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POPOL VUH - Albums
Hosianna Mantra



LP 1971 Pilz 20 21276-9, Germany
LP 1974 Barclay PDU Pld.SQ 6009, Italy
LP 1981 Pop Import 20 21276-9, Germany
CD 1994 Spalax 14875 (digipack), France
CD 1994 Nexus-King KICP2728, Japan
LP 1997 Think Progressive TPLP 1.701.012 (180g limited, gatefold cover)
CD 1999 ZYX OHR 70024-2, Germany (digipack)
CD 2004 SPV Recordings 085-70112 (digipack)
CD 2006 Arcangelo ARC-7183, Japan (digipack)

  1. In den Gärten Pharaos 17:37 01:07, 1046 KB (MP3)
    (Moog-Synthesizer, Konga, türkische Percussion, Fender Piano)
  2. Vuh 19:48
    (Cymbal, Orgel Stiftkirche Baumburg (Altenmarkt), türk. Percussion, Moog-Synthesizer)

Personel: Florian Fricke (Moog-Synthesizer, Orgel, Fender Piano), Holger Trülzsch (Afrikanische, türkische Percussion), Frank Fiedler (Moog-Synthesizer, Mixdown).

Alle titels: Popol Vuh
Produktion: Popol Vuh / Bettina
Regie im Studio (Trixi-München): Gertig

Tracklist of SPV (085-70112) re-edition:

  1. In Den Gärten Pharaos
  2. Vuh
    Bonus Tracks:
  3. Kha - White Structures 1 10:14
  4. Kha - White Structures 2 10:09



2nd proper album by Popol Vuh from 1972. Florian Fricke (synthesizer, organ, Fender piano), Holger Trulzsch (African & Turkish percussions) & Frank Fiedler (synthesizer). Two great spacey side-long tracks of swirling trance-fest sound & clatter.

Forced Exposure catalogue

Essential electronic nirvana

This, the second album released by the Munich-based group was called "In the gardens of Pharao" and was released in 1972. Each side consists of only one track and both could not be more different from another. The title track: well,imagine yourself 5000 years ago,in a little wooden boat drifting along the ancient river Nile, seeing Pharaos and Pyramids passing by. 20 minutes of beautiful "kosmische" music. On side two is the track "Vuh". A roaring church organ (played in Naumburg in Southern Germany), accompanied by turkish chimes and sacral voices propells you into a dimension you never thought you could be in. This is one of most unbelievable tracks of music I've ever heard, the power and intensity is almost too much to listen to and after it is finished you won't be able to listen to another song. It's hard to describe the music of Popol Vuh, for this is music you feel with an intensity almost no band in the electronic scene has ever reached, not Tangerine Dream or countless others. And what makes this one even more special is that it was recorded such a long time ago. If you're into electronic music, this is the one you m-u-s-t own! .

Heiko from Hamburg, Germany [December 8, 1998]

One of the earliest Popol Vuh albums to utilize percussive repetition and extensive drone work, Pharaos features two side long tracks, both slightly different means to a similar end. Nature's gentle caress leads off the title track as the sounds of water gently lapping a shore provide a ready-made atmosphere of calm and intuitive awareness. Almost immediately, Fricke's Moog work threatens this peace, while deepening awareness, as an angelic drone deepens into an earthshaking, feedbacking rumble. Not destructively powerful, the style more resembles Tangerine Dream circa Zeit, with Moog swelling occassionally as Kongas and turkish percussion creep in, keeping a steady, brisk pace. A theremin-like organ evokes a horror show vibe as a Fender piano solo and Moog swell wraps the piece up. "Vuh" tenders even more spirituality, leading off with a richly textured combination of church organ and crashing cymbals. The organ layers, swells, drops off, and enters again, accompanied by sparse, echoing percussion and Moog. A loftier affair than the preceeding track, "Vuh" ends with the above joined by a distant vocal chant. -GW

New Sonic Architecture catalogue

Classic German band who play heavenly drifting instumental psychedelia. If you like Ashra Tempel then this band are their laid back brothers and sisters. Just as trippy but with a chilled out relaxed vibe. This is their second album. Two long trippy tracks with Moogs, Turkish percussion cymbals etc.

