s/d popol vuh

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albums, mainly, i am wondering about...

marcg (marcg), Tuesday, 18 March 2003 18:20 (nineteen years ago) link

Hmm? I'm Popol Vuhless

girl scout heroin (iamamonkey), Tuesday, 18 March 2003 18:22 (nineteen years ago) link

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 (nineteen years ago) link

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 (nineteen years ago) link

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 (nineteen years ago) link

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 (nineteen years ago) link

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 (nineteen years ago) link

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 (nineteen years ago) link

I have Affenstunde and I really like it.

Amateurist (amateurist), Tuesday, 18 March 2003 19:01 (nineteen years ago) link

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 (nineteen years ago) link

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 (nineteen years ago) link

ultima thule records:


Pashmina (Pashmina), Tuesday, 18 March 2003 20:55 (nineteen years ago) link

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 (nineteen years ago) link


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 (nineteen years ago) link

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 (nineteen years ago) link

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 (nineteen years ago) link

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 (nineteen years ago) link

This guy Geir has GOT to be joking?!?

Dadaismus, Wednesday, 19 March 2003 18:22 (nineteen years ago) link

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 (nineteen years ago) link

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 (nineteen years ago) link

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 (nineteen years ago) link

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 (nineteen years ago) link

waiting for dadaismus' part two with baited breath

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

jl, Thursday, 20 March 2003 20:41 (nineteen years ago) link

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 (nineteen years ago) link


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 (nineteen years ago) link

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 (nineteen years ago) link

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 (nineteen years ago) link

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 (nineteen years ago) link

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 (nineteen years ago) link

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 (nineteen years ago) link

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 (nineteen years ago) link

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 (eighteen years ago) link

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 (eighteen years ago) link

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 (eighteen years ago) link

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 (eighteen years ago) link

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 (eighteen years ago) link

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 (eighteen years ago) link

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 (eighteen years ago) link

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 (eighteen years ago) link

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

John 2, Saturday, 17 July 2004 18:41 (seventeen years ago) link

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 (seventeen years ago) link

Gawd, I wish I could type better.

Pashmina (Pashmina), Thursday, 6 January 2005 13:02 (seventeen years ago) link

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 (seventeen years ago) link

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 (seventeen years ago) link

"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 (seventeen years ago) link

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 (seventeen years ago) link

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 (seventeen years ago) link

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 (seventeen years ago) link

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 (seventeen years ago) link

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

Dominique (dleone), Friday, 25 March 2005 21:55 (seventeen years ago) link

That’s right indeed

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Wednesday, 25 March 2020 19:50 (two years ago) link

If a photo could sing it would sing PV

thehobbitsthehobbitsthehobbitsthehobbitstoisengardtoisengard (Matt #2), Wednesday, 25 March 2020 19:51 (two years ago) link

I think "Wo bist Du, der Du überwunden hast?" from Die Nacht der Seele is the best hiking jam of all time

avellano medio inglés (f. hazel), Wednesday, 25 March 2020 19:59 (two years ago) link

to think I lived most of my life not knowing that until that day in Land's End

avellano medio inglés (f. hazel), Wednesday, 25 March 2020 19:59 (two years ago) link

five months pass...


am0n, Monday, 14 September 2020 20:57 (one year ago) link

I heard ONE NOTE and said
NO! out loud in a room w my dog 😢

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Monday, 14 September 2020 21:44 (one year ago) link

Noooooo not a car commercial!

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Monday, 14 September 2020 21:45 (one year ago) link

aahahaha fuck

Give me a Chad Smith-type feel (map), Monday, 14 September 2020 21:46 (one year ago) link

i always knew this would happen

tylerw, Monday, 14 September 2020 21:53 (one year ago) link

lol I thought it was gonna be Letzte Tage – Letzte Nächte, so I'm very slightly relieved to have been wrong about that

J. Sam, Monday, 14 September 2020 22:12 (one year ago) link

I hope Fichelscher has been properly compensated

J. Sam, Monday, 14 September 2020 22:13 (one year ago) link

It's Engel der Gegenwart from the Herz aus Glas soundtrack... I wonder if all the actors in the Chevy commercial were hypnotized locals

avellano medio inglés (f. hazel), Monday, 14 September 2020 22:36 (one year ago) link

Lol hope so

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Monday, 14 September 2020 22:38 (one year ago) link

wow. about a decade ago i briefly did music searches for an ad agency and every single time would include a popol vuh track but never got a bite.

stirmonster, Monday, 14 September 2020 23:43 (one year ago) link

Man that’s (tied for) my favorite pv jam, too
Does that make me basic

and i can almost smell your PG Tips (Jon not Jon), Tuesday, 15 September 2020 00:28 (one year ago) link

The use of the song in Herz aus Glas (starts at 32:47) shows that Herzog also knows that Popol Vuh make the best hiking soundtrack:


avellano medio inglés (f. hazel), Tuesday, 15 September 2020 16:11 (one year ago) link

I know this might come across as a big ask, but someone might really enjoy it?

