A fantastic package – featuring the first five albums from this legendary group – all pressed on 180 gram vinyl in a big box set! First up is Affenstunde – some of the coolest, moogiest work to come from the German scene in the early 70s – and a record that's filled with loads of wonderful analogue electronics – spun out over these long, spacey extrapolations – and magically mixed with a host of acoustic elements too! The group is one of the most organic to ever approach this formula – and the sound here is beyond compare – hugely influential on many acts to come, but never handled this right – with such a perfect balance of simple elements and sophisticated ideas. Titles include "Affenstunde" and the three-part dream sequence "Ich Mache Einen Spiegel". Hosianna Mantra is next – a set that's still filled with all the amazing electronics of the group's previous records, but which also has even more focus and tunefulness too – yet all in a way that's still pretty darn far out overall! The album's got a slightly spiritual bent, as you might guess from the title – and the instrumentation is slightly expanded, so that there's more guitar and reed work than ever before, yet still used in a way that's pretty darn electronic. The tracks are all instrumental, and have a really beautiful sound – and titles include "Abschied", "Andact", "Nict Hoch Im Himmel", "Andacht", "Ah", and "Hosianna Mantra". Next is Eisjager & Siebenjager – a record that also has some of the group's most tuneful moments of the early 70s – and a sound that really shows them moving forward with a new sort of energy! Most of the tracks are short, and never overindulgent – yet they also show a growing skill with guitar solos, which helps bring out a rockish quality the group never had this strongly before – even though most of the record has an instrumental approach. Djong Yun sings a bit on the set, often in a moody, lyric-less way – and tracks include the side-long title cut, plus "Kleiner Krieger", "Gutes Land", "Morgengruss", "King Minos", and "Wurfelspiel". The Aguirre album is next – a set based on their initial soundtrack material for the Werner Herzog film of the same name, but one that also stretches out in a lot of new directions, too – with longer songs that really open up, although always strongly in the spirit of the original music! The sounds are from the trio of Florian Fricke on piano and keyboards, Daniel Fichelscher on guitars and percussion, and Djong Yun on a bit of vocals – all elements that are layered and processed, but at a very organic level that's very cool – so that nothing ever feels too forced, or too cold – that definite warmer side of the spectrum that Popol Vuh
brought to the German scene of the 70s – and left as their legacy with great records like this! Some tracks are quite long – including the 16 minute "Vergegenwaertigung" – and titles include "Aguirre I", "Morgengruss II", "Agnus Dei", and "Aguirre II". The set finishes with a double-length version of the spooky soundtrack to Werner Herzog's remake of Nosferatu from the late 70s – featuring a spare, moody score that's quite different than some of Popul Vuh
's other work. The music almost seems to bubble out of the ground like Nosferatu himself coming out of his coffin in the minutes after dusk – using light electronics to set a tone, but also employing a bit of what seems to be flute, plus occasional acoustic guitar, which has a very striking effect in this setting. Titles include "Mantra", "Die Nacht Derhimmel", "Through Pains To Heaven II", "On The Way", and "Venus Principal".
(Still in the shrink.)