make the records in his own way instead of trying to tart them up and make them "Modern".

Dadaismus, Tuesday, 18 March 2003 19:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

I have Affenstunde and I really like it.

Amateurist (amateurist), Tuesday, 18 March 2003 19:01 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

haven't heard any of the 'real' popul vuh albums that i've disliked, "in dem garten pharao" always stuck with me.

your null fame (yournullfame), Tuesday, 18 March 2003 20:26 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

I don't think Guido Hieronymous is FF's son (see the following interview):


My favorites (of the ones I've heard so far) are Letzte Tage - Letzte Nachte and Einsjager und Siebenjager

Joe (Joe), Tuesday, 18 March 2003 20:53 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

ultima thule records:


Pashmina (Pashmina), Tuesday, 18 March 2003 20:55 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

awesome. i am in nyc and i just checked other music who seem to have a bunch of p.v.. i know where i am heading after work!

marcg (marcg), Tuesday, 18 March 2003 20:58 (fifteen years ago) Permalink


Popol Vuh (1972)
Quiche Maja (1973)
Stolen From Time (1975, credited to Popol Ace)


Anything by those German guys.

Geir Hongro (GeirHong), Tuesday, 18 March 2003 21:07 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Wha...? Surely they are amongst the more conventionally melodic of the Krautrock bands (assuming you didn't pick up Affenstunde or In Den Garten Pharoahs), nicht wahr?

Joe (Joe), Wednesday, 19 March 2003 02:47 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

there was a one sided bootleg live 7" that came out a few years ago that was jaw droppingly good. beyond that, search all - they're brilliant.

roger adultery (roger adultery), Wednesday, 19 March 2003 05:06 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

I have very mixed feelings. In theory they should be good
but they always just go on too long without enough dynamics.
_Aguirre_ is still great, eerie background music.

Squirrel_Police (Squirrel_Police), Wednesday, 19 March 2003 07:57 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

This guy Geir has GOT to be joking?!?

Dadaismus, Wednesday, 19 March 2003 18:22 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

This band is so great...

The debut 'Affenstunde' is the one predominantly electronic one. The second one, 'In Den Garten Pharoahs', keeps it going but side two is improvised solo organ. All the Hertzog soundtracks are keepers, 'Aguirre', 'Heart of Glass', 'Nosferatu' (the soundtracks are compilations from their studio records, but they're the ones I throw in the player more often)

Avoid 'City Raga', their techno remix experiment. Also I'd say stick to the seventies before venturing into the eighties.

jl, Wednesday, 19 March 2003 20:27 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

OK OK, I admit I HAVEN’T got all the Popol Vuh albums. I don’t have some of the later ones which are either unrecognisable as Popol Vuh or consist of polite re-recordings of earlier pieces (which strikes me as fairly pointless). The other one I don’t have is “Yoga” which is apparently played entirely by Indian musicians, a concept that seems a bit too George Harrison-like to me (tho I expect I’ll buy it one day). Here are my opinions on the albums I have, for extra geekiness I’ve given them marks out of 10. For what it’s worth, I particularly recommend: Einsjäger und Siebenjäger; Letzte Tage, letzte Nächte; Herz aus Glas; Bruder des Schattens, Söhne des Lichts; Der Nacht der Seele; Sei still wisse ICH BIN. I’ve split this overview into several parts as there are too many albums to digest in one sitting.


Affenstunde (1970)
I'll be honest with you, I'm not especially interested in Florian Fricke as an electronic musician. This album is one to admire rather than play too often. Allegedly one of the first "rock" albums to be made entirely (almost) with the Moog of Dr. Robert's invention. Admirably, Fricke’s approach to the Moog seems to be that (like Sun Ra) he doesn't bother trying to get a tune out of it but concentrates instead on producing weird noises. However (like Sun Ra again), you wonder whether this is deliberate or because he CAN'T get a tune out of the damn thing! All in all, this album is quite different from other German "electronic" albums of the period in that genuinely IS electronic (for the most part) and, unlike Tangerine Dream and the "Berlin School", it doesn't just sound like the weird bits on a Pink Floyd record stuck together. 6/10

In den Gärten des Pharaos (1971)
Better than "Affenstunde". The title track has more of Fricke's wayward Moog noodling (Moogling anyone?) but with more (ahem) musical elements added. Finishes with a long section played on a Fender Rhodes that is actually quite jazzy (in an ECM sorta way). The other track, "Vuh", is the first evidence to date of Popol Vuh as THE ultimate Goth band - a looooooooooong drone piece on a mighty swelling church organ overlaid with cacophonous percussion and mewling moogs. Good stuff! 7/10

Hosianna Mantra (1972)
Woah, talk about a volte face! The Moog is consigned to a (very roomy) closet, rarely to appear on a Vuh record again and in its place we have Piano, Cembalo, Oboe, Electric Guitar. Very classically influenced and entirely devotional, Fricke's wonderful piano playing is well to the fore, unfortunately so is Conny Veit's echoplexed "early 70's" guitar, which over-eggs the pudding in places. Djong Yun adds vocals so wispy they barely exist. Somewhat meandering but I dare anyone to take actual OFFENCE at so diaphonous a creation! 7/10

