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POPOL VUH

Krautrock • Germany


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Popol Vuh biography
Founded in Munich, Germany in 1969 - Disbanded in 2001 (Florian's death)

Florian Fricke was born by Lake Constance in 1944. From 1959 till 1963 he studied music in Munich, where he was a pupil of Rudolph Hindemith (Paul Hindemith's brother). At the age of 25 he became acquainted with the Moog synthsizer which leads him to form his band POPOL VUH. This name and inspiration come from the holy book of Guatemala's Quiche Indians. Historically, Popol Vuh's "Affestunde" (1970) is the first experimental rock release entirely built around the Moog Synthesiser (with the add of percussions to provide a mystical flavour).

In 1971, their second album "In Den Garten Pharaos" keeps on fusing ambient electronic textures with traditional, ethnic instruments, but put the stress on spiritual themes. In 1972, "Hosianna Mantra" marked a turning point in POPOL VUH career by rejecting electronic instrumentations in favour of acoustic elements including a lot of oboe, konga, tamboura accompaniment and female vocals (the Korean soprano singer Djong Yun and later Renate Knaup, front woman of AMON DÜÜL II)

In 1974, after the departure of the guitarist Conny Veit (the founder of GILA), Daniel Fichelscher (former drummer of AMON DÜÜL II) becomes an active member of POPOL VUH ethereal and spiritual adventure. Florian Frike's POPOL VUH was also known from a larger audience thanks to the collaboration with the German director Werner Herzog, providing the soundtracks of many of his classic films, notably the hypnotic and reflective "Aguire, Wrath of God", "Heart of Glass"...In 1978, Florian Fricke founded the "working group for creative singing" and became a member of the society of breathing therapy. He holds lectures all over the world on his work in this field.

: : : Philippe Blache, FRANCE : : :

See also: HERE

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Sei Still Wisse Ich BinSei Still Wisse Ich Bin
Wah Wah Records 2017
$24.01
Letzte Tage - Letzte NachteLetzte Tage - Letzte Nachte
Spalax
$45.00
$37.24 (used)
Tantric Songs / Hosianna MantraTantric Songs / Hosianna Mantra
Celestial Harmonies 1992
$12.93
$9.99 (used)
Popol Vuh (Popol Ace)Popol Vuh (Popol Ace)
Flawed Gems
$21.99
AffenstundeAffenstunde
Extra tracks
Spv Import 2004
$16.98
$40.04 (used)
Hosianna MantraHosianna Mantra
Remastered · Extra tracks
SPV Recordings 2005
$89.99
$200.40 (used)
In the Gardens of PharaoIn the Gardens of Pharao
Celestial Harmonies 1992
$12.98
$7.18 (used)
Popol Vuh - Seligpreisung - Wah Wah Records Supersonic Sounds - LPS119Popol Vuh - Seligpreisung - Wah Wah Records Supersonic Sounds - LPS119
Wah Wah Records Supersonic Sounds
$95.00
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POPOL VUH discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

POPOL VUH top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.15 | 99 ratings
Affenstunde
1970
3.99 | 179 ratings
In Den Gärten Pharaos
1971
4.17 | 285 ratings
Hosianna Mantra
1972
4.07 | 130 ratings
Seligpreisung
1973
4.01 | 115 ratings
Einsjäger & Siebenjäger
1974
3.73 | 93 ratings
Das Hohelied Salomos
1975
4.03 | 137 ratings
Aguirre
1975
4.15 | 117 ratings
Letzte Tage - Letzte Nächte
1976
2.77 | 37 ratings
Yoga
1976
3.65 | 49 ratings
Herz Aus Glas
1977
3.98 | 83 ratings
On The Way To A Little Way
1978
3.56 | 57 ratings
Brüder Des Schattens - Söhne Des Lichts
1978
3.84 | 48 ratings
Die Nacht Der Seele - Tantric Songs
1979
3.47 | 40 ratings
Sei Still, Wisse ICH BIN
1981
3.39 | 33 ratings
Agape-Agape Love-Love
1984
3.12 | 25 ratings
Spirit Of Peace
1985
3.40 | 23 ratings
Cobra Verde (OST)
1987
2.66 | 18 ratings
For You And Me
1991
2.68 | 16 ratings
City Raga
1995
1.80 | 17 ratings
Shepherd's Symphony
1997
2.71 | 15 ratings
Messa Di Orfeo
1999

