Thursday, 6 June 2019

VA ‎– Mute Audio Documents «1978 - 1984» (2007)

Style: Alternative Rock, Industrial, Punk, New Wave, Synth-pop, Experimental
Format: Box Set / CD
Label: Mute 

 Mute Audio Documents 1 / «1978 - 1981»

01.   T.V.O.D - The Normal
02.   Warm Leatherette - The Normal
03.   Memphis Tennessee - Silicon Teens
04.   Let's Dance - Silicon Teens
05.   Back To Nature - Fad Gadget / Frank Tovey
06.   The Box - Fad Gadget / Frank Tovey
07.   Judy In Disguise - Silicon Teens
08.   Chip 'n' Roll - Silicon Teens
09.   Ricky's Hand - Fad Gadget / Frank Tovey
10.   Handshake - Fad Gadget / Frank Tovey
11.   Kebabträume - DAF
12.   Gewalt - DAF
13.   Soundtrack 1 (loop edit of 1'30'' at 33rpm) - Non / Boyd Rice
14.   Soundtrack 2 (loop edit of 1'30'' at 33rpm) - Non / Boyd Rice
15.   Soundtrack 3 (loop edit of 1'30'' at 33rpm) - Non / Boyd Rice
16.   Mode Of Infection - Non / Boyd Rice
17.   Knife Ladder - Non / Boyd Rice
18.   Can't Look Straight - Smegma
19.   Flashcards - Smegma
20.   Insecticide - Fad Gadget / Frank Tovey
21.   Fireside Favourites - Fad Gadget / Frank Tovey

01 .  Just Like Eddie - Silicon Teens
02.   Sun Flight - Silicon Teens
03.   Double Heart - Robert Rental
04.   On Location - Robert Rental
05.   Tanz Mit Mir - DAF
06.   Der Räuber Und Der Prinz - DAF
07.   Dreaming Of Me - Depeche Mode
08.   Ice Machine - Depeche Mode
09.   Side A Track 2 - Non / Boyd Rice
10.   Side B Track 1 - Non / Boyd Rice
11.   Make Room - Fad Gadget / Frank Tovey
12.   Lady Shave - Fad Gadget / Frank Tovey
13.   New Life - Depeche Mode
14.   Shout - Depeche Mode
15.   Just Can't Get Enough - Depeche Mode
16.   Any Second Now - Depeche Mode

Mute Audio Documents 2 / «1982»

01.   Rise - Non / Boyd Rice
02.   Out Out Out - Non / Boyd Rice
03.   Romance Fatal Dentro De Un Auto - Non / Boyd Rice
04.   See You - Depeche Mode
05.   Now This Is Fun - Depeche Mode
06.   Saturday Night Special (Special Mix) - Fad Gadget / Frank Tovey
07.   Swallow It (Live) - Fad Gadget / Frank Tovey
08.   Fred Vom Jupiter - Die Doraus Und Die Marinas
09.   Even Home Is Not Nice Anymore - Die Doraus Und Die Marinas
10.   Physical Evidence - Non / Boyd Rice
11.   Man Kills Self While Cleaning Gun - Non / Boyd Rice
12.   King Of The Flies - Fad Gadget / Frank Tovey
13.   Plain Clothes - Fad Gadget / Frank Tovey
14.   The Meaning Of Love - Depeche Mode
15.   Oberkorn (It's A Small Town) - Depeche Mode

01.   Only You-  Yazoo
02.   Situation - Yazoo
03.   Los Niños Del Parque - Liaisons Dangereuses
04.   Mystère Dans Le Brouillard - Liaisons Dangereuses
05.   Don't Go - Yazoo
06.   Winter Kills - Yazoo
07.   Life On The Line - Fad Gadget / Frank Tovey
08.   4M Fad - Gadget / Frank Tovey
09.   Leave In Silence - Depeche Mode
10.   Excerpt From: My Secret Garden - Depeche Mode
11.   The Other Side Of Love - Yazoo
12.   Ode To Boy - Yazoo
13.   For Whom The Bells Toll - Fad Gadget / Frank Tovey
14.   Love Parasite - Fad Gadget / Frank Tovey

