Werner Herzog and Popol Vuh had a wonderful and long-running creative relationship, Herzog’s curious cinematic visions matched with Popol Vuh’s exploratory (and consistently beautiful) instrumentals. Nosferatu actually contains two discs, with material that both soundtracked and was inspired by Herzog’s vampire picture. On spooky red and black transparent vinyl.
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- Nosferatu - Original Soundtrack by Popol Vuh
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It has to be said that Wah Wah Supersonic Sounds do a grand job with the LP’s they reissue. Anyone that’s picked up one of the many Popol Vuh reissues will know what I’m talking about… Laminated gatefold sleeves, bonus tracks here and there, inserts, liners, photos, posters etc.
There have been a number of different issues of Popol Vuh’s soundtrack to Werner Herzog’s tribute to F.W Murnau’s 1922 classic Nosferatu, and they can be confusing to say the least.
Wah Wah have attempted to release the definitive edition of the soundtrack and I would say they’ve done so successfully, presenting the work as a double vinyl set. Originally released as ‘Brüder des Schattens - Söhne des Lichts’ and recorded with the film in mind but not presented as the actual soundtrack. This first LP of this edition is that album. The second disc being what was released as the Original Soundtrack, incorporating additional music that Herzog sourced from Popol Vuh’s archives when he required scarier sounds mid-way through the films production. Anyone that’s seen one of the many films Florian Fricke and company scored for Herzog will know how well the audio and visual elements work together. Taken out of the film's context these soundtracks stand alone solidly as decent albums which I find simply isn’t the case with most soundtrack records. Fricke, Herzog and regular Herzog leading man Klaus Kinski were something of a dream team --although I'll never forgive them for throwing that little monkey in Aguirre.
If you’ve not seen the film or heard the music, don’t be mislead into thinking it’s all dark gothic stuff. The first disc is really Popol Vuh by numbers-- new agey, serene gear with beautiful repetitive passages, heavenly choirs, sitar (courtesy of Amon Duul’s Al Gromer). The second disc does veer into darker territory and includes some Moog action. Includes a track previously unavailable on vinyl and like all the current batch of Wah Wah’s Popol Vuh reissues is apparently already sold out at source.
7/10 Jack Customer review, 5th May 2015
This is currently the most complete soundtrack album to Werner Herzog's 1979 movie remake of "Nosferatu." It has all of Popol Vuh's recordings that are associated with the film, BUT with the exception of the first track "Bruder Des Schattens." This is deeply meditative but also highly repetitive. Perhaps that is what lends it an entrancing quality. And maybe the repetition is there because this is primarily film music. Certainly, this would not be for everyday listening. But if you just want to relax and withdraw into your inner world, then putting on Nosferatu is a good way to do just that.
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