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Popol Vuh - Affenstunde CD (album) cover

AFFENSTUNDE

Popol Vuh

 

Krautrock

3.09 | 54 ratings

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Proghead
Prog Reviewer
4 stars This is the beginning of one of the big names of the Krautrock movement. This is one album you can't go by from their better-known piano-dominated albums like Hosianna Mantra" and those following. Instead this dates back when Florian Fricke had little problems messing around with synthesizers, and this, their debut, proves. This album was originally released on Liberty Records. The album features two side-length cuts, the first being "Ich Mache Einen Spiegel". It starts off with lots of strange computerized sounds and strange droning sounds. Then you go in to percussion overdrive, before the "music" (if you want to call it that) mellows out with simply droning sounds. Then you have the title track which is full of sounds of traffic before it's taken over by even more droning sounds, only this time, the percussion kicks in and Florian Fricke starts messing about with some cheesy sounds off his Moog (making it almost sound like computer video games against a droning background, even if video games were unheard of when "Affenstunde" came out).

The back cover features pictures of hippies playing along (in reality, Florian Fricke playing his Moog, as well as Frank Fiedler, and non-member, but producer Bettina Fricke on percussion - by the way I'm not certain how Bettina is related to Florian). Bettina Fricke looks most like the stereotypical hippie complete with headband and flowery clothing (she looks like an escapee of San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury scene). Often this album gets compared to early TAANGERINE DREAM, which like what they have done, little, if anything, features any sort of melody or tune, just lots of atonal experiments (and of course bringing up TANGERINE DREAM only makes since since in 1972, Florian Fricke did guest on "Zeit"). If you're familiar with only POPOL VUH's piano-dominated stuff, post- 1972, be utterly shocked with "Affenstunde". I only wished Florian kept on using synthesizers, he only used them one more time on "In den Gärten Pharaos" before his religious conversion (to Christianity and Hinduism) strangely compelled him to suddenly hate synthesizers and turn to the piano (although be aware that parts of "Aguirre" dates back to the "In den Gärten Pharaos" sessions). As for "Affenstunde", love it or hate it, but if you like off the wall experimental electronic music, you're certain to like this.

4 1/2 stars

Proghead | 4/5 |

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