Thursday, July 9, 2009

Forty Years Old and Still Relevant

I recently watched an old Werner Herzog film and was captivated once again by the music of Popol Vuh. The group was formed in 1969 by keyboardist Florian Fricke, along with Frank Fiedler and Holger Trulzsch, The pioneering group made what I termed at the time, ethereal music, which would later be called ambient and New Age. Popol Vuh teamed up with Herzog and made several soundtracks for him. Their music is dreamy and subtly layered and they were early users of synthesizers. Popol Vuh’s later music incorporates elements of world music and explores the ambient use of ethnic instruments. All their recordings are great, but any of their soundtrack cds are a good place to start—especially “Aguirre, Wrath of God”. I think they sound as fresh and cutting edge today as they did 40 years ago. And it's obvious they had a huge impact on many of today's groups.

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