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  • Affenstunde
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Affenstunde Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered, Limited Collector's Edition, Extra tracks, Deluxe Edition


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MP3 Music, May 3, 2004
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Vinyl, Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered, January 1, 2013
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Product Details

  • Vinyl
  • Original Release Date: 1970
  • Number of Discs: 3
  • Format: Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered, Limited Collector's Edition, Extra tracks, Deluxe Edition
  • Label: Wah Wah Supersonic Sounds
  • ASIN: B00FXAQ6QY
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

Editorial Reviews

Gorgeous 2013 reissue of this seminal kosmische krautrock record by legendary Popol Vuh. Remastered from original master tapes. Comes in full glory laminated gatefold cover with original artwork. Features previously unreleased track "Betina, an insert with liners, photos and colour poster. Limited edition of 500 copies. Sold out at source.

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey J.Park VINE VOICE on May 28, 2007
Format: Audio CD
This 1970 debut album by seminal German experimental group Popul Vuh opens on a somewhat pastoral note, complete with the organic sounds of birds chirping. Then a splash is heard, as if somebody jumped into a pond, which then fades into some comparatively cold and mechanical sounds on the moog synthesizer. It is as if another dimension (or distant future) is entered as the listener passes beneath the surface of the water, thus transporting the listener from the "sylvan glade" and the pond directly into what "sounds" to me like the vacuum of outer space. I am not entirely sure if that was Fricke's intention, but it certainly worked for me.

Affenstunde is an excellent and early example of electronica that just features the moog synthesizer along with some excellent percussion. I find the use of the moog at this early point especially impressive when you consider that this instrument cost a great deal of money - something on the order of buying a small house in 1970, or so I have been told.

The lineup on this album is very simple and consists of (the late) Florian Fricke on the moog synthesizer and Holger Trulzsch on percussion. The mixture of the cold synthesizer textures and the warm percussion is very interesting. The two pieces on this album are long and change very little over the course of the piece, with the Dream suite clocking in somewhere around 21+ minutes and Affenstunde at 18'30". In large part, the music cycles between spacey and somewhat creepy sounds on the moog synthesizer, and warmer passages dominated by various pieces of percussion (drums, bells etc). I found the contrast to be pretty interesting and at times, somewhat hypnotic.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Louie Bourland on June 10, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Popol Vuh was formed in 1969 in Munich, Germany by classically trained musician/composer Florian Fricke. The band emerged during the now-legendary German Krautrock scene which also spawned pioneering artists such as Tangerine Dream, Ash Ra Tempel, Kraftwerk, Cluster, Neu! and Klaus Schulze. While the above bands initially used traditional rock instruments to create their 'electronic' sound, Popol Vuh was a different creature all together. Florian Fricke, having come from a wealthy family background, was among the first musicians to own a Moog synthesizer in Germany (pre-dating Tangerine Dream's Moog acquisition by four years). It is this instrument which became the primary vehicle for Fricke's early musical excursions.
Popol Vuh's debut album "Affenstunde" (German for "Hour of Monkeys") was released in 1970 and became an instant attraction because of its originality and innovative use of electronics. The band line-up for the album consisted of Fricke and long-time friend/producer/engineer Frank Fiedler operating the Moog along with Holger Trulzsch providing a vast array of percussion instruments.
The album's opening suite, "Ich Mache Einen Speigel", is divided into three parts beginning with "Dream Part 4". The track opening with sounds of rippling water before a splash gives way to chriping bird sounds and probing outer-space rhythms all created on the Moog. This first part continues in this fashion throughout its nearly 9-minute duration and becomes more dense as it progresses. The stereo-panning of the 'space' sounds are an awesome treat with headphones.
"Dream Part 4" segues into "Dream Part 5" with a swooshe of white noise giving way to a barrage of solid percussive rhythms from Trulzch.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful By James Schulze on November 5, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Popol Vuh could easily have fallen into the "experimental" catagory of pretentious novelty that John Cage and other early electronic artists fell into if it weren't for one thing: heart. Take some of the most daring and radical music ever written and add emotion, spirituality, and sincerity, and you have Popol Vuh.

With that said, Affenstunde is hard to describe. Fans of krautrock, and especially those of Tangerine Dream and Klaus Schulze, can identify many of the standards tricks of the idiom in Affenstunde, including the 20 minute instrumentals and repetative synth lines. But whereas Tangerine Dream and Schulze used a more traditional musical structure (including long minor chords and improvised melodies), Fricke's emphasis in Affenstunde is on sound. Though moments of musical clarity shine through, you mostly feel adrift in a sea of ghostly electronics and distorted choirs. The experience can be frustrating at first, but after hearing the album several times, you fall in love with the feeling of being lost. It's a beautiful, bizarre, and amazing experience, and one any fan of krautrock should take. I'm very grateful for these remasters. Is there any chance of Popol Vuh's soundtrack to Nosferatu being released???
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By Mark D. Mayfield on January 2, 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Exactly the kind of music to send you floating away on a wave of peace...Drink some tea, get yourself in the right frame of mind to relax, and enjoy this. Really nice!
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