Oct 2011 12

Popol Vuh - Revisited & Remixed 1970-1999Popol Vuh
Category: Industrial
Album: Revisited & Remixed 1970-1999
Stars: 3
Blurb: A retrospective that definitely gives the listener a sense for the highs and lows of this legendary act.



10 years after the death of Popol Vuh founder Florian Fricke, SPV Records has released this retrospective of this German avant-garde progressive rock act and coupled it with a second remix album that reimagines and reworks some of the band’s most influential work. It is only fitting to see acts such as Stereolab and the Orb’s Thomas Fehlmann, whose work feels heavily influenced by this ambient music pioneer, lending their creative vision to this collection of remixes.

While attempting to cover over two decades of work in only 12 tracks and give the listener an all-encompassing taste of the group’s sound may be impossible, one definitely gets a sense for the group’s earlier more electronic work and their sometimes lovely, sometimes irritating, and sometimes trippy and seemingly pulp science fiction inspired styles. The second disc of remixes proves to be just as varied and interesting as the first, with thoughtful takes on the original work, further contemporizing songs that were already well ahead of their time. The Alex Barck remix of “Haram Dei Haram Dei” and the Critical Mass remix of “Heart of Glass” both wonderfully capture the tribal overtones that Popol Vuh forged in their music and gives them a lovely and smooth backdrop of electronics and rhythm. Meanwhile, in the opening remix tracks from Peter Kruder and Thomas Fehlmann, deep ambient trance in a throbbing hypnotic fashion with driving beats that suggest an unstoppable kinetic energy. But like the first disc, there are also grating tracks like the Mouse on Mars remix of “Through Pain to Heaven” and the Haswell & Hecker version of “Aguirre” that get downright unlistenable at times, while the “In den Gärten Pharaos” remix by Moritz von Oswald and Popul Vuh’s own remix of “Train Through Time” that get far too odd and formless to be enjoyable.

While obviously no one is going to claim this album to be a definitive “best of” collection, the bigger problem is it doesn’t seem like the best introduction to the band’s work either with the total ignoring of the group’s prog rock work being almost criminal. From what’s included, it’s obvious how far ahead of their time they were; the collection easily shows Popol Vuh’s influence and the remixes are generally solid and honor the original work, but the more annoying moments of the two discs make it all the stranger that some of their most exceptional work was ignored.

Track list:
Disc 1

  1. Aguirre I Lacrima di Rei
  2. Affenstunde
  3. In den Gärten Pharaos
  4. Ich Mache Einen Spiegel
  5. Nachts Schnee
  6. Eine Andere Welt
  7. In Your Eyes
  8. Train Through Time
  9. Nascita
  10. Brüder des Schattens
  11. Through Pain to Heaven
  12. Kailash: Last Village

Disc 2

  1. Aguirre I / II (Peter Kruder Remix)
  2. Schnee (Thomas Fehlmann Flow Mix)
  3. Heart of Glass (A Critical Mass Remix)
  4. Haram Dei Haram Dei (Alex Barck Remix)
  5. Through Pain to Heaven (Roland Appel Remix)
  6. Nachts – Schnee (Mike Vainio Remix)
  7. In den Gärten Pharaos (Moritz von Oswald Remix)
  8. Through Pain to Heaven (Mouse on Mars Remix)
  9. Hosianna Mantra (Stereolab Remix)
  10. Aguirre I / II (Haswell & Hecker Remix)
  11. Train through Time (Popol Vuh Remix)

SPV Recordings GmbH Website http://www.spv.de

Purchase at:
Amazon CD
Amazon MP3


Trubie Turner (Flexei)

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