Delerium's Psychedelic Web

This pioneering Krautrock release occupies the territory between soft-focus ambient music and Tangerine Dream-derived electronic experimentation. IN DER GARTEN PHAROS contains two extended instrumental pieces that mix the pastoral sounds of the natural world with unearthly synth tones. Florian Fricke is the band's center, and his keyboard work provides the bulk of the instrumental colors. He's surrounded throughout by atmospheric percussion and additional electronics that enhance the summer-vacation-on-the-astral-plane feel. Eventually, the new-agey aspect of the band's sound would take over and the group would venture into Windham Hill territory, but on this 1972 release the band is in its prime, striking just the right balance between the electronic adventurousness of the "cosmic rock" set and the gentle ambience that set Popol Vuh apart from so many of its harder-edged contemporaries.

CD Universe catalogue

'In Pharaoh's Garden' was the first true work of 'Sacred Music' by Florian Fricke, guiding light of the mythical group Popol Vuh. Consisting of two extended works, his mixture of electronics and church organ with assorted winds and percussives, conjures up visions of the celestial light. Deeply emotional and filled with mysticism, this album marked the dawning of new age music, and still today is a wonder to behold.

Archie Patterson, All-Music Guide

Julian Cope describes the legendary German Popol Vuh's In Den Garten Pharoahs as "one of the great meditational holy works". An astonishing mix of ambient electronics and natural percussion it precedes Eno or Harold Budd's later works by about 15 years. If music can define the very centre of a heartbeat or the core of existence then this is that sound.

Mike Gee, music editor

A development on the first album with the same musical ingredients.

Cranium Music catalogue

This is a HUGE recording. Mostly Moog, organ, and Turkish and African percussion, Florian Fricke has managed to carve out gigantic sound sculptures as massive as Egyptian pyramids.
"In Den..." is composed of three major parts: the sound effects of lapping water, Moog synthesizers, and Turkish percussion. The best way I can describe it is like rowing down a river and being surrounded by alien masses of sound that tower over you. I never have yet heard synthesizers sound quite so simultaneously beautiful, exotic, alien and massive. While the synths have the aura of alien, the Turkish percussion and lapping water effects bring it back to Earth. The second track "Vuh" is equally if not more fascinating. The main instrument here is church organ as played by Fricke in some cathedral in Germany. While "In Den" is ethereal and abstract, "Vuh" is absolutely trance-like. The whole composition is basically one massive organ chord that is held through the entire piece; it modulates slightly throughout but remains, at the core, the same chord. The chord itself is absolutely huge, because it takes advantage of the full powerful range of the organ from ultra low rumbles to high-pitched regal highs. The repetitive percussion adds to the effect, and some occasional tiny Moog melodies float out of the hypnotic vortex of monstrous sound and then disintegrate almost unnoticeably. This does have a very hypnotizing effect; I have listened to this many, times and find it amazing that I get lost in it rather than getting bored.
I can wholeheartedly recommend this for any prog rock fan with a taste for exotic sounds. People who enjoy something like Magma's Köhntarkösz (the studio version, more so than the live version) or Tangerine Dream's Zeit should appreciate it. Also, for those that avoid this type of music: this is really exciting and colorful, especially considering the more repetitive and ambient/electronic style it is working within. Check it out when you have 40 minutes of free time. One of my personal favorite recordings.

Ground and Sky Music Reviews Page

Der progressive Kraut-Rock der 70er ist wieder "hip"; das sagen z.B. der britische Psychedelic-Papst Julian Cope und viele Musiker aus der aktuellen Ambient- und Electronic-Listening-Szene. Insofern verwundert es nicht weiter, daß dieses rare Sammler-Kleinod von 1972 jetzt auf einmal wieder als schwarze Scheibe - limitierte Auflage selbstverständlich - erhältlich ist. Die Sakral-Elektroniker aus München produzierten damals "Musik in schillernden Klangfarben, von exotischer und körperlicher Percussion durchsetzt".


