Popol Vuh

Das Hohelied Salomos

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Das Hohelied Salomos continues along the same path as Hosianna Mantra (1972), Seligpreisung (1973), and Einsjäger & Siebenjäger (1974). Collaborating with guitarist/percussionist Daniel Fichelscher and soprano Djong Yun and adapting lyrics from the Old Testament's Song of Solomon, Florian Fricke crafts deeply spiritual music from a synthesis of Eastern and Western popular, classical and devotional traditions. Fichelscher's guitar and percussion are to the fore, often eclipsing Fricke's rippling piano melodies, and Yun graces most tracks with her serene, ethereal voice. As on Einsjäger & Siebenjäger, the group works with an economical palette, combining elements to create grand arrangements with subtly shifting rhythms, tempos, and textures. Here, however, the results are all the more expansive and majestic as the minimalist strokes coalesce in sweeping, cosmic swathes, most memorably on the meditative interludes "Du Sohn Davids I" and "In den Nächten auf den Gassen I," with its oceanic, mantric ebb and flow. With contributions from Alois Gromer (sitar) and Shana Kumar (tabla), Das Hohelied Salomos recovers some of the Eastern accent that was more evident on Hosianna Mantra and Seligpreisung: the standout in that regard is the lilting "Der Winter Ist Vorbei," which sets Yun's vocals amid Gromer and Kumar's hypnotic grooves. Elsewhere, there's a more seamless cultural hybrid: for instance, on "Steh auf, Zieh Mich Dir Nach," which gradually gathers momentum with Fricke's piano arpeggios and Fichelscher's rich, bluesy playing. That rock dimension is most emphatic on the closing "Du Tränke Mich mit Deinen Küssen," another track that builds slowly around layered, interweaving guitars. Das Hohelied Salomos encapsulates Fricke's gift for blending aspects of Western rock music's traditionally profane idiom with non-Western and non-rock aesthetics to pursue his unique vision of sacred music.

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