Seligpreisung (1973)
An odd album in the oeuvre. This is like a more muscular version of "Hosianna" with similar "songs" which are (with the exception of the instrumental, "Tanz der Chassidim") made up of successive themes rather than having any kind of verse-chorus-middle eight structure (in fact this album probably has more different tunes than the entirety of all the albums that follow it!). The presence of Amon Düül II's erstwhile drummer Daniel Fichelscher edges some of the songs towards prog rock or even (heaven forfend!) jazz rock. Fricke handles the vocals himself in an unlovely but sincere voice which adds to the album’s singularity. 7/10

Einsjäger und Siebenjäger (1974)
The album that cements the partnership between the two core musicians of Popol Vuh - Florian Fricke and Daniel Fichelscher. Fichelscher's pounding, cymbal-heavy drums are all over this album but who would have thought a humble drummer (sorry any drummers out there!) would turn out to be such an astonishing guitarist? His acoustic playing (on his own "Morgengrüss") is beautiful enough but with his electric playing Fricke found the perfect vehicle for his compositions. Fichelscher's playing is not unlike Conny Veit but he has a warmer tone, a stronger melodic imagination and he's more of a virtuoso (the last the least important of the three). The title track is an amazing 19½ minute magnum opus which could conceivably pass for prog rock were it not so heartfelt and unpretentious, Djong Yun shows up to coo sweet somethings every so often. 8/10

Dadaismus, Thursday, 20 March 2003 13:54 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

The Moog is consigned to a (very roomy) closet, rarely to appear on a Vuh record again

Klaus Schultze's "Big Moog" is in fact this instrument, or part of it is, I think parts of it were stolen back in thee 1980's. Fricke siad that he got this female voice sound that he liked out of it, but didn'e care for it otherwise. IIRC he avoided electronic instrumentation thereafter 'till he got a Synclavier for "Cobra Verde"

Danny Fichelscher is an astonishing guitarist, it's true. At times I think there has never been anyone better, actually. I am amazed that he isn't better known.

Pashmina (Pashmina), Thursday, 20 March 2003 14:02 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

dammit, einsjaeger und siebenjaeger is the one popul vuh album i don't have and can't find. and now i want to hear it.

your null fame (yournullfame), Thursday, 20 March 2003 20:13 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

waiting for dadaismus' part two with baited breath

I'd forgotten about 'Letzte Tage, letzte Nächte'

jl, Thursday, 20 March 2003 20:41 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Here 'tis...


Aguirre (1975)
The first of Fricke’s confusing soundtrack albums from the films of Werner Herzog. I say confusing because the albums often bear little resemblance to what you hear in the film. The opening scenes of the film feature the once-heard-never-forgotten “Lacrimae di Rei”, which utilises the “choir organ”, a mellotron-like instrument also used to good effect by Amon Düül II. The only the other music which actually appears in the film is a brief field-recording of pan pipes. "Morgengrüss II" and “Agnus Dei” are both re-workings of tracks on “Einsjäger und Siebenjäger” and “Aguirre II” consists of the first part of “Lacrimae di Rei” (or “Aguirre I”) and a lush guitar piece from Daniel Fichelscher. Which leaves “Vergegenwaertigung” (snappy title huh?), a proto-ambient moog piece consisting of sundry whooshes and rumbles which appears to date from the early 70s. 7/10

Das Hohelied Salomos (1975)
Having made the useful discovery that Fichelscher could play the guitar a bit, it sounds on this album as if Fricke got a bit carried away and allowed Fichelscher to solo over every nook and cranny on every track - if you are not a fan of guitar solos, this is not the album for you! For the first time, Fricke is cutting songs down to their essentials, instead of using successive themes here he concentrates on one repeated theme or one piano sequence and builds pieces this way. Here, he also begins re-visiting and re-configuring themes from other albums ("Hosianna Mantra" in particular). All in all, this is a very "rock" album. 6/10

Letzte Tage, letzte Nächte (1976)
Even rockier than "Salomos" and considerably heavier. Wall-to-wall Fichelscher on this album with heavy drums and waves of guitar - some people have called this the beginning of Vuh's "raga rock" period but it’s really more rock than raga. Renate Knaup jumps ship from the fast-sinking Amon Düül II and sings “Dort ist Der Weg” and the title track, which are surprisingly straight folk-rock songs which even have English lyrics! Happily, it must be admitted that it still doesn’t really sound like anyone else. The highlight is probably the instrumental, “Oh wie nah ist der Weg hinab” which is used to memorable effect in the opening sequences of Werner Herzog’s “Heart of Glass”. 8/10

Herz aus Glas (1977)
Throughout this period in Popol Vuh's evolution, Florian Fricke's piano playing recedes further and further into the mix until, with this album, it disappears altogether! Although he's credited as playing piano on this album, I cannot make out a single note of piano - and as the album is all-instrumental this effectively makes this a Daniel Fichelscher solo album. The compositions are still recognisably Fricke's though (one Fichelscher piece aside), the soloing guitars of the last few albums are placed further back WITHIN each track, which makes this album considerable less easy to date precisely. Also worth noting that hardly any of the music on this album actually appears in the Herzog film it’s nominally the soundtrack to – in fact, most of the music on the film is from “Letzte Tage, letzte Nächte”. 9/10

Nosferatu (1978)
Another muddled soundtrack album from Herzog’s slightly redundant version of the F.W. Murnau’s silent classic. Once again, not all that much which is on this album is actually in the film and much of the music is from previous albums. A case in the point is 12 minutes or so of creepy electronic music included here, which, unless my ears very much deceive me and I don’t think they do, is merely the moog parts from “In den Gärten Pharaos”. Mind you, at least that music actually IS in the film (where it works very effectively), a lot here isn’t. 6/10