Mute Audio Documents 3 / «1983»

01.   Get The Balance Right! - Depeche Mode
02.   The Great Outdoors! - Depeche Mode
03.   Or So It Seems - Duet Emmo
04.   Heart Of Hearts (Or So It Seems) - Duet Emmo
05.   Mit Dir - Robert Görl
06.   Beruhrt Verfuhrt - Robert Görl
07.   Nobody's Diary - Yazoo
08.   State Farm - Yazoo
09.   Everything Counts - Depeche Mode
10.   Work Hard - Depeche Mode

01.   I Discover Love - Fad Gadget / Frank Tovey
02.   Lemmings On Lovers Rock - Fad Gadget / Frank Tovey
03.   Love In Itself.2 - Depeche Mode
04.   Fools - Depeche Mode
05.   Never Never - The Assembly
06.   Stop Start - The Assembly
07.   Jennifer's Veil - The Birthday Party
08.   Mutiny In Heaven - The Birthday Party
09.   Swampland - The Birthday Party
10.   Say A Spell - The Birthday Party

Mute Audio Documents 4 / «1984»

01.   Tanz Debil - Einstürzende Neubauten
02.   Kalte Sterne - Einstürzende Neubauten
03.   Collapsing New People - Fad Gadget / Frank Tovey
04.   Spoil The Child - Fad Gadget / Frank Tovey
05.   Darling Don't Leave Me - Robert Görl
06.   A Ist Wieder Da - Robert Görl
07.   People Are People - Depeche Mode
08.   In Your Memory - Depeche Mode
09.   One Man's Meat - Fad Gadget / Frank Tovey
10.   Sleep (Electro Induced Original) - Fad Gadget / Frank Tovey

01.   In The Ghetto - Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
02.   The Moon Is In The Gutter - Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
03.   Letters To A Friend - I Start Counting
04.   Adman's Dream - I Start Counting
05.   U, Mu, U - Bruce Gilbert
06.   Here Visit - Bruce Gilbert
07.   Master And Servant - Depeche Mode
08.   (Set Me Free) Remotivate Me - Depeche Mode
09.   Blasphemous Rumours - Depeche Mode
10.   Somebody (Remix) - Depeche Mode
11.   Extraction 2 - Non / Boyd Rice
12.   Extraction 7 - Non / Boyd Rice

Mute Audio Documents / «Rarities»

01.   Live At West Runton Pavilion - The Normal & Robert Rental
02.   Side A Track 1 - 33RPM - Boyd Rice
03.   Side A Track 1 - 45RPM - Boyd Rice
04.   Side B Track 2 - 33RPM - Boyd Rice
05.   Side B Track 2 - 45RPM - Boyd Rice
06.   King Of The Flies (Live) - Fad Gadget / Frank Tovey
07.   I Discover Love (Live) - Fad Gadget / Frank Tovey
08.   The Ring (Live) - Fad Gadget / Frank Tovey
09.   Love Parasite (Live) - Fad Gadget / Frank Tovey

01 .  Excerpt From: My Secret Garden - Depeche Mode
02.   Shout (Live) - Depeche Mode
03.   Photographic (Live) - Depeche Mode
04.   Somebody (Live) - Depeche Mode
05.   Ice Machine (Live) - Depeche Mode
06.   Bring Your Love Down (David Jansen BBC Session) - Yazoo
07.   In My Room (David Jansen BBC Session) - Yazoo
08.   Winter Kills (Live) - Yazoo
09.   Don't Go (Live) - Yazoo
10.   Situation (Live) - Yazoo
11.   From Her To Eternity (John Peel BBC Session) - Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds

Popol Vuh ‎– Seligpreisung (1973)

Style: Psychedelic Rock, Prog Rock
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: PDU, Cosmic Music, Spalax, SPV Recordings

