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Popol Vuh: Part 1, Cosmic Space Rock



A listening session and conversation with Johannes Fricke, independent curator and son of the late Florian Fricke whose band Popol Vuh was an innovating force in early electronic, ambient, psychedelic, fusion, world, and progressive rock in the 1970s. This session is broken into two parts. In Part One we explore the early electronic and Moog work along with the soundtracks made for Werner Herzog and preview a 2011 Popol Vuh remix album. In Part Two we investigate the Prog Rock period of the effort in which electronics and psychedelia give way to more spiritual and global influences.

At the time of this interview, Johannes Fricke was touring and promoting the re-release of the complete 19-album collection as well as the new, remarkable remix album by artists who have were inspired by Popol Vuh's music and its like-minded Prog rock bands such as Can and Tangerine Dream. Popol Vuh Revisited & Remixed 1970-99 (release date June 2011) features treatments by Stereolab, Mouse on Mars, Peter Kruder (Kruder & Dorfmeister), Thomas Fehlmann (The Orb), Moritz von Oswald, A Critical Mass, Alex Barck (Jazzanova), Roland Appel, Mika Vainio (Pansonic), and Haswell/Hecker.

Popol Vuh are considered one of the most influential German 70s progressive rock avant-garde acts and are known as a pioneering band in Ambient-Electronica and Progressive Rock Music. Their records Affenstunde (1971) and In den Gärten Pharaos (1972), played with the Moog III Synthesizer, are claimed to be fundamentally influencing works in Electronica. They went down in the annals of German film music history with their soundtracks for legendary cinema classics like Aguirre, Fitzcarraldo, Nosferatu and Cobra Verde by director Werner Herzog and composed more than 15 soundtracks, with the majority of them for Herzog's feature films with Klaus Kinski as the leading character. In 2003, the complete back catalogue of 19 original Albums by Popol Vuh was re-released worldwide and with the release of the tribute album Popol Vuh Revisited and Remixed 1970-99 a new generation will discover this inspiring story and innovative music.

 

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