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Popol Vuh - The Best of Popol Vuh CD (album) cover


Popol Vuh



4.84 | 6 ratings

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5 stars There are many Popol Vuh compilations out there (almost as many as there are mainstream releases), but this is probably the perfect introduction to them. They enjoyed a long and fruitful relationship with the genius/lunatic film director Werner Herzog, and Florian Fricke even had a cameo in 'The Enigma Of Kasper Hauser'. This compilation is largely taken from their soundtracks, with a few pieces from other albums thrown in for good measure. The album starts with their contribution to 'Fitzcarraldo', where the core line up is augmented with a choir - a slow drumbeat, a crashing guitar chord and the massed voices chanting a song that could be as old as the Song of The Volga Boatmen. Their music was often as much about depth as about linear progression, and the first few tracks illustrate this aspect of their work beautifully. Agape Agape showcases Fichelscher's talents as a percussionist, and also his ability to weave deceptively simple guitar lines across a complex rhythm. After the first five tracks, the quieter side of the band is showcased. Fricke's compositions were informed by both his classical training and his deep knowledge of Indian and other non Western musics. Dreamy, atmospheric and totally compelling pieces are built around minimal acoustic instrumentation. The CD ends with a track from 'Aguirre', where Fricke used his Moog (apparently the first in Germany) to emulate the sound of the human voice. Fricke abandoned the synthesiser for the piano at about the time most other German acts were starting to get to grips with electronic music, and this piece shows just how inventive he could be with it. A couple of minor quibbles - there's nothing from the Conny Veit era of the band (Fichelscher's predecessor), and the heavier sound of "Letze Tage..." and "Herz Aus Glas" is also not really represented here, but until a well packaged double CD comes along (and it will probably be a long wait) this is the place to start.
Syzygy | 5/5 |


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