POPOL VUH Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

POPOL VUH Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

POPOL VUH Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Discover Cosmic
1975
0.00 | 0 ratings
Perlenklänge - The Best Of Popol Vuh
1976
4.15 | 30 ratings
Tantric Songs
1981
2.56 | 15 ratings
Fitzcarraldo
1982
3.92 | 6 ratings
Music from the Werner Herzog Films
1982
4.00 | 1 ratings
In The Gardens Of Pharao / Aguirre
1983
1.75 | 4 ratings
Gesang der Gesänge
1988
4.84 | 6 ratings
The Best of Popol Vuh
1989
0.00 | 0 ratings
Florian Fricke
1991
4.04 | 13 ratings
Hosianna Mantra / Tantric Songs
1991
2.59 | 9 ratings
Sing, for Songs Drive Away the Wolves
1993
3.00 | 3 ratings
Best of Popol Vuh
1993
3.00 | 2 ratings
Movie Music
1994
3.00 | 2 ratings
Soundtracks For Werner Herzog
1996
3.85 | 8 ratings
Nicht Hoch Im Himmel
1998
0.00 | 0 ratings
Future Sound Experience
2002
2.25 | 4 ratings
70s Progressives
2006
2.05 | 2 ratings
The Werner Herzog Soundtracks
2011
0.00 | 0 ratings
Revisited & Remixed 1970 - 1999
2011
3.00 | 1 ratings
Kailash
2015

POPOL VUH Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
City Raga
1995
0.00 | 0 ratings
Nachts: Schnee
2008

POPOL VUH Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Hosianna Mantra by POPOL VUH album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.17 | 285 ratings

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Hosianna Mantra
Popol Vuh Krautrock

Review by WFV

4 stars Florian designed this album as a mass for the soul, The beauty and elegance stuns the listener at first and then wraps around them like a favourite blanket. Conny Veit adds exceptional color to the proceedings with his clear toned and humble guitar. Djong Yun lends here gorgeous voice wherever it's needed, truly sounding like the jewel in the lotus. Frank Zappa once said progressive rock is, in general, "rock that doesn't sound like anything else". I'm not sure this is rock but it surely doesn't sound like anything else I've heard in the popular music fields. Prog indeed.

The only hangup I have with this album and Popol Vuh in general is they make me feel guilty for not practicing my faith more consistently 4.5 stars

 In Den Gärten Pharaos by POPOL VUH album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.99 | 179 ratings

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In Den Gärten Pharaos
Popol Vuh Krautrock

Review by WFV

5 stars Superb proto hypno new age intense spiritual electric rock. I'm fond of several albums made of one extended song for each side. This one, Clearlight Symphony, Pulsar Halloween, Steve Hillage Rainbow Dome Music and the obligatory Thick as a Brick come to mind first, but this set the standard for all that came before or later. I don't know if the prog landscape would be any different if Popol Vuh didn't exist but the texture their recording provides to the genre should not go unnoticed. Both sides here are highlights, for me over any early German experiment from Tangerine Dream to Klaus Schulze to Kraftwerk to Ash Ra Tempel and on and on. The BBC Krautrock documentary highlights Popol Vuh and Florian Fricke, and I feel my collection wouldn't be full without access to his musical contributions to the world. This is a top twenty five album of all time for me, and it may not be their best one.
 Affenstunde by POPOL VUH album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.15 | 99 ratings

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Affenstunde
Popol Vuh Krautrock

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars This certainly sounds nothing like Florian's 70's albums but then this was his debut released in 1970 and he seemed to be experimenting a lot with his moog here. POPOL VUH were a four piece here with synths, tablas and percussion rounding out the instruments. I remember when I picked this up I thought that despite the poor rating I would like it given the descriptions. Well... not so much as those first two tracks in particular really annoy me, while the third track is more what I was expecting throughout this album. The final track is hit and miss so 3 stars is the best I can do.

""Dream Part 4" yes I'm skipping the long title before the first three songs. Anyway it opens with birds chirping before some brief water sounds then atmosphere. Then these high pitched bleeping sounds come in that drive me crazy. This continues until around 3 1/2 minutes but they do return. Just not into this one. "Part 5" opens with atmosphere before this annoying percussion with tablas takes over, again not my scene.