Bruder des Schattens, Söhne des Lichts (1978)
Having taken the guitar-army raga rock approach as far as he could, Fricke moved back towards more placid waters on this album: longer and more hypnotic songs with largely acoustic instrumentation and a more overt "Eastern" influence. The title track is the best of Popol Vuh’s long tracks – moving through a Gregorian chant like opening; a classically influenced section with glacially beautiful woodwind before the main body of the piece: a long long, hypnotic folk-influenced mantra. All in all, absolutely stunning. “Höre, der du Wagst” and “Das Schloss des Irrtums” if anything are even more repetitive and trance-like – a bit too much for some tastes I would expect. The closing, “Die Umkehr”, is a slightly doomy and foreboding folk-rocker which lies somewhere between early Steeleye Span and Eastern European folk music. 9/10

Dadasimus, Friday, 21 March 2003 11:08 (fifteen years ago) Permalink


Der Nacht der Seele (1979)
Very similar in mood and sound to "Brüder" but with shorter, more concentrated tracks and more use of vocals. Some pieces, such as “Mit Händen, mit Füssen”, are as beautiful as anything in the Popol Vuh catalogue, others are more Gothic. Some quite odd percussion pieces too. Another good album and another short one too! 8/10

Sei still wisse ICH BIN (1981)
Probably the most idiosyncratic Popol Vuh album of them all and one of the best. Soundtrack to Fricke’s extremely odd “film” of the same name (sometimes also called “Sinai Desert”) The mantra-like chanting and extreme repetition that Fricke had been exploring in more and more detail finds its ultimate expression on this truly unique album. Using the choir of the Bavarian State Opera, Fricke builds dense and rather unsettling walls of vocals over thundering, thumping percussion and Fichelscher’s pleasingly primitive guitar or else strips the music right down to simple modal melodies. Pretty special. 9/10

Fitzcarraldo (1982)
Not an album I actually own, but given that all of the Popol Vuh music on it (there’s also some opera on here) is from previous albums, owning it would be somewhat redundant. One thing to note is that, once again, some of the music heard in the film isn’t on the soundtrack, specifically: a sequence which uses, “Singet, denn der Gesang vertreibt die Wölfe”, which is actually from “Herz aus Glas” (though not actually in the “Heart of Glass” film – told you it was confusing!)

Agape-Agape (1983)
OK, eclectic sort of album, which picks up on various threads from the previous four or five albums. Unfortunately, the re-recording of old pieces starts in earnest on this album and you wonder why they bothered following this course. The other problem I find with this album is simply that it isn’t as well produced as previous albums. But this has good things on it – the title track for instance while “Why Do I Still Sleep” is hypnotic to the max. Nice to see Conny Veit back after an absence of ten years! 7/10

Spirit of Peace (1985)
Just four tracks on this. The opening chant, “We Know About the Need” can be heard in a Werner Herzog documentary about Reinhold Messner. The title track is part two of a three part piano suite which is worth hearing in its entirety, if you can track it down – shows the hitherto unsuspected influence of Keith Jarrett IMO. “Song of Earth” is the old “Agnus Dei” tune (used previously in various PV albums) rearranged for choir and acoustic guitar – 8 whole minutes which is either extremely boring or extremely hypnotic or (more likely) somewhere between the two. The 17½ minute “Take the Tention High” (sic) seems to be striving for a similar feel to “Brüder des Schattens” but lacks dynamics and is simply TOO repetitive. 6/10

Cobra Verde (1987)
Extremely obscure but surprisingly good soundtrack (probably better than Herzog’s self-parodic film deserved) – the last good Popol Vuh album in fact. For the first time in fifteen years, Fricke makes extended use of electronics, namely the synclavier keyboard. This is used to create a series of ominous drone pieces and to provide a subtle orchestral-like backing to the utterly beautiful “Ha’mut, bis dass die Nacht mit Ruh’ und Stille kommt”. The title track is a reworking of “Mit Händen, mit Füssen” done in full Gregorian chant mode. Worth picking up if you can find it – though that is extremely unlikely! 7/10

For Me and You (1991)
This is the later Guido Hieronymous-guided Popol Vuh which means: some music which has nothing to do with Popol Vuh as we know and love them; some pointless re-workings of old material; some good stuff where Fricke and Fichelscher seem more involved. The stand out here is the four-part “Om Mani Padme Hum” which is built around Fricke’s piano and Renate Knaup’s voice, which can only be a good thing. Part 4 is especially exquisite. 5/10

City Raga (who cares?)
Played this once I think – didn’t hear enough of Popol Vuh on this to play it again. No rating therefore.

Dadaismus, Saturday, 22 March 2003 13:02 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Agape-Agape (1983)
But this has good things on it – the title track for instance

Definitely the title track is the standout on this one, for me--has a Native American feel. I am still trying to figure out if they are chanting the poem on the back of the CD, with the "gully gully ram sam" or whatever.

Joe (Joe), Saturday, 22 March 2003 14:43 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

I've got a huge tolerance for meandering moog in Fricke's hands, myself, but regardless this is the best album by album overview of this band I've read

jl, Sunday, 23 March 2003 00:23 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Yeah, thanks a lot Dadaismus. I've got the first five plus Sei still Wisse, but definitely intend to explore further.

