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Seligpreisung

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Album Review

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.

Biography

Formed: 1969 in Munich, Germany

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s

Of the many now-legendary artists to emerge from the Krautrock movement, few anticipated the rise of modern electronic music with the same prescience as Popol Vuh -- the first German band to employ a Moog synthesizer, their work not only anticipated the emergence of ambient, but also proved pioneering in its absorption of worldbeat textures. At much the same time Popol Vuh was formed in Munich in 1969, another group of Norwegian descent adopted the same name, an endless source of confusion in the...
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Seligpreisung, Popol Vuh
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