1.   Selig Sind, Die Da Hungern
2.   Tanz Der Chassidim
3.   Selig Sind, Die Da Hier Weinen
4.   Selig Sind, Die Da Willig Arm
5.   Selig Sind, Die Da Leid Tragen
6.   Selig Sind, Die Sanftmütigen
7.   Selig Sind, Die Da Reien Herze
8.   Ja, Sie Sollen Gottes Kinder Heissen
      Bonus Track
9.   Be In Love (Du Sollst Lieben)

Electric Guitar, Drums, Congas – Daniel Fichelscher
Electric Guitar, Twelve-String Guitar – Conny Veit
Oboe – Robert Eliscu
Tambura – Klaus Wiese
Music By– Popol Vuh
Producer – Popol Vuh, Reinhardt Langowski
Composed By, Arranged By, Piano, Vocals, Harpsichord – Florian Fricke

Released in 1973, Seligpreisung was, if anything, a complete shock after the gorgeous "religious" rock of Hosianna Mantra. Gone are the hypnotic Gregorian chants and overtone layers of drone. In their place is a kind of shimmering, spacy jazz-rock where, despite a few instances of Florian Fricke chant-singing, the effect is one where his piano becomes the steadiest backdrop, playing hypnotic, repetitive chords and phrases while Conny Veit improvises with David Gilmour-like blues guitar phrases over the gently swirling music. Elsewhere, the rest of the group (the same cats who played on Hosianna Mantra) is heard in classically tinged miniatures that float through the mix with a kind of meandering insistence on instantly recognizable Western thematics and standard conceptions of beauty rather than confrontations -- however subtle -- with the East/West space-time continuum. This is not to say that Seligpreisung is a disappointment; rather, it is only a shock for its giant step backward into the realm of the conventional. Perhaps Hosianna Mantra presented an abyss, and as Fricke looked over it musically, he realized that its beauty was unbearable. For whatever the reason, Seligpreisung is a meditative, generally quiet, and lovely album, but it doesn't go near the precipice. 
Thom Jurek / AllMusic

Popol Vuh ‎– Hosianna Mantra (1972)

Style: Krautrock, Ambient
Format: CD, Vinyl, Cass.
Label: Celestial Harmonies, Pilz, PDU, Cosmic Music , SPV MUsic

1.   Ah!
2.   Kyrie
3.   Hosianna-Mantra
      Das V. Buch Mose
4.   Abschied
5.   Segnung
6.   Andacht
7.   Nicht Hoch Im Himmel
8.   Andacht
      Bonus Track
9.   Maria (Ave Maria)