Die Formation Popol Vuh (so heisst das "Buch des Rates" der guatemalischen Quiché-Indianer) um Florian Fricke gehört zu den Pionieren des deutschen Krautrock bzw. der neuen elektronischen Musik; "In den Gärten Pharaos" ist ihr zweites Album.
Das Titelstück beginnt mit den Geräuschen plätschernden Wassers, dazu gesellen sich nach und nach chor-artige Synthesizer-Stimmen, die fast an einen mittelalterlichen Choral erinnern. Schliesslich kommt ein bewegter Conga-Rhythmus dazu, die Synthesizerstimmen erinnern jetzt mehr an 'singende Weingläser', bis sie schliesslich durch ein glockig vor sich hin plingendes E-Piano abgelöst werden. Das Ganze verströmt eine besonnene, fast sakrale und durchaus hypnotische Stimmung, und durch die Kombination von Naturgeräuschen, Synthesizern und Percussion wird auch eine gewisse Farbigkeit und Lebendigkeit heraufbeschworen, die dem Garten eines Pharaos vielleicht sogar angemessen ist.
Nichtsdestotrotz bin ich nicht ganz sicher, ob man den gleichen Effekt nicht auch erreichen könnte, wenn man einen halbwegs begabte Sechsjährigen vor einen Synthesizer setzt und ihm erklärt, dass er nur die schwarzen Tasten benutzen dürfe und ihm dann noch einen Conga-Spieler aus der örtlichen Hippie-Kommune zur Seite stellt... Naja, Schwamm drüber.
Auf der zweiten Seite wird dann schweres Geschütz aufgefahren: eine Kirchenorgel türmt zusammen mit Synthesizer und Stimmen gewaltige, düstere Akkorde, gegen die die auch hier wieder vertretenen Konga-Rhythmen einen schweren Stand haben. Deren Rolle übernimmt allerdings die entfesselte, drängende und schwellende Beckenarbeit. Die pastorale Idylle des pharaonischen Gartens weicht hier Endzeitstimmung und Strafgericht, und obwohl eigentlich weniger Abwechslung herrscht als auf der ersten Seite, gefällt mit "Vuh" wegen der viel grösseren Intensität der Musik deutlich besser.
Dennoch bleibt dies eine der wenigen Platten, bei denen ich mir eine endgültige Beurteilung und Note nicht zutraue, einfach mangels Kenntnissen im zugrundeliegenden Genre E-Musik/Krautrock. Ich glaube aber, vor allem Fans der frühen Tangerine Dream müsste "In Den Gärten Pharaos" auf jeden Fall Spass machen.

