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Gila - Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee CD (album) cover





3.58 | 73 ratings

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4 stars Band members of Gila's first line-up lived together in a flat-sharing community which was the case as well with some other Krautrock bands like AD making it much easier for them to communicate with each other. In 1972 Conny Veit decided to work closer together with Popol Vuh based in Munich and therefore Gila 1 broke apart. Making two albums with them in 1972/73 he found as well Florian Fricke there and multi-instrumentalist Daniel Fichelscher of AD II to form a new reincarnation of the band. His girl-friend Sabine Merbach on vocals completed the line-up and inspired by the book written by Dee Brown they recorded this album here. The new sound of Gila was very much in the Popol Vuh vein with ethnic touches packed in complex textures featuring several guitars. In fact "Bury My Heart." could be almost considered a PV album, except that Conny Veits's compositions replaced Florian Fricke's. It's quite obvious that as the book it was dealing with the decimation and oppression of the North American Indians by the European immigrants, exemplified by one of the last and worst massacres in the year of 1868. In his own words according to the CD booklet Conny Veit "was moved by the simplicity and poetic power of the American Indian lyrics which had been included in the Dee Brown's book and I decided to set them to music anew because in my view the original American Indian music definitely didn't come up to the quality of these texts". Unlike with their debut which had been more or less without any lyrics they had to use here tight arrangements mixing them with improvised parts, a procedure that resembled that of Indian ragas. With classically trained keyboardist Florian Fricke (he visited a conservatory being a disciple of Hindemith) Veit found the perfect supplement for his own talents and as well Fichelscher's high skills on drums and bass and Sabine Merbach with her pleasant vocals contributed a lot to this excellent outcome. The seven beautiful tracks of this album are dominated by a folksy and more acoustic mood mainly created by the use of 12-string guitar and grand piano with some occasional flute. Combined with the highly poetic lyrics these intense soundscapes generate a merely haunting atmosphere. Two of the tracks, "Young Coyote" and "Little Smoke" are all instrumental and presented by Conny Veit solo on guitar. Highlight is certainly the more dramatic piece "The Buffalo Are Coming" with great percussion but all the tracks are actually excellent. The added CD bonus is an earlier recorded song which isn't that bad but not on par with the ones of the main album.

Finally I just can say that Gila's second (and unfortunately last) studio output should be considered an excellent addition to any Prog collection and I'd highly recommend it to all fans of progressive folk music.

hdfisch | 4/5 |


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