Hosianna Mantra is one of those albums it’s okay to call beautiful. Florian Fricke of Popol Vuh calls it a “Mass for the heart.” “It is Music for Love” he carefully adds in an interview. Popol Vuh released the album in 1972 after making two records, Affenstunde and In den Gärten Pharaos, which pioneered the use of the giant Moog synthesizer. On later albums however, electronic experimentation took a backseat, and instruments tended towards the ethnic, which, in a way, was a continuation of what had gone before: ambitious instrumentation on a surprisingly humble conceptual budget, a stated aim of nurturing and preserving a spiritual core within the music. That core was protected, like a child, by the austerity of Fricke’s decisions – not to scale down his musical ambitions, but to cut out anything that could not express what was at the heart of the matter at any given moment. 
The usual tendency in prog rock is for ambition to star in the composition, like a magician in pantomime robes. Sometimes this comes across as campy, other times mystical. Although Hosianna Mantra is dedicated to spiritual matters, there is no sense of a pious intercessor molding it into a ‘difficult album’ with an agenda; there are no musical styles or alternative faiths aggressively promoted. Perhaps this is due to the peculiar ambition of Fricke, which, although great, extends into a selfless, even featureless universality. Many artists nowadays would balk at declaring their attempts to find unity between such loaded territories as Eastern and Western religion. The title Hosianna Mantra doesn’t seem to have grown on the band members in any kind of personal way, but according to Fricke, the two Hindu and Christian liturgical terms were chosen simply because they were representative of two major world religions, and expressed his purpose: to make a religious album that transcended differing traditions. The title evokes the image of an extremely stable structure, the two terms supporting each other, pyramid style. It is easy to visualize this purpose as an echo of traditional European philosophical and religious music, which was often architecturally inspired in its conceptual purity. The European influence is particularly evident on the album’s later tracks such as “Not High in Heaven,” “Kyrie” (the Greek address to the lord in Christian praise songs), and “Blessing.” 
Those tracks that utilize the talents of the soprano Djong Yun — in whom Fricke discovered the beautiful voice he had previously tried to express through ethereal synthesizers – tend to have European sounding Devotional titles, and traditional, Christian influences. ‘Voices’ rather than percussion are prominent on the later tracks. These include oboe, violin, and Yun’s solo soprano (plus what sounds like an electronic choir). Though the most beautiful tracks to my mind are those that rehearse the ‘Mantras’ rather than the Hosiannas of the title. It is easy to forget that Fricke was a pianist, seeing as the piano/keyboard is so frequently dwarfed inside Fricke’s vast cathedral-like compositions. And it is difficult to pin down what influences the piano parts are channeling; although they frequently sound minimalist; mobile and modern within the framework of the overall arrangements. The Mantras of the first section of the album repeat simple phrases that gain complexity over the course of progressive key changes, unfolding glacially, deliberately, in typical minimalist fashion. The whole keyboard is used, but only with the slightest nod to Jazz. Hosianna Mantra, unlike many of the prog albums of its era, is the album that Jazz forgot; or perhaps the album that forgot about Jazz. 
The forgetting may well have been conscious, part of the careful exclusion of any element that would not serve Fricke’s purpose. At the risk of sounding New Agey, the ‘energy’ of Jazz would probably have been disruptive to Fricke’s project. Quite simply, European church music demands a firm resolution to any musical narrative, mirroring its own spiritual narrative. In the same way, the album’s trajectory is overwhelmingly positive, and it fetches up in the most exalted and least chaotic territory possible. At this point, Djong Yun’s voice is permanently stuck to the ceiling, a state which many will find beautiful, but I find less moving — her voice has obviously been recorded in such a way that it soars to almost inhuman heights of remoteness and perfection, and though it sounds lovely, it loses its character up there. The PC brigade might also object to the fact that the ‘gateway’ tracks — the Mantras — are aligned with the Hindu tradition, while the album’s lofty heights are occupied by the tracks that more closely resemble European church music. It is said that Fricke converted to Christianity around the time of Hosianna Mantra, which would explain this progression. Nevertheless, his recollections of making the album are much more open and unprejudiced towards other forms of religious expression than a fanatic conversion experience would suggest. 
Hosianna Mantra’s big dreams represent its own brand of prog megalomania, though it is not really a rock or jazz influenced album. Groovy guitars are present here and there, including Conny Veit’s 12-string guitar, electric guitar, and the hippie signature sound of the tamboura – an instrument that resembles the sitar. As with the piano parts, Veit’s playing is difficult to pin down to any particular style, and it is difficult to tell whether the occasional noodling scale is consciously influenced by jazz modes. 
Outside of Popol Vuh, Fricke’s collaborations with the director Werner Herzog represent his most renowned efforts. Not being familiar with Herzog’s work, it is difficult to draw any informed conclusions from this, but it does seem that Herzog’s refusal to restrict himself from realizing even the most impossible artistic vision (yes I am referring to that hackneyed story about the ship being hauled over the hill in Fitzcarraldo), bears some resemblance to Fricke’s confidence that he could produce an album for all religious traditions, a ‘Mass for the heart’ in Hosianna Mantra. The product of his efforts is undoubtedly beautiful, and also humble in its realization (at least to my ears) — which raises an interesting possibility about artistic ambition; one for pondering happily ad infinitum: it may be that the most apparently haughty, exalted artistic ambitions – those that attempt to tackle the ancient themes of love, wonder and God – are the simplest, and in fact the most honest of them all. 
J Monk / Tiny Mix Tapes