Udo Gerhards @ Babyblaue Seiten

Pewnego poranka siedziałem sobie i dumałem nad Muzyką Elektroniczną. Zastanawiałem się, czego by tu z mojej prywatnej płytoteki posłuchać, lecz muzyka żadnego zespołu nie wydawała mi się odpowiadać nastrojowi chwili. Wstrząśnięty tym faktem podjąłem szybka decyzję. Trzeba wreszcie kupić coś z nagrań Popol Vuh. Płytę "In den Gärten Pharaos" zamówiłem w GENERATORZE, otrzymałem, cieszę się nią do teraz. To jest to! Nareszcie mam muzykę, która "chodziła" za mną od kilku lat.
Pamiętam, że jeszcze pod koniec lat osiemdziesiątych Jurek Jop w czwartkowym "Słuchajmy razem" puścił tę płytę. Wrażenia moje były niesamowite, o czym świadczą utrwalenie nazwy zespołu na długie lata w mojej pamięci i chęć powrotu do tej muzyki. Popol Vuh to bowiem kapela niezwykła. Liderem zespołu jest Florian Fricke, a na płycie asystują mu Holger Trülzsch i Frank Fiedler. Florian obsługuje Mooga i pianino Fendera, Holger perkusję afrykańską i turecką, a Frank zajął się drugim syntezatorem Mooga i utrwaleniem nagrań.
Płytka nie jest długa, zawiera dwa rozbudowane utwory z rodzaju, jaki bardzo lubię. Muzycy tworzą w oparciu o prymitywne rytmy wybijane na bębnach Trülzscha i na nie dopiero nakładają rozmyte plamy syntezatorowych dźwięków. Na początku tytułowego utworu słyszymy plusk wody, a następnie różne wariacje na temat "suwaki i pokrętła Mooga". Czasami możemy powiedzieć nawet o rytmie i melodii, czasami muzycy łamią wszelkie obowiązujące dotychczas kanony. Druga część płyty jest o wiele bardziej kosmiczna i pompatyczna. Dwaj panowie F. i jeden pan T. poszli śladami Tangerine Dream i zbudowali utwór na kształt Alpha Centauri. Różnice w brzmieniu są jednak spore. U Popol Vuh dominują instrumenty perkusyjne, gdzieś w tle słychać męskie wokalizy, wszystko pływa w gęstym sosie wielominutowych akordów odgrywanych na Moogu.
Cała płyta urzeka potężnym brzmieniem, ładunkiem szalonej kosmicznej energii i swoistym "prymitywizmem". Materia dźwięku jest bowiem zaprezentowana słuchaczowi w stanie surowym, muzyka wyłania się dopiero z improwizacji i tworzy się na naszych oczach, pardon, uszach. "In den Gärten Pharaos" to klasyk muzyki elektronicznej, próbka ELmuzyki najwyższej klasy. Radzę się wszystkim z nią zapoznać, ale nie będzie to znajomość łatwa i przyjemna. Słuchanie Popol Vuh wymaga pokory i uświadomienia sobie faktu, że ta muzyka została stworzona na początku lat siedemdziesiątych. I wtedy wszystko staje się jasne i bardziej... smakowite.
Jabłuszko z rajskiego ogrodu faraonów zasługuje tylko na: ***** (w skali pięciogwiazdkowej)

Romek Ociepa
tekst ukazał się w fanzinie "Sampler", numer 5(9) / październik 1996

Popol Vuh at their best!!!

It is Popol Vuh at their best!!! I will not compare this album to any other because there is no point... "In Den Garten Pharaos" is almost completely electronic as it employs moog synthesizer to paint dark soundscapes, so lovely and so Vuhish at the same time. Taking a closer look at this masterpiece i may say that ...

... "In Den Garten Pharaos" is a stunning moogish beauty that creates an utterly hypnotic atmosphere enhanced by pseudo-african drumming which strikes us with a feeling of terror. As the seventh minute of the first track begins all evil starts to speak with one voice. Beware of lurking shadows in your "castle". Night is the rightest time to play it loud. So switch off the light and dream of pharaos` gardens...

"Vuh" is a huge and massive wall of organ sounds played in a passionate mood, so magnificent in tune that you cannot compare it with anything else in the world. The ground-breaking sound like a thunderous God-influenced preacher`s voice rolls over you making you feel like a little worm, totally and wholly out of help. What strikes me most is a constant stream of church organs vibrating strongly for twenty minutes with no regret as if they were trying to bring down all the sinners of this world on their knees.

Popol Vuh "In Den Garten Pharaos" is a must for everyone who likes such an avant-gard playing as Florian Fricke used to create with his moog in the early seventies. Notes compression and "soundbursting" is a key to Florian`s success. "In Den Garten..." is the second and perhaps the best Vuh`s album though as i said before there is no point in comparing anything which is of a different kind. I will not speak further then. Well, just take IT and let IT take YOU!!!

