Popol Vuh (band)

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Popol Vuh
General information
origin Munich , Germany
Genre (s) Ambient , Krautrock , Neoclassic , New Age
founding 1969
resolution 2001
Website popolvuh.it
Founding members
Florian Fricke
Holger Trülzsch (until 1972)
Frank Fiedler (1969–1972, 1997–2001)
Bettina Fricke (until 1972)

Popol Vuh was an experimental band around Florian Fricke , which was founded in Munich in 1969 and existed until 2001. The German formation is commonly assigned to the Krautrock . Popol Vuh is difficult to reduce to this genre due to its stylistic diversity and the most diverse influences, including world music .


The group, named after the Popol Vuh , a central document of Mayan culture on the creation story of the world, was founded in 1970 by Florian Fricke and the painter, sculptor and percussionist Holger Trülzsch , who left in 1972 to focus on his artistic activities to concentrate mainly in the collaboration with Vera Lehndorff (Veruschka).

Stylistically, Popol Vuh are assigned to the herb rock. However, their style of music is very original and combines rock with electronic new age music and spiritual elements. Due to the use of verschiedenster percussion, exotic instruments like the sitar , international singers and Florian Fricke's affinity for yoga, spirituality and Far Eastern culture can Popol Vuh, in the broadest sense, the World Music assign. The band itself has always tried to evade the genre assignment, and their music exclusively with fantasy terms such as Magic Music , Love Music , Cosmic Space Rock and the like. called.

Founding member Fricke is one of the pioneers of electronic musicians at the time. The line-up of the band changed continuously over time. Holger Trülzsch (percussion) and Frank Fiedler have been there from the start . Later Daniel Fichelscher ( Amon Düül II ) joined as a long-term member. A significant temporary member of the band was Klaus Wiese .

The band was first signed by Liberty Records , where they were in the company of Amon Düül and Can , and where the debut LP Affenstunde produced by Gerhard Augustin was presented in 1970, the year it was founded. Popol Vuh's first two albums are characterized by the sound of percussion and the legendary Moog III synthesizer , which was later transferred to Klaus Schulze . The second album In den Garten Pharaohs was released in 1971 on Rolf-Ulrich Kaiser's mushroom label and half of it was recorded live in a church. Conny Veit and the Korean singer Djong Yun joined the regular cast on the third album Hosianna Mantra (1972) . Yun could also be heard on the album Einsjäger & Siebenjäger from 1975, the next but one.

The 1970s are considered the most productive phase of Popol Vuh. In addition to studio albums and rare live performances, the band became known for their collaboration with director Werner Herzog , for whose films such as Aguirre, the Wrath of God , Nosferatu - Phantom of the Night , Heart of Glass or Fitzcarraldo they created the soundtracks . The use of the Choir Organ, a one-off production, is characteristic of recordings from this period. This Mellotron- like precursor instrument of later samplers made it possible to integrate choir voices or orchestral sounds into the sound of the band using tape technology. Since the 1980s there have been no reliable information about the origin and whereabouts of the instrument, nor have there been any photographic documents. It was used by several people in the Munich music scene in the 1970s and is e.g. B. can be heard on albums by Amon Düül II ( Wolf City or Tanz der Lemminge ) and Klaus Doldinger.

The first appearance abroad took place in 1976 in Milan. From 1978 Popol Vuh worked temporarily again with Gerhard Augustin, who produced other albums and soundtracks for the band. From 1983 Popol Vuh stepped into the shadow of the filmmaking of Fricke and Fiedler, which took place on numerous world trips. Albums were now released less frequently than in the 1970s, but still regularly (see discography).

In the mid-1990s, Popol Vuh reported back with City Raga (using voice recordings by respiratory therapist Maya Rose). Current music trends from the techno area now also flowed into the work of the 1990s . In addition to Fricke and Fiedler, Guido Hieronymus had become a permanent member of the band. The last album, Messa di Orfeo , was released in 1999 .

With the early death of Florian Fricke in 2001, the story of Popol Vuh also came to an end.


  • Monkey Hour (1970)
  • In the Pharaoh's Gardens (1972)
  • Hosanna mantra (1972)
  • Beatitude (1973)
  • Einsjäger & Siebenjäger (1975)
  • The Song of Solomon (1975)
  • Aguirre (1975)
  • Last Days - Last Nights (1976)
  • Yoga (1976)
  • Sing, because song drives away the wolves - Cœur de verre (1977)
  • Brothers of Shadow, Sons of Light - Nosferatu (1978)
  • The Night of the Soul - Tantric Songs (1979)
  • Shut Up Know I AM (1981)
  • Fitzcarraldo (1982)
  • Agape Agape - Love Love (1983)
  • Spirit Of Peace (1985)
  • Cobra Verde (1987)
  • For You and Me (1991)
  • City Raga (1994)
  • Shepherd's Symphony (1997)
  • Messa di Orfeo (1999)


  • Florian Fricke (1991)
  • The Best Soundtracks From Werner Herzog Films (1991)
  • Florian Fricke Plays Mozart (1992)
  • Sing, For Song Drives Away The Wolves (1993)
  • Movie Music (1994)
  • Not High in Heaven (1998)
  • Future Sound Experience (2002)
  • The Werner Herzog Soundtracks (5 CDs and booklet, 2010)
  • Popol Vuh, Revisited & Remixed , (2011), 2 CD SPV 693723704425


  • Hermann Haring: Rock from Germany / West - From the Rattles to Nena: Two decades of home sound. Rowohlt, Reinbek near Hamburg 1984, ISBN 9783499176975
  • Julian Cope : Krautrock sampler. One Head's Guide to the Great Cosmic Music. Werner Piepers MedienXperimente, 1996, ISBN 3-925817-86-7
  • Wagner, Christoph (2013): Klang der Revolte: the magical years of the West German music underground, Schott Music 2013, ISBN 9783795708429 and ISBN 3795708427
  • Alexander Simmeth: Krautrock transnational. The reinvention of pop music in Germany, 1968–1978 , Transcript Verlag, Bielefeld 2016, ISBN 978-3-8376-3424-2

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Smoking weed on the Flokati in: FAZ from August 6, 2011, page 37