Popol Vuh ‎– In Den Gärten Pharaos (1971)

Style: Krautrock, Ambient
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Pilz, Think Progressive, PDU, Die Kosmischen Kuriere

1.   In Den Gärten Pharaos
2.   Vuh
      Bonus Tracks (Formerly Unreleased):
3.   Kha-White Structures 1
4.   Kha-White Structures 2

Written-By – Popol Vuh
Synthesizer, Organ, Electric Piano – Florian Fricke
Percussion (Afrikanische, Türkische Percussion) – Holger Trülzsch
Mixed By (Moog-Synthesizer-Mixdown), Remastered By – Frank Fiedler

Prepare to enter the most mindblowing mystical experience. Two side length tracks into the inner sanctum, guided by the unrivalled spiritual genius of Kosmische Musik--Florian Fricke. The first track is an esoteric and ancient mystery cult initiation into the shamanic secrets of the cradles of civilization, floating down an endless river with African and Turkish percussion and the serene and crystalline sounds of a Fender Rhodes. The second track is the most powerful recording of all time: deafening percussion and church organ echo off of the vaults of the cosmic cathedral. Words simply fail me. Awe-inspiring.  
Graveyard Poet / Head Heritage

Popol Vuh ‎– Affenstunde (1970)

Style: Krautrock, Minimal, Experimental
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Liberty, Wah Wah Records, Klimt Records

1.   Ich Mache Einen Spiegel - Dream Part 4
2.   Ich Mache Einen Spiegel - Dream Part 5
3.   Ich Mache Einen Spiegel - Dream Part 49
4.   Affenstunde
      Bonus Track
5.   Train Through Time

Percussion – Holger Trülzsch
Producer – Gerhard Augustin
Synthesizer (Mixdown) – Frank Fiedler
Synthesizer (Moog) – Florian Fricke
Written-By, Composed By – Popol Vuh