"Part 49" is much better as we get some spacey sounds and this is fairly dark and sparse with some faint percussion. The final tune is the title track at over 18 1/2 minutes. Interesting sounds come and go before the drums rumble in. It sounds pretty cool before 3 minutes. I like this. Drums stop before 5 minutes as a haunting soundscape continues. A change 6 1/2 minutes in as we get a pulsing sound with a humming over top. Blipping sounds join in and it stays this way for a long time right to the end.

I rate pretty much all his 70's albums 4 stars and up so yes this was disappointing to say the least. A low 3 stars from me.

 Hosianna Mantra by POPOL VUH album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.17 | 285 ratings

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Hosianna Mantra
Popol Vuh Krautrock

Review by Luqueasaur

3 stars Floaty and serene like a cloud: 7/10

This soothing and borderline meditative release by krautrockers POPOL VUH back in 1972 harnessed widespread acclaim for its new-ageish approach to music. Featuring two short and two long songs and clocking around 37 minutes, HOSIANNA MANTRA is mostly ambient music with heavy influences of neoclassical compositions and style. The record's characteristic is the ethereal atmosphere created by gentle guitar sweeps accompanied by constant piano playing and occasional soprano female vocals (by occasional I mean half of the time).

Now, for all its innovativeness and creative approach to ambient music by using (progressive) rock instruments and even so making minimalistic compositions, it's rather troubling that HOSIANNA MANTRA feels like a 37-minute-long act rather than an album with four allegedly distinct tracks. The quartet sounds too similar, with very little to differ among themselves, and eventually the repetitiveness - a la drone, as aforementioned - gets dragging and dull. It doesn't go as far as becoming unbearable, it just stops feeling enjoyable to listen to after a while.

Still, POPOL VUH's masterpiece is digestible if correctly approached (and by that I mean digested in more than one listen) and is open to revisits that might be often even. What won't matter is which track to check, after all, they're the same.

 Hosianna Mantra by POPOL VUH album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.17 | 285 ratings

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Hosianna Mantra
Popol Vuh Krautrock

Review by ProgAlia

5 stars Hosianna Mantra marked a significant shift both in structure and melody for Popol Vuh. The material that followed this masterpiece was more or less based on the blueprint created here. The spiritual nature of this record and the use of exotic instruments combined with classical ones placed Popol Vuh at the forefront of the New Age and contemporary World Music genres that would develop over the years. this album is an amazing, yet overlooked record which gives so much from its rather sparse structure, it's no wonder it influenced so many bands to come. It is a must listen for fans of New Age and World Music, but also for any avid music fan.
 Cobra Verde (OST) by POPOL VUH album cover Studio Album, 1987
3.40 | 23 ratings

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Cobra Verde (OST)
Popol Vuh Krautrock

Review by lothda

5 stars The last Werner Herzog soundtrack by Popol Vuh features only music that actually appears in the film. One non-Popol Vuh track is also included. The haunting melodies are Popol Vuh at their very best. I had listened to the album many times before I watched the film. Needless to say, the listening experience was considerably enhanced when I could relate the music to the actual scenes in the film. The final track, "Hab Mut, bis daß die Nacht mit Ruh' und Stille kommt" (Have courage until the night with calm and quiet comes), is a masterpiece, the ultimate relaxation music for me. Five stars for this beautiful album.
 Affenstunde by POPOL VUH album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.15 | 99 ratings

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Affenstunde
Popol Vuh Krautrock

Review by ALotOfBottle
Collaborator Heavy Prog Team

4 stars The bitter influence that World War II left on Germany proved awfully difficult to get rid of. It was up to the first post-war generation to make a change. 1968's protests in Europe helped the contemporary youth to unite and creating a completely new subculture or a class of young, intellectual, open-minded individuals with left-wing political views, who rejected the musical influence of British and American psychedelia in search of their own identity. One of such people was Florian Fricke, a student of piano, composition, and directing at the Conservatories in Freiburg and Munich. Being a disciple of the composer Rudolf Hindemith, the brother of slightly better-known Paul Hindemith, helped Fricke in expanding his musical horizons. At that time, he also became fascinated with musical styles such as free jazz and ethnic music. In 1969, he purchased one of the very first Moog synthesizers to appear on the market. The same year, he founded the band Popol Vuh, whose name derived from an ancient Mayan manuscript (the title translating into The Book Of the Community), together with Holger Trülzsch, a percussionist, and Frank Fiedler, who dealt with the technical aspect of the group's sound. Their debut album, Affenstunde was released in 1970 under the Liberty label.

