Saturday, March 20, 2010

Popol Vuh: The Grail

Coeur de Verre
I feel a Krautstorm a-brewin'!! Feel free to (re-)peruse the "Whaddya Mean, Krautrock?" overview. But here we go with Popul Vuh... After reading the hearty recommendation from the Glowing Raw blog, last week I noticed Coeur de Verre (1977) used and picked it up. It's almost kind of the soundtrack for the Werner Herzog film, of which they scored several.

"Huter der Schwelle" and "Der Ruf" from Coeur de Verre (1977)

The whole thing's definitely worth the price, but what stood out was that first tune on the video: "Huter der Scwhelle." It seems almost like the prototype template for a certain brand of tune from Grails (#6, 2008). Which to me recommends it highly. According to this extensive guide to the history and discography of Popol Vuh, the song "capture[s] the feel of" Letze Tage - Letze N├Ąchte (1976), their previous album. Unfortunately, I haven't seen that one in stores...

Vision Sequence from Herz Aus Glas (1976)

There's some of the movie. According to viewer comments, the cool music towards the end is actually a song from Letze Tage, rather than this album. So, not exactly the soundtrack. Florian Fricke, who's the primary guy throughout the whole timeline, was an early friend of Herzog's, an amateur filmmaker, and I guess kind of a musical pioneer. The first couple of Popol Vuh albums appear to have been among the earliest Moog records, then he did more early ambient stuff, and then started bringing influences from world music and sacred themes.

"Wehe Khorazin" from Sei still, wisse ICH BIN (1981)

Looks like that's one of several later films Fricke himself made, all with some kind of religious exploration theme. I don't have the whole story straight. From what I've picked up, he wasn't committed to any specific religion - more of a constant seeker. Maybe with his quest through various musical styles and approaches too.

Improvisation (1971) by Popol Vuh

And one final bonus video of an early-days Moog 'n' bongos jam. Overally, I'm looking forward to checking into more of the music - and the Herzog movies too. I'm hip to the electronic, instrumental, soundtrack, foreign-tinged, ambient, proto-post-rock Kraut type of thing. Can't get enough, in fact!

Popol Vuh

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