BTW if anybody reading this owns Crispy Ambulance's Plateau Phase and the Nosferatu soundtrack, can you confirm that the CA track "Simon's Ghost" is a direct ripoff of the opening theme from Nosferatu? I don't have the soundtrack (and in fact don't know if this theme made it to the soundtrack as per Dadaismus' caveats) but saw the movie again recently, then shortly after that listened to the CA disc and noted the extreme similarity. on Plateau Phase the piece is credited to the group.

Mr. Diamond (diamond), Sunday, 23 March 2003 00:34 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

The theme from "Nosferatu" is called "Hoere der du wagst" and is on "Bruder des Schattens..."

I'm not finished yet!

Last part…

Gila – Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee (1973)
Gila was Conny Veit’s band before joining Popol Vuh, their first album (with a different line-up) is apparently quite psychedelic and spacey but this particular album is of special note because it’s basically Popol Vuh: but playing Conny Veit's songs as opposed to Florian Fricke's. Not surprisingly this sounds a bit like the Popol Vuh of this period (1973-75): melodic rock with folk and classical elements and with not enough progginess to render it unpalatable to the discerning listener - but not as GOOD as Popol Vuh of course! One of the problems is that it's some kind of concept album about the plight of the Native American - cue po-faced and awkward lyrics and vocals delivered with a Teutonic over-earnestness which spills over into (unintentional) comedy at times. Nice lush piano throughout from the late great Florian, Danny Fichelscher drums as athletically as ever, Conny plays nice guitar.

As you may have noticed Florian Fricke’s music is often used in the films of Werner Herzog and it’s hard to imagine one without the other (just how many faux-naif mystics are there in Bavaria exactly?) As I confessed at the beginning of this marathon, I don’t have all Popol Vuh’s albums and I certainly haven’t seen all of Werner Herzog’s films so there may be some films which use Popol Vuh’s music which I’m unaware of.

Lebenszeichen (Signs of Life) (director: Werner Herzog, 1968)
I confess I haven’t seen this, Werner Herzog’s first feature film. I do know however that Florian Fricke appears in it as “a pianist”, some years before Popol Vuh too!

Auch Zwerge haben klein angefangen (Even Dwarfs Started Small) (director: Werner Herzog, 1970)
Truly one of the strangest films you’ll ever see. This is supposed to have some Florian Fricke music on the soundtrack, but I must admit not to noticing it.

Die Grosse Ekstase die Bildschnitzers Steiner (The Great Ecstasy of the Woodcarver Steiner) (director: Werner Herzog, 1973)
This is a typically idiosyncratic Herzog documentary on the Swiss show jumper, Walter Steiner. Features some lovely Popol Vuh music, music which I’ve yet to hear on any album – damn it!

Jeder für sich und Gott gegen alle (The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser) (director: Werner Herzog, 1974)
Florian Fricke has a brief but striking role in this wonderful Herzog film. He plays a blind pianist called Florian (what else!), who is first seen playing (and singing – sort of!) a version of “Agnus Dei” (see numerous Popol Vuh albums) for the foundling Kaspar Hauser and his guardian (and looking very Beethoven-like in the process). He pops up again at the end of the film, in Kaspar’s deathbed scene, where he stares rather disconcertingly into space while humming “Agnus Dei”!

Sei still wisse ICH BIN (director: Florian Fricke, 1981)
Not really a film (though shot on film) and not really a video (though resembling one in form). This is the visual accompaniment to the album of the same name (and vice versa). Shot entirely in the Sinai Desert, this largely consists of Herzog-like poetic landscapes, sometimes empty and sometimes peopled by mysterious figures in white robes: walking, standing on mountainsides or in large circles. The figures are following “The Prophet”, a Jesus-like figure who, bizarrely, is played by a woman with a false beard (60’s fashion model, Veruschka)! (Actually, now I come to think of it, it would have been even more bizarre if it had been a woman with a REAL beard). If you think Herzog’s films are slow and uneventful wait till you see THIS!

Dadaismus, Monday, 24 March 2003 14:05 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Thanks for your kind comments regarding this silly venture - remember I did describe it as being "unreasonably subjective", which it is. I think everyone should make up their own minds on Popol Vuh but if you truly "get" them, they will probably become one of your favourite bands.

Thanks for the link to the Florian Fricke interview. I admit that Guido Hieronymous doesn’t appear to be Florian’s son – I’d always assumed that he’d allowed Mr. Hieronymous the latitude to ruin latter day Popol Vuh out of some kind of fatherly indulgence. Also fascinated to discover that Esther Ofarim was almost the vocalist on “Hosianna Mantra”, at about the same time that her husband was (mis)managing Can! It is stated that this is the first known interview in English with Florian Fricke – this isn’t true, I came across an interview with FF in a old copy of Sounds (UK music weekly – now defunct) which dated from 1978-79, the interview was with Sandy Robertson.

I would also recommend seeking out “Herzog on Herzog” (edited by Paul Cronin, published by Faber), a series of interviews with Werner Herzog which contains interesting info on Florian Fricke – including a practical joke played by him on the apparently notoriously gullible Herzog. Actually, I would recommend it in any case as an insight into Herzog who is a truly amazing man, even if he hasn’t made a decent feature film in years. Delighted to discover that Herzog, in the grand tradition of German intellectuals and film auteurs (see Fassbinder), was a more than useful footballer (that’s proper football not the musclebound rubbish which goes under that name in the USA).