The brooding front cover of “Affenstunde” displays a close up of a darkened doorway while a warm, orange glow beams from within its interior. On the reverse of the sleeve, the same orange light floods an interior scene of a sheepskin-vested Florian Fricke positioned at his Moog synthesizer, percussionist Holger Trülzsch spellbound by rhythm on twin bongos flanked by a female companion likewise occupied. Meanwhile, the gatefold shot was a full bleed, wide angle photo of the opposing banks of the nearby Inn River at twilight. This design is highly symbolic of the entire conceptual underscore of not only Popol Vuh, but especially “Affenstunde” itself: There’s outside, then inside and then...beyond. 
The structure that housed this orange light of creativity was der Roter Pfarrhof (or ‘Red Parsonage’) of Peterskirchen in Wasserburg, West Germany. It was the property of Gottliebe von Lehndorff, the mother of Vera Gottliebe Anna Gräfin von Lehndorff-Steinort (who would later come to prominence in the international fashion world simply as Veruschka) and wife of Count Heinrich Graf von Lehndorff-Steinort. The Count’s involvement in the abortive July 20, 1944 plot to assassinate Hitler swiftly resulted in arrest, prosecution and execution by the Nazi People's Court with his entire family incarcerated in a concentration camp. At the end of World War II, the von Lehndorff-Steinort family was liberated and Gottliebe subsequently purchased der Roter Pfarrhof and organized courses in art and philosophy together with the conceptual artist and philosopher, Fritz Schranz. Calling it ‘a monastery for modern art and philosophy,’ in light of founder Florian Fricke’s true spiritual inclinations, it was a perfect environment and situation for Popol Vuh to coalesce. So Fricke, his newlywed wife Bettina, Frank Fielder (who provided technical assistance to Fricke on the Moog) and Holger Trülzsch (who rounded out the trio on percussion) lived and worked together on, and as, Popol Vuh. 
With only one 4-module Moog synthesizer and a limited array of percussion, Popol Vuh produced a debut album of incredible sounds and sensations that were unlike anything prior to its existence. The only instruments used were primitive percussion devices and Moog synthesizer, but mixed and finely tuned into a combination of past and future which resulted in something grounded in both the otherworldly and the natural world AND staged in the moment of the-now-of-then/the-now-of-whatever-year-it-is-now for nearly forty minutes. This sense of eternal blossoming spilled over into its title of “Affenstunde” (or ‘Monkey Hour’), defined by Florian Fricke as describing the moment when “a human being becomes a human being and is no longer an ape.” Stanley Kubrick’s “2001” was a direct conceptual influence; especially when one considers that at the time of the landmark film’s release in 1968, Fricke was still a writer on both film and music subjects for several Swiss and West German publications and undoubtedly experienced and remained moved by it. This is more than evident on side two, where the album’s side-long title track travels through from beginnings in primal chaos to unnatural Moog voicings that nod to György Ligeti’s soundtrack work in “2001” and result in a transcendental finale of uplifting dimensions not inappropriate to the consequences of heightened consciousness. 
With a 4-module Moog Series III Synthesizer, the comparison to a black monolith may or may not be appropriate. But Fricke was guided as much by the perimeters of this new machine as much as his own anthropological studies comprised of a wide cross-section of ancient cultures and sacred texts in plotting out his own timeless odyssey by mapping out human consciousness through meditative sound structures that coursed through vast expanses of time, space and various mental states. If this sounds too fantastic, it’s only because it is and as Fricke himself would later state that his experience with the Moog Synthesizer was “a fantastic way into my inside consciousness, to express what I was hearing within myself.”  
One thing he may have heard were the unifying elements of planet earth, although it may be too convenient to assign the four pieces of “Affenstunde” to correspond with each of the four elements. But upon close inspection, the sounds of splashing water, crackling fire and the patches of wind-inspired Moog are characteristics too specific to indicate anything else while the percussive squall on side one could conceivably qualify what percussionist Mickey Hart once called ‘earth rhythms.’ 
Side one contains a massive, three-part instrumental cross-faded together and called “Ich Mache Einen Spiegel” (“I Make A Mirror.”) Taking its title from the Florentine Codex, an exhaustive record of Aztec culture set down by a European Franciscan monk in the late 16th century, its initial sequence, subtitled “Dream Part 4,”1 is a mysterious and floating electronic piece that passes through an initial splash and plunge into the dark pool of human consciousness. Down it descends into the inky depths of the subconscious until a thicket of head-tenderizing percussion to drive out the minions of darkness emerges with a crashing wave into “Dream Part 5.” Presumably 44 dreams later, “Dream 49” fades in and wafts gently over a dark and flat landscape lit only by faintly glimmering starlight. All is serene and surreal quietude for the duration of this last segment of “Ich Mache Einen Spiegel” with only hints of percussion audible in slow, late night conga hits. The eerie sparseness of the piece maintains a steady, settled calm while high Moog notes soar on distant winds as if in search of something precious lost long ago. 
Side two’s epic title track, “Affenstunde,” weaves through a crackling fire in a nighttime wilderness that illuminates only an immediate circumference split by long shadows flickering upon the ground. Soon, these animalistic fears dissipate with the fade-in of an extended, improvised and elevating theme performed on Moog synthesizer that could be the soundtrack to the pores of the human heart opening out to the universe and embracing it fully until it becoming the universe. It’s that epic. The improvisational main Moog begins to dance and sing to the accompaniment of Trülzsch’s congas, which quietly ebb and flow in back at sporadic intervals. But no matter how wayward or giddy the Moog becomes, it remains on course, fully integrated with all the other elements and remain as free-felt gestures of humanity coping with newfound tools of compassion pieced together from a brutal past. All of these emotional shadings are varied and subtly applied: all informed by the firm yet sensitive compositional skill of Popol Vuh keyboardist and leader, Florian Fricke. “Affenstunde” is a masterful album and even more so when one considers he mastered the Moog, a brand new instrument, in under one year’s time. 
The Set Man / Head Heritage