(Like, I made a similar request a few years ago for Tangerine Dream, and Elvis Telecom both graciously and enjoyably for both of us, went to town on it!)

Popol Vuh has a huge catalogue of which I'm familiar with only a tiny portion - I could dig through this thread for suggestions of places to dig further, but it is like 800 posts long.

Does any kind krautlover fancy making a Spotify playlist of about, 10-12 songs pointing where to dig further?

Greta Grebo (Branwell with an N), Wednesday, 16 September 2020 08:08 (one year ago) link

I'm not a Popol completist, but here's a Vuh playlist I've put together over the last year or so (19 tracks): https://open.spotify.com/playlist/7lsjsa1cubAUFZFT8ekEst?si=p9iMcFsSQN6MhywBBoz3Vw

Vanishing Point (Chinaski), Wednesday, 16 September 2020 21:05 (one year ago) link

A little bit country, a little bit rock n' roll.


Kieron Arse! (Noel Emits), Thursday, 17 September 2020 07:19 (one year ago) link

Ah, excellent! Thank you so much, Chinaski - that's a perfect mix of songs I am familiar with and new (to me) stuff to explore :D

Greta Grebo (Branwell with an N), Thursday, 17 September 2020 07:47 (one year ago) link

The three "UNREASONABLY SUBJECTIVE GUIDE TO POPOL VUH" posts at the top of the thread are a helpful guide to their albums.

Kim Kimberly, Thursday, 17 September 2020 14:19 (one year ago) link

There was a compilation a few years back with 1 cd of original popol vuh stuff and another done by electronica artists


koogs, Thursday, 17 September 2020 22:36 (one year ago) link

(few years = 9 years)

koogs, Thursday, 17 September 2020 22:37 (one year ago) link

Dang that was 9 years ago?? Time flies.
I listened to Agape Agape today and it really hit the spot.

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Thursday, 17 September 2020 23:07 (one year ago) link

my last vuh listen was cobra verde

and i can almost smell your PG Tips (Jon not Jon), Friday, 18 September 2020 00:05 (one year ago) link

(Like, I made a similar request a few years ago for Tangerine Dream, and Elvis Telecom both graciously and enjoyably for both of us, went to town on it!)

oh shit, do you still have a link to this?

vision joanna newsom (Stevie D(eux)), Friday, 18 September 2020 02:28 (one year ago) link

Sorry, Stevie - it was IIRC pre-Spotify era, and he actually uploaded a bunch of MP3s to his server for me to check out - an activity which has since become quite frowned upon to do openly.

Grebo Jones (Branwell with an N), Friday, 18 September 2020 07:16 (one year ago) link

Also, I had pretty bad insomnia last night, and I forgot that I was skimming ILX while half asleep.

But in the early hours of this morning,I *DREAMED* that I had and was listening to this amazing compilation which had one disc of original Popop Vuh tracks, and one disc of electronic artists covering said tracks, and I was delighted to see that The Shamen were one of those acts!

This morning, reading this thread, I am delighted to see that Koogs posted exactly such a thing (which must have worked its way into my dreamstate) :D - and yet gutted that my current Special Interest of Crushing are not on it. :(

Grebo Jones (Branwell with an N), Friday, 18 September 2020 07:21 (one year ago) link

Btw Spotify also includes a couple of albums by the Norwegian Popol Vuh/Popol Ace on the same page, in case you’re wondering why Florian Fricke would be writing songs called “Sucklin’ Pig” and “Leavin’ Chicago.”

JoeStork, Friday, 18 September 2020 07:38 (one year ago) link

Bran, no worries, I’ll check w Elvis and see if he still has a list somewhere

I am delighted that most if not all Popol Vuh albums are available on US Spotify, which they were most certainly NOT a few years ago. I saved all of the VERY SUBJECTIVE album recommendations and have gotten through “Einsjäger” and “Brüder des Schattens” so far, both excellent

This is one of those bands that I really love and I’ve listened to most of their albums at least once, but not focused on enough to actually familiarize myself with anything, tho hopefully for not much longer.

vision joanna newsom (Stevie D(eux)), Friday, 18 September 2020 11:46 (one year ago) link

Bruder is tied for my favorite PV album along with Herz aus Glas

and i can almost smell your PG Tips (Jon not Jon), Friday, 18 September 2020 21:38 (one year ago) link


am0n, Monday, 21 September 2020 02:03 (one year ago) link

Woodcarver is excellent but the fact that the only protection anyone ever uses is a wooly hat boggles my mind.

koogs, Monday, 21 September 2020 02:13 (one year ago) link

four weeks pass...