Dadaismus, Monday, 24 March 2003 14:08 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Ha, but what about that bit at thee end ov "In a Sacred Manner" from "Bury My Heart @ Wounded Knee"? This great long acoustick guitar piece, which suddenly kicks int this awesome prog/krautrock, then it fades out! Gah!! The lyrics are rubbish, tho'.

A friend who I haven't seen in years had this brit electronic 'zine from the early eighties, which contained a FF interview. t was wierd, in that the interviewer had obtained FF's phone no. from somewhere, & called him up on spec. Fricke's response was, like, I don't do interviews, and where did you get my number from anyway!!?? But, seeing as I'm here, i'll answer a couple of questions. I can't remember much except for the bit about him selling the big Moog to Klaus S, and FF being slightly disparaging abt KS' musick "nice music for supermarkets" is how I remember he put it. Great stuff Dadaismus, anyway.

Pashmina (Pashmina), Monday, 24 March 2003 15:48 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

one year passes...
I picked up the new SPV reissues of Aguirre and Einsjager today (for a reasonable $10 each at Newbury Comics); so, looks like I can ditch my Spalax copies.

Don't hear much difference in sound if they were remastered (doubt it), but the packaging at least is way superior to Spalax (plus, it's nice to have Digipaks rather than standard jewel case).
Can't wait for them to do Letzte Tage - Letzte Naechte and the others...

Joe (Joe), Saturday, 19 June 2004 01:26 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Don't hear much difference in sound if they were remastered (doubt it)

Actually, listening to the title crack of Aguirre right now, and I can hear the vinyl clicks. Jees, and they licensed this from Fricke's family, too! Guess the original tapes are long gone...

Joe (Joe), Saturday, 19 June 2004 02:07 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

the bonus tracks on "einsjager" are pretty nice. personally, i hate digipaks but this was the one popul vuh release we didn't have.

el sabor de gene (yournullfame), Saturday, 19 June 2004 05:56 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Actually, listening to the title crack of Aguirre right now, and I can hear the vinyl clicks. Jees, and they licensed this from Fricke's family, too! Guess the original tapes are long gone...

I believe they are. Bounus tracks?!??!?

Dadaismus (Dada), Saturday, 19 June 2004 14:28 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I'll have to listen more carefully at the bonus stuff, but I thought on an incidental listen (I wasn't paying full attention) that "Wo Bist Du?" on Einsjager is the same as the opening part of the mammoth-length track on Aguirre.

Disappointing if that is true, especially since as it is their albums are already pretty notorious for shuffling around (or re-recording) the same music on different albums.

Joe (Joe), Saturday, 19 June 2004 21:59 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

cool thread. due to lack of money, i've only managed to get "in the gardens of pharao/aguirre" cd on celestial harmonies. it's sort of a compilation i suppose, but everything on it is good and it seems like a good place for beginners since it's cheap. songs on it are: aguirre, in the gardens of pharao, vuh, and spirit of peace pts.1,2 and 3.

i've seen just about all of herzog's films at least once. 'signs of life' is really pretty good. i had no idea that florian was in 'kaspar hauser', and that he's in some of my favorite scenes in that film. the guy who plays kaspar hauser, bruno s., is also in another of herzog's called 'stroszek' which is pretty good too.

urker, Saturday, 19 June 2004 22:45 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Stroszek is fantastic. All hail the dancing chicken!

In Kaspar, Fricke looks uncannily Beethoven-like, as if he had stepped right out of the Romantic era...

Joe (Joe), Saturday, 19 June 2004 23:01 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Even more confusingly "Wo bist du" is the title of a track on "Der Nacht der Seele". But still no sign of the music for "The Great Ecstasy of the Woodcarver Steiner"? It must exist somewhere surely?

Dadaismus (Dada), Tuesday, 22 June 2004 01:41 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

three weeks pass...
I got some of these--at "my" Newburys--and they were $12! ARG!

John 2, Saturday, 17 July 2004 18:41 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

five months pass...
I picked up 5 of the new reissues last week:

Einsjäger und Siebenjäger
Hosianna Mantra

They are very good, and I A/B-ed them with my Spalax issues, and the new ones sound a bit (though noticeably) better - more "open" sounding, perhaps. some of them are vinyl transfers by the sound of it. Pretty well done, though not as good as the transfer on High Tide's "Sea Shanties, for example. They all come in little gatefold cardboard sleeves w/a little booklet. It appears that there are only 2 booklets, going on the ones I have - one for the regular albums, one for the soundtracks. Some of the blurb in the booklets is OK, but it's a little unsatisfying in some way. There are some good pictures, including a few I hadn't seen before. the bonus tracks are generally good, though the one on "agiurre" sounds suspiciously like one of the regular album tracks with a sampled ethnicky percussion loop overlayed, which sucks. The extras on "Einsjaeger..." are the best, 2 little pieces in the Hoheleid Salomos/Letze Tage..." style, IE more of the same, but bore of this same = more of what I want. I am REALLY looking forward to picking up "Das Hoheleid Salomos", "Letzte Tage Letzte Nacht" and "Der Nacht der Seele", because they are my favourites. I'm also interested to hear what's on "Cobra Verde" because I remember there being tow different versions of this when it came out.

