Kailash is a new collection of work from Florian Fricke, leader of Popol Vuh, seminal group in the German rock scene of the 1970s (Can, Faust, Amon Duul, Ash Ra Tempel, Tangerine Dream) and creators of classic soundtracks to the films of Werner Herzog (Aguirre the Wrath of God, Nosferatu, Fitzcaraldo and others). Popol Vuh took their name from an epic mythological text from the 16th century Quiché Maya people of Guatemala, the name translates as ‘meeting place, together or common house’ Kailash brings together essential and unreleased piano recordings, together with Fricke’s travelogue film Kailash, about his spiritual voyage to Tibet’s 22,000 ft. Kailash mountain, ‘Throne of the Gods’, and the accompanying soundtrack album to this film. This collection is released as a deluxe 2CD + DVD set and as a one off 1000 copies worldwide collectors bespoke box set 2LP + DVD with bonus cards/inserts.
Essential Piano Recordings: For the first time, this compilation on Soul Jazz Records unites a careful selection of Florian Fricke’s most favourite piano tracks and compositions, both released and previously unreleased. Aside from his groundbreaking work with Popol Vuh, Fricke’s background is that of a classical composer and it was one of his late wishes to release ‘piano only’ recordings.
These essential piano recordings by Florian Fricke should be considered as something like the core, or the heart, of many Popol Vuh compositions. They contain tracks from 1972-1989 that Florian Fricke would have liked on a piano only album, enriched with further song improvisations that have been found posthumously, after he passed away in 2001. Some of these are studies for key tracks of Popol Vuh (for example ‘Hosianna Mantra’, 1972). Others are reoccurring patterns and sequences, with Florian often working with recurring motives frequently further developed with the group. This record is devoted to his inspiration and creativity as a contributor to an ongoing spiritual journey for others.
Kailash – Pilgrimage to The Throne of the Gods: The holiest mountain in Asia, in a far away corner of west Tibet, amidst wild and ragged landscape, nearly entirely cut off from the rest of the world, is called Kailash. For the pilgrims of four religions this 6675m high mountain is the ‘throne of gods’, or ‘navel of the world’ – a place where the divine takes an earthly shape. For thousands of years pilgrims have travelled to this place to worship the mystery of the mountain circumnavigating it on foot. The path around Kailash is an archaic ‘path of initiation’.
Florian Fricke and filmmaker Frank Fiedler (also an original founding Popol Vuh member) made their own spiritual trek along this path and documented the journey. Accompanying epic landscape scenes in the film is the music of Florian Fricke and Popol Vuh, spiritual music inspired by this unique journey. This posthumous project has been put together with the full cooperation and assistance of Florian Fricke’s family.
‘Florian was always able to create music I feel helps audiences visualize something hidden in the images on screen, and in our own souls too.’ ‘Herzog on Herzog’
"A loving tribute ... a comprehensive package" Pitchfork
"This posthumous collection of meditatitive and sombre tracks was inspired by Fricke and Frank Fiedler of Popol Vuh’s journey to the Kailash mountain in East Tibet. The set contains the soundtrack to the film of that journey, and a record of solo piano works. Textures range from piano hung with a fog of sustain to flutes suspended over a haze of warm synth drones. Brian Morton said: “These pieces are deceptively calm, but with the quality of sitting beneath an empty sky waiting for apocalypse.” TheWire Best Albums of 2015