I'd once again like to thank Tom D. for his amazing reviews above. I've used them a couple of times now as a guide.

BTW, I own the soundtrack boxset people drooled over upthread. It's not amazing. The music is great of course, but the book is pretty flimsy content-wise and each of the CDs contains exactly the same booklet, which includes some of the content included in the book.

Duke, Tuesday, 20 October 2020 19:55 (one year ago) link

i've had "letzte tage - letzte nächte" and "das hohelied salomos" on repeat for the last few weeks. they sound amazing in the autumn evening.

budo jeru, Sunday, 25 October 2020 17:58 (one year ago) link

Dadaismus' reviews upthread are all-time

A couple of weeks ago I listened to all the albums 1971-1977 and then had to listen to them again, and then again ... I think Einsjäger und Siebenjäger is my favorite right now

― Brad C., Friday, September 30, 2011 12:42 PM (nine years ago)bookmarkflaglink

what dadaismus did up top is inspiring. this band deserves that quality of attention

― reggie (qualmsley), Friday, September 30, 2011 1:25 PM (nine years ago)bookmarkflaglink

Yes, those reviews are GREAT and I refer to them a lot!

BTW Dadaismus = Tom D.

― master musicians of jamiroquai (NickB), Friday, September 30, 2011 1:54 PM (nine years ago)

this was helpful for me, maybe it will be helpful for someone ese

president of my cat (Karl Malone), Sunday, 25 October 2020 18:15 (one year ago) link

this was also helpful for me!

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

lol, the one popol vuh LP i own barely features his own playing!

president of my cat (Karl Malone), Sunday, 25 October 2020 18:19 (one year ago) link

one month passes...

listening to the first track of city raga on a whim after wondering what 90s popol vuh sounds like and... it's good!

cosmic vision | bleak epiphany | erotic email (map), Tuesday, 15 December 2020 22:32 (one year ago) link

returned to this thread to thank Tom D for his famous guide above, which I probably think about even more than I actually listen to Popol Vuh! (trying to remedy that on long drives)
but I see others have -recently too- had the same urge so I'm happy to be a part of that wave - thank you Tom D!

Paul, Sunday, 20 December 2020 04:25 (one year ago) link

seven months pass...

I had a dream last night that I was in a radio station, and in their dumpster were a number of 60s easy listening albums, Percy Faith etc. There was an album on Ranwood Records (Lawrence Welk's label) of the "hits" of Popol Vuh done easy listening style, and now I want one.


Three Rings for the Elven Bishop (Dan Peterson), Tuesday, 10 August 2021 14:19 (ten months ago) link

one month passes...

can't find much info, but looks like there is now an essential collection volume 2 out there (or at least on its way!)

no lime tangier, Friday, 17 September 2021 06:41 (nine months ago) link

two months pass...

That showed up today! Mostly these look like vinyl versions of the SPV releases. The only real surprise is "Earth View" from Kailash showing up at the end of Cœur de verre as a bonus track (looks like there's a new CD that does the same thing). Guido Hieronymus is credited as the sound supervisor for Cobra Verde, though that might just mean the bonus track. Haven't listened yet.

with hidden noise, Wednesday, 1 December 2021 04:40 (six months ago) link

three months pass...

anyone grab one of those new vinyl boxsets?

frogbs, Thursday, 17 March 2022 13:10 (three months ago) link

three weeks pass...

Can't remember if Jon posts here any more? But he just wrote up a great looking guide for Shfl


Ned Raggett, Thursday, 7 April 2022 15:54 (two months ago) link

thanks for sharing!

budo jeru, Thursday, 7 April 2022 17:48 (two months ago) link

whenever I see the cover art for In den Gärten Pharaos it blows my mind that it's from 1971. the design of it feels like 25-30 years ahead of its time

frogbs, Thursday, 7 April 2022 17:58 (two months ago) link

yeah i've thought that too. the cover of hosianna mantra has fundamentally a similar design but that one looks of its time. just goes to show the effect a typeface and color scheme can have.

Kim Kimberly, Thursday, 7 April 2022 18:26 (two months ago) link

is this by jon dale from melbourne or a different jon?

stirmonster, Friday, 8 April 2022 01:04 (two months ago) link

that was great ned, thank you! also, why have i never listened to 'spirit of peace' before?

stirmonster: definitely the former

o shit the sheriff (NickB), Friday, 8 April 2022 07:12 (two months ago) link

three weeks pass...

"Florian Fricke" sounds like the sort of name Longmont Potion Castle would come up with

frogbs, Thursday, 5 May 2022 03:16 (one month ago) link

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