I found myself getting faintly annoyed at how little Danny Fischelsher got mentioned in the blurb. That seems unfair somehow.

It would be good if they also issued "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee"

Pashmina (Pashmina), Thursday, 6 January 2005 13:00 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Gawd, I wish I could type better.

Pashmina (Pashmina), Thursday, 6 January 2005 13:02 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I was wondering if the bonus tracks were any good or not. There's a whole album of Popol Vuh vocal music that was released privately in the mid-to-late 70s (can't remember the title) - where has that disappeared to I wonder? Plus there's film music that's never been released.

Dadaismus (Dada), Thursday, 6 January 2005 13:04 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Pick up the "Einsjaeger..." reissue if you see it and see what you think.

I should also point out that all the reissues I bought have the proper dynamics, IE they haven't been loudness-maximised. Honestly, I was so relieved about this that I had a lump in my throat! (true!)

A little while ago, I also picked up the reissue of "shepherd's Symphony" (or whatever it's called) from the same series. It's really bad.

Also Also Also!!! ! I tried to play my CD of "For You and Me" the other night, and it had self-destructed!! All the metal foil had come away from the plastic disc!

Pashmina (Pashmina), Thursday, 6 January 2005 13:12 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

"Agape-Agape" and "Spirit of Peace" both sound really crap, I hope they re-master those albums

Dadaismus (Dada), Thursday, 6 January 2005 13:15 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

The "Agape-Agape" reissue sounded pretty good to me, though I didn't have that one on Spalax anyway, just my old vinyl copy. My CD of "Letzte Tage..." sounds pretty horrible to me, great though I think the music is.

Pashmina (Pashmina), Thursday, 6 January 2005 13:18 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

The production on "Letzte Tage" is very odd, incredibly dense, I think that's deliberate, 10,000 guitars on every track

Dadaismus (Dada), Thursday, 6 January 2005 13:21 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

one month passes...
WTF was I thinking? I listened to "Agape Agape" on headphones last night, and it sounds like shit!! It sounds like they did a vinyl transfer, and there was a big knot of fluff on the needle! Man... I guess I must have listened to it quietly when I first got it. It's such a good album as well...

Pashmina (Pashmina), Monday, 7 February 2005 13:00 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

the original spalax CD sounds like that too... hope it's not on the master, though it probably is, "Why Do I Still Sleep" sounds like a very personal recording of a solo that just had the mood, so got included...

been listening to Nosferatu a lot recently. I would rate that one much higher than dadaismus does, but I rate the spare minimal electronics much higher, and think they balance out the other lovely band parts... actually I'd even say it's a good place to start for the atmospheric side of the band. With Letzte Tage, letzte Nächte being a good place to start for the transcendental heavy rock side.

(Jon L), Monday, 7 February 2005 20:54 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

one month passes...
Listening to Hosianna Mantra now, want to check out Letzte Tage.

Dominique (dleone), Friday, 25 March 2005 21:55 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

You'd think I'd spell the band name right by now... Popol Vuh that is.

erry red flag (f. hazel), Monday, 26 June 2017 21:40 (eleven months ago) Permalink

how to live!!

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Monday, 26 June 2017 21:50 (eleven months ago) Permalink

that sounds amazing

sleeve, Tuesday, 27 June 2017 02:05 (eleven months ago) Permalink

well done

licorice oratorio (baaderonixx), Monday, 3 July 2017 12:27 (eleven months ago) Permalink

I'm glad it's of interest! I'd offer more cool pictures of my Popol Vuh tourism, but a day or so after I took this picture I accidentally dropped my phone in the sea, so this Instagram pic is all that remains.

erry red flag (f. hazel), Monday, 3 July 2017 18:07 (eleven months ago) Permalink

Poetic! Much as fricke threw his moog into the ocean after the 2nd album

You must now take all your photos acoustically

or at night (Jon not Jon), Monday, 3 July 2017 18:19 (eleven months ago) Permalink

I thought he sold it to Klaus Schulze? Not very poetic, I know.

weird echo of the falsies (Tom D.), Monday, 3 July 2017 20:37 (eleven months ago) Permalink

Let history record that when I dived into the Caribbean to retrieve my phone, my hands searched the ocean floor in the midnight waters for an hour and twenty minutes, the phone sparking and popping while it played Schulze's "Moondawn" in its entirety, heard properly for the first time, although that is not what happened.

erry red flag (f. hazel), Monday, 3 July 2017 23:29 (eleven months ago) Permalink

two months pass...

What exactly is this thing? Looks like a greatest hits, but seems to be a unique recording. (Related also to this compilation, both titled in such a way as to be most impossible to find.) Seems to have been done (if Discogs can be believed) just before Guido Hieronymous came on board? How much other stuff is out there?

with hidden noise, Monday, 2 October 2017 12:30 (eight months ago) Permalink

I always assumed it was a best of compiled by his son. If it’s NOT just a best of I’d like to know about it

harbinger of failure (Jon not Jon), Monday, 2 October 2017 12:44 (eight months ago) Permalink

The first one looks like a straight compilation, judging by track timings, though I suppose they could be remixes. The second, may be retitled tracks, remixes, don't know tbh.

The Doug Walters of Crime (Tom D.), Monday, 2 October 2017 12:51 (eight months ago) Permalink

This is one of those bands, like Tangerine Dream, whose soundtracks are essential, and yet whose official soundtrack releases are inconsistent and/or incomplete. Right?

