Tag Archives: Popol Vuh

Gila – Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee

Could there be such a thing as 70’s Psychedelic, Americana, folk/Krautrock. It’s hardly an established genre, but there is this one album, by Gila. “Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee.”

Gila was one of those lesser known German bands forming in late 60’s, to make just one album, Gila – Free Electric Sound (1971), an album of experimental Psychedelic/Stoner rock, sounding not unlike so many other German bands at the time. They disbanded in 1972.

In 1973 however the former Gila leader Guitarist and vocalist Conny Veit, reformed the band, with keyboard player Florian Fricke (Popol Vuh), drummer Daniel Fichelscher (Popol Vuh/Amon Dull II), and his girlfriend Sabine Merbach. Resulting in “Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee”. The music is far from what you would expect if you know the first Gila album, not the typical experimental, partly improvised, Floyd inspired acid, you get from most Krautrock bands, it sounds more like the music coming out from US in late 60’s early 70’s, Crosby Stills…, Jefferson, that sort of thing, melodic, well produced, relative short songs. A wonderful Progressive Folk/Rock album, as unexpected as it was from a German outfit of established krautrockers.

The theme of Native Americans, fighting an uneven battle against the US, made a lot of sense, in a time where Vietnam was carpet bombed with napalm.
From: Gila – Free Electric Sound (1971)

Popol Vuh, The German Temple of Music

This is Popol Vuh, the incarnation of spirituality, deepest deepness, naturally peace and beauty in music, a religious experience for those able to relax and take it in. Popol Vuh is about religion and spirituality, but not one particular religion, any religion.
From Letzte Tage – Letzte Nächte (1976)

After two electronic spacy albums, Popol Vuh changes dramatically, into something more acoustic, more organic. Hosianna Mantra (1972) is the birth, of a very different Popol Vuh, it lays the foundation of a now legendary band, with their very own sound and style, within the Krautrock scene.
From Hosianna Mantra (1972)

Popul Vuh is the creation of pianist Florian Fricke, he is the only permanent member, and like in many other 70’s progressive bands, members are changed regularly. With the change of member we also find a change in instrumentation, where we had no percussions on Hosianna Mantra, with the addition of multi-instrumentalist Daniel Fichelscherin 1973, percussions would become a dominant factor on the albums to come, making their sound become a bit less ambient.
From Das Hohelied Salomos 1975

In general Popul Vuh can hardly be called Rock in the traditional sense of the word, but their 1976 album Letzte Tage – Letzte Nachte have got something hard, something sharper at the edge, than their other albums. It sound a bit like the psychedelic tracks from Paul Kantner and Grace Slick’s Baron Von Tollbooth or Sunfighter, but that is another story.
From Letzte Tage – Letzte Nächte (1976)