Friday, August 14, 2009


Twenty years after the fall of the Berlin wall and the concequent end to communism in Europe there is one question on everyones minds:

'