Josh in Chicago, Monday, 2 October 2017 12:58 (eight months ago) Permalink

Kind of. Heart of Glass + Nosferatu would be hard to improve on as albums but they are far from being straightforward score releases. Aguirre is kind of just an album that happens to be named Aguirre with a couple things from the film and mostly other stuff. Fitzcarraldo is like a traditional late 70s early 80s ost pretty much. Some vuh from the movie and some diegetic music heard in the movie. I still don’t have cobra verde!

harbinger of failure (Jon not Jon), Monday, 2 October 2017 13:25 (eight months ago) Permalink

Heart of Glass is my favorite as an album

harbinger of failure (Jon not Jon), Monday, 2 October 2017 13:25 (eight months ago) Permalink

There's actually more music from Letzte Tage in the film than from the 'soundtrack album'.

The Doug Walters of Crime (Tom D.), Monday, 2 October 2017 13:40 (eight months ago) Permalink

Liner notes for 70s Progressives can be read here (the reliable populvuh.nl), which claim it was recorded in 1979. My confusion comes from the writeup at Discogs:

This CD comprises alternate recordings of Popol Vuh 1970s works. Although not exactly stated on the release, this material was recorded at Bavaria Studio, Munich, 1990 reuniting many old Popol Vuh members (but in a line-up that never actually existed before). Tracks 1, 3, 4 & 10 previously appeared on the Popol Vuh - Florian Fricke compilation. All the other tracks are previously unreleased.

If you look at the history (might need to be logged into Discogs to see that?), there's some back and forth about what this is. Maybe that's just Discogs people making things up? Not seeing an actual source for the idea that it was re-recorded.

with hidden noise, Monday, 2 October 2017 13:41 (eight months ago) Permalink

Weird. Are those the sessions at which some of
The alt versions on Sing For Song Drives Away the Wolves were done?

harbinger of failure (Jon not Jon), Monday, 2 October 2017 13:43 (eight months ago) Permalink

three weeks pass...

Just wanted to let y'all know that Die Erde und Ich Sind Eins, which was teased an eternity ago, was finally reissued on Wah Wah. I never saw an official announcement and it doesn't seem to me like Wah Wah has an official online presence, anymore, so I have no idea when it actually dropped. But it's available both online and in stores. Or at Reckless in Chicago, anyway.

winnebago taco, Saturday, 28 October 2017 01:27 (seven months ago) Permalink

you don't say! which reckless location?

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Saturday, 28 October 2017 03:57 (seven months ago) Permalink

I saw one at the Milwaukee shop, but the webstore tells me that Broadway is also carrying. Was $35, so it might be cheaper to purchase online. Further digging suggests that Light in the Attic had copies in May, but that they're all long-gone. Ever since Kailash, they seem to have at least some hand in (or on, as it were) Vuh-related reissues.

winnebago taco, Saturday, 28 October 2017 16:24 (seven months ago) Permalink

Comes with a 50-page Fricke manifesto of some kind! 500 copies pressed.

winnebago taco, Saturday, 28 October 2017 16:25 (seven months ago) Permalink

I think LITA are just US distributors for Wah Wah? not totally sure

sleeve, Saturday, 28 October 2017 16:45 (seven months ago) Permalink

Comes with a 50-page Fricke manifesto of some kind! 500 copies pressed.
whoa this is sort of worth the price! the other wah wah PV reissues all came with the same essays and poster, which was kind of disappointing. i have read those essays and seen those photos plenty of times now.

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Saturday, 28 October 2017 18:06 (seven months ago) Permalink

I didn't know that, actually. I already had all of the SPV CDs and was pretty short on bread, at the time, so I only picked up a few of those. I assumed that each subsequent batch had a different set of liners or something.

winnebago taco, Saturday, 28 October 2017 18:13 (seven months ago) Permalink

FYI it's in German:

Also includes the 50 page booklet 'Das Alphabet des Körpers' (in German) that Fricke wrote and relates closely to the release. It was not included in the original release and only received a very limited publication later by Florian Fricke's widow Bettina. This release also includes two inserts: firstly, a 12" x 12" sheet with liner notes by Dolf Mulder (in English) and three black & white photos; and secondly, a 12" x 24" one sided, high quality stiff paper insert with drawings & notes by Fricke relating to the album.

sleeve, Saturday, 28 October 2017 18:14 (seven months ago) Permalink

some pissed off Discogs reviews referencing that booklet, also covers w/o glue

sleeve, Saturday, 28 October 2017 18:17 (seven months ago) Permalink

At any rate, I just grabbed a copy off of Discogs for $25. Looking forward to reading as much as listening; should be a good chance to brush up on my shitty German skills. But I've been looking for a copy of this record for like twelve years (even the CD, which NEVER shows up, would've done), so I'm definitely looking forward to listening. My tiny-sounding mp3s are pretty well-worn, by now.

winnebago taco, Saturday, 28 October 2017 18:17 (seven months ago) Permalink

At least I can work on translating the German. I'll never forget buying Ya Ho Wha 13's massive God and Hair box and not having any way to tackle the extensive and entirely Japanese liners. I survived, but it was kinda depressing.

winnebago taco, Saturday, 28 October 2017 18:23 (seven months ago) Permalink

But I was fine with the (terrible) German verse which Roedelius's wife read during a performance, a few weeks ago. So at least I've got a chance!