The album comprises two side-long epics: "Ich Mache Einen Spiege", which is divided into three movements, and the title track, "Affenstunde", respectively. The first part of the first suite, contrarily named "Dream Part 4", opens with a static drone including various swirling electronic and pre-recorded effects passing through. These give somewhat of an industrial effect , often sounding like technical devices. This part remains quite unchanged except for very slow frequency pulses, sometimes influencing the sound in making it a bit heavier, sometimes much lighter. Next up, "Dream Part 5" is devoted to showcasing Holger Trülzsch's percussion abilities. A person credited as "Bettina" plays Indian tabla, which really enriches the overall feel of the track, adding a very exotic, Eastern flavor. At the same time, it also points the way towards Popol Vuh's future influences. The rhythmic pace of Part 5 is steady with numerous variations. "Dream Part 49" follows the previous movements with silent, slowly pulsating sounds of Florian Fricke's Moog III synthesizer, which at times bring the sound of mellow church organ to mind. Once again, the texture remains rather static, however, towards the end, the instrument appears as if more "self-assured", becoming slightly louder at the ridge of the synthesizer wave, before descending into complete silence.

"Affenstunde" begins slightly more confidently with a steady tabla rhythm accompanied by a dark "cloud" from Fricke's synthesizer. As the piece slowly grows, one is able to hear distant effects struggling to break through. Suddenly, the beat fades away and the synth is left alone. Then, Florian Fricke plays a striking modal solo with a beautiful timbre of Moog's distinctive triangle-wave based on a static drone. This is really where his instrumental abilities come through. Tabla and various percussion instruments appear once more, but not really in the form of laying down any rhythm, but rather accompanying Fricke in his solo part, adding a bit more variety, and working in favor of dark, soporific, foggy atmospherics. In this wonderful way, the piece slowly starts to fall silent, as if falling asleep and wanting to say "good night, I sincerely hope you have enjoyed your journey."

The 2004 CD reissue of the release on SPV recordings offers one more bonus track, "Train Through Time." The piece lasts for ten minutes and is kept in a very similar fashion as the tracks from the original issue of the album, showcasing the fantastic percussion work as well as many fascinating effects from Florian Fricke's Moog.

How are musical revolutions started? It often comes down to one groundbreaking album - a one-of-a-kind. bold, uncompromising musical statement created by one or more unorthodox, forward-thinking musicians. And Affenstunde undoubtedly deserves a title of a groundbreaking work. Its peaceful, quiet nature paved the way for genres such as ambient or drone. It's not without its flaws, for sure, but is definitely worth acknowledgement and appreciation. Above all, Affensunde is at least partly responsible for laying foundation for a revolution of the German youth culture. This is not an easy work to appreciate, one might highly likely find it boring and requiring minimal musical abilities. However, I would not say this album is about showcasing skill, but rather about building atmospherics and drawing different sonic landscapes. That being said, it does require a considerably different approach from the listener. Anyhow, Popol Vuh's debut is a truly essential krautrock album and is very highly recommended!

 Yoga by POPOL VUH album cover Studio Album, 1976
2.77 | 37 ratings

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Yoga
Popol Vuh Krautrock

Review by Sergey Slenkoff

3 stars It's very pleasant album of Indian music but pay your attention - it's no Popol Vuh and the character of the involvement of Florian in this record is quite unclear. Truely it was session of Al Gromer Khan (sitar) with the Indian musicians Pandit Sankha Chatterjee (tabla) and Beena Chatterjee (vocals) produced by Florian Fricke. It seems that only for commercial reasons and without their approvement it was released half-officially and labeled as Popol Vuh album. It's possible that Florian later recorded his parts of harmnoium over the live session record. It's good record if you are newcomer to authentic Indian music but it has nearly nothing to do with Popol Vuh.
 Hosianna Mantra by POPOL VUH album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.17 | 285 ratings

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Hosianna Mantra
Popol Vuh Krautrock

Review by thebig_E

4 stars 4.5 stars. The third album in Popol Vuh's discography is a sudden left turn compared to the previous two albums, Affenstunde & In Den Gärten Pharaos. For Hosianna Mantra, band leader Florian Fricke decided to ditch the synthesizers that made up their previous albums and move to more natural instruments. What made him do this is still unknown, yet it's a welcome change.

