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Popol Vuh - In Den Gärten Pharaos CD (album) cover


Popol Vuh



3.98 | 177 ratings

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4 stars Popol Vuh's second album continued the electronic experimentation of the debut, but this time around Florian Fricke has me entirely on board. While the debut remains sealed off from me, Im Garten Faraos is an astonishing work that is not only interesting for its historical innovations, but that also offers deeply entrancing and moving electronic music.

The title track is excellent, going through a couple of sections that vary between electronic bleeps, sinister choral voices, intense percussion and a slightly jazzy ending that I'd wish to be just a tad longer. In just under 18 minutes it sums up pretty much everything Tangerine Dream would create in their Pink years. Especially Alpha Centauri and Atem owe a lot to this piece.

The second track Vuh is the absolute highlight, a masterpiece and possible the best piece of music made by Florian Fricke. On his later works he consciously tried to create a sort of divine trance, a religious quest for beauty and awe, but I don't believe he ever managed to do so as convincingly as he does it here. And all it takes is clashing cymbals, some flutes , a heavy organ that fluctuates around a few continuous chords and some wordless vocals. It's one of the best pieces of early electronic music and it beats most of what its followers Cluster, Schulze and Tangerine Dream produced in the 71-73 period.

The CD release has two bonus tracks of which the first is almost equally marvelous as Vuh, with processed synth sounds is weaves Eastern melodies around a slowly sequenced electronic organ. Brilliant atmosphere and one of a great example of how the German generation further explored the groundwork laid down by Pink Floyd in 1967-1969.

An essential title in the progressive electronic field, and certainly in its extended CD format it is a sublime early electronic album with a strong emotive impact. If you can open your mind to float along with these abstract sounds you will be in for a treat. Obviously, it's not recommended if you're looking for action-Prog.

Bonnek | 4/5 |


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