winnebago taco, Saturday, 28 October 2017 18:26 (seven months ago) Permalink

damn I never knew that about the Ya Ho Wha box, that is disappointing

there's a great Vinyl On Demand box set (German Punk And Wave) with all-German liners, but the label at least put out a pdf translation

sleeve, Saturday, 28 October 2017 18:35 (seven months ago) Permalink

Well, this has probably got something to do with it. Some musical/singing/breathing therapy stuff.


winnebago taco, Saturday, 28 October 2017 21:13 (seven months ago) Permalink

taco i was at that roedelius show too! i wonder if i already know you?!?
i loled when he rhymed "nature" with "creature"

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Saturday, 28 October 2017 21:58 (seven months ago) Permalink

The German-language verse was just as silly. It was the equivalent of "I saw you on the train/And our eyes, they met/You've since been on my brain/Do you have a pet?" But I doubt we know one another. I think I know like three people irl who know who Roedelius is, and none of them were in attendance.

winnebago taco, Sunday, 29 October 2017 01:39 (seven months ago) Permalink

But if you ever see some dude who looks like he's just dying to talk about the Vuh, by all means give him/me a shout!

winnebago taco, Sunday, 29 October 2017 01:41 (seven months ago) Permalink

three weeks pass...

I was at Lands End National Park in San Francisco last weekend, where it was a beautiful sunny day and I listened to Einsjäger & Siebenjäger on my headphones amongst the cypress trees.

I guess it's not really from that album originally, but Wo Bist Du? is an all-time great rambling tune, it makes any straight path into a labyrinth that pleases and soothes a troubled mind:


erry red flag (f. hazel), Wednesday, 22 November 2017 03:52 (seven months ago) Permalink

you are a person who knows how to live, f hazel!

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Wednesday, 22 November 2017 13:31 (seven months ago) Permalink

Wow, that is a great track. And it's not on my earlier CD issue of E&S (damn!) so I'll need to find a copy of the expanded remaster.

doug watson, Wednesday, 22 November 2017 13:58 (seven months ago) Permalink

Wah Wah for the win there, nice of them to add those two tracks to the vinyl reissue

sleeve, Wednesday, 22 November 2017 16:54 (seven months ago) Permalink

xp that track was originally released on their "Die Nacht Der Seele" album.

is the version that was added to E&S a different recording?

new noise, Wednesday, 22 November 2017 17:35 (seven months ago) Permalink

haha, I was thinking "LL would approve of this choice" when I decided what to listen to! Last night I was lying on picnic bench in a state park in Arkansas looking up at the stars through towering pines and shivering, but I was listening to Music for the Age of Miracles by the Clientele. It wasn't a Popol Vuh moment.

As for Wo Bist Du? the bonus track on the E&S SPV CD (the one I have) is identical to the one on Die Nacht Der Seele, as far as I can tell. Why it ended up as a bonus track on E&S I cannot fathom.

erry red flag (f. hazel), Monday, 27 November 2017 01:04 (six months ago) Permalink

two months pass...

i was having religious / sacred kinds of feelings listening to hosianna mantra while driving through the mojave over the weekend. i think it just repeated 4-5 times because i couldn't think of anything else i wanted to listen to.

The times they are a changing, perhaps (map), Thursday, 1 February 2018 01:31 (four months ago) Permalink

that sounds dreamy

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Thursday, 1 February 2018 13:37 (four months ago) Permalink

See America by Popol Vuh!

erry red flag (f. hazel), Thursday, 1 February 2018 14:33 (four months ago) Permalink

three months pass...

The music wasn't very loud, the worst noise pollution came from the back of the hall where they were selling cans of beer - lots of popping, clanking and fizzing. Problem solved by moving nearer the front!

― Matt #2, Thursday, 13 May 2010 15:52 (eight years ago)


I went to this. Probably a very crappy idea to begin with but the 'bar' was just one of the cuntiest things possible in the circumstances. In the same (reverberant) room as we were supposed be quietly listening to this music (In Den Gärten Pharaos) the guy was literally tossing bottles into a bin of other bottles.

Absolute Unit Delta Plus (Noel Emits), Thursday, 31 May 2018 21:12 (three weeks ago) Permalink

ha i was just reading this thread earlier today, been listening to a bunch of the 70s albums this week

marcos, Thursday, 31 May 2018 21:16 (three weeks ago) Permalink

good move

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Thursday, 31 May 2018 21:57 (three weeks ago) Permalink

has this been posted before? new to me: https://sanjindumisic.com/florian-fricke-1981-interview-by-sandy-robertson/

tylerw, Friday, 1 June 2018 21:37 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Great interview!

I love his explanation of the band's name:

"It describes the music," says Florian. "The good soul of the good person, the feeling. Like now people call themselves the B52s and you know what the music will be like".

Presumably he was thinking about Cold War bombers rather than beehive wigs

Brad C., Saturday, 2 June 2018 00:21 (two weeks ago) Permalink


my secret travelogue for popol vuh fans part 4: listening to Im Garten des Ruhe, a bonus track from Die Nacht der Seele, on the 148th-floor outside observation deck of the Burj Khalifa. we stayed late until everyone else left and lay along the glass looking at the city fade into unlit desert

com rad erry red flag (f. hazel), Saturday, 9 June 2018 21:50 (one week ago) Permalink

best travelogue, never stop!

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Sunday, 10 June 2018 05:44 (one week ago) Permalink

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