Instead of being electronic, Hosianna Mantra is more like twentieth century chamber music. It is made modern by its use of electric guitar. Conny Veit from the band Gila provides twelve-string and electric guitar, and his playing is very impressive, especially on the title track (it is because of this album that I listened to Gila's first record). Of course Florian is as great as ever, opening the album with the energetic piano piece, "Ah!". From this first track, it is obvious that the album will be taking on a classical influence. "Kyrie" introduces the soprano vocalist, Djong Yun, who has an ethereal voice. She unfortunately only sang on a few albums with Popol Vuh and only one single release of her own. After that, very little is known about her. It's a shame because she is immensely talented.

Next is the title track, a 10-minute journey. Here is where Mr. Veit's guitar shines, with accompanying vocals, piano, and oboe. The song ends similarly to how it begins, with a solo played on cembalo. These first three tracks make up side one of the album, known as "Hosianna-Mantra." If listened to on Vinyl, you would flip over to side two, titled "Das V. Buch Mose." Here the mood is more meditative. "Abschied" starts the medley with guitar and oboe. It is a very beautiful piece that evokes morning when the sun is rising. It is as much a morning song as Edvard Grieg's "Morning Mood." The next track, "Segnung" opens with a short motif that is repeated later on as "Andacht." After this intro, the track soon resembles side one, with its instrumentation. There is not much I can say about "Andacht" other than it serves as an interlude between songs.

Next is "Nicht Hoch Im Himmel", with a ghostly lead voice and piano. Here is where Djong Yun is really able to show what her voice can do. This song is less eventful in comparison, and is also quieter. By this time, the album has slowed down. I can appreciate the atmospheric quality, but I find myself not returning to it as much. The reprise of "Andacht" ends the original album, however, there is another track that I think is essential to this album. The single release of Djong Yun contained "Du Sollst Lieben" & "Ave Maria." The latter is included on the 2004 CD reissue, and is an amazing piece of music. This song brings the album to a spiritual high-point that "Andacht" just can't do.

I know I have written an essay on this album so far, but it must be done. This music is meditative without being sappy. Spiritual without being preachy. The only downside I can think of is that you kind of need to be in the right mood for something as "New Age" as this. If you're a lover of Ambient music, that shouldn't be a problem. I won't say Hosianna Mantra is essential, since it is for a niche audience. It is however, a highly recommendable recording of music for fans of Ambient, Classical, or even World music.

 Letzte Tage - Letzte Nächte by POPOL VUH album cover Studio Album, 1976
4.15 | 117 ratings

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Letzte Tage - Letzte Nächte
Popol Vuh Krautrock

Review by ebil0505

4 stars Coming only from experiencing Hosianna Mantra, this album appealed to me a lot quicker because of it's more driven sound. Everyone and everything that talks about Popol Vuh claims that Florian Fricke is the mastermind ringleader of the band, and I'll have to take their word for it because the piano is barely noticeable. Even on the perfect "Kyrie" it soon becomes drowned out. This is not to discredit the music in any way, mind you. From one song to the next, this is without a doubt a fluidly memorable album that also works well when analyzed one song at a time. As a person who loves catchy tunes, I was supremely delighted to hear Daniel Fichelscher's guitar work deliver some instantly classic riffs. I'm not sure which singer is the female singer, but whoever she is, she does a superbly emotional job. I could honestly listen to her sing "Harem Dei, Raram Dei" all day long.

Music stands out to me more when the album ventures through different intensities, as this one does. One song will be pleasant and the next one will literally make me wanna bang my head (not too hard) and really groove with the chords and such. There is quite a lot of music to take in with this album, and after a few listens it really grows into something spectacular. I would recommend this to anyone who is searching for something to listen to while being surrounded by nature, or if you live on a farm. I wouldn't recommend this to anyone who is immediately turned off because the guitar isn't hard enough, or the chorus isn't catchy enough, or they can't understand the words. Hopefully no one reading this review, then.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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