This comment will soon be rearranged and uploaded on the best Polish Popol Vuh site. I hope so ... :-)

Again i would like to thank my dearest alter ego Tommyknocker whose help was invaluable for me to create quickly this rough piece of writing.

Tomasz Ostafiński

Great stuff

Now this is quite different from the piano-oriented Popol Vuh albums that were to follow. Although Florian Fricke claimed to be never a fan of synthesizers and electronics, he seemed to have no problem with it on this album, In den Gärten Pharaos, which is their second album, originally released in 1972 on the Pilz label (same German label that gave us groups like Emtidi, Virus, the obscure bluesy/jazzy prog rock band McChurch Soundroom, and many more). Apparently Fricke turned to religion some time after Tangerine Dream released Zeit (he guested on that album) and so he turned away from electronics and gave us Hosianna Mantra which sounds so different from its predecessor (In den Gärten Pharoas) that its basically a different band (which basically it was). On In den Gärten Pharaos, the band was all-instrumental, and consisted of Fricke, of course, on Moog synthesizer, organ, and Fender Rhodes electric piano, Holger Trülzsch on percussion, and Frank Fielder on additional Moog. The album consists of only two side length cuts. The first one tends to be calmer. Most of it tends to the experimental spacy variety common to the Krautrock scene of the time. I cant help but be reminded a bit of what Tangerine Dream was doing around the same time (I guess thats why Fricke guested on Zeit). The last few minutes consists of mostly Fricke on the electric piano. The last cut, "Vuh" is a largely organ-dominated piece. It mostly consists of one long drone with some really mindblowing, noisy and intense use of percussion that never seems to end. The lengthy droning organ makes me think of Klaus Schulzes work, particularly on the album Cyborg. Basically In den Gärten Pharaos is one of those "what if" albums. That is, what if Florian Fricke decided to stick to the synthesizer on following albums? Its too bad that there were only two Moog albums this group done, this one, and their previous one, Affenstunde, in which In den Gärten Pharaos is regarded as the best of the two (I hadn't heard Affendstunde yet, although reactions are supposed to be mixed). This album later received an American released as In the Garden of the Pharoahs on the Celestial Harmonies label, with totally different packaging. So if you like electronic/experimental Krautrock not unlike early Tangerine Dream or early Klaus Schulze, then get this album.

4dance-music Customer Review

Death to Music Snobs

Dont listen to the smartass below, there is considerably more to Popol Vuh than this album, good as it is. I would roughly section their career as follows:

1970-72 - electronic
1972-73 - "new age" style devotional music
1974-77 - electric guitar based "rock"
1978-87 - acoustic/vocal based
1987- return to electronic music

There are great albums in all of these periods, except the final and current period. Try these for size: "Einsjager und Siebensjager", "Herz aus Glas", "Tantric Songs", "Sei still...wisse ICH BIN", "Agape-Agape". And be assured that many more people than Mr. Moon below and the irritating Mr. Cope have heard Popol Vuh and this album.

4dance-music Customer Review

2004 remastered version, with 2 bonus tracks (previous edition on Spalax is deleted). This is the second of the legendary Moog albums of Popol Vuh after their debut Affenstunde and was released in 1972. Originally just with 2 tracks and now for the first time with more than 20 additional minutes. And this by adding 2 previously unreleased Moog bonus tracks of 1970/1971. This has been a cult album and will become a new one." Bonus Tracks : "Kha-White Structures 1" (10:14), "Kha-White Structures 2" (10:09). These are great, extended Moog improvisational tracks, making this the more desirable addition to the PV discography by the SPV series.

Forced Exposure Reviews Page

This is the second of the legendary Moog albums of Popol Vuh, following the debut Affenstunde and was first released back in 1972. Originally released with just two tracks, the remastered version tacks on more than 20 additional minutes, featuring two previously unreleased Moog bonus tracks recorded in 1970/1971. In Den Gärten Pharaos has always been considered a classic cult album amongst those in the Krautrock know. And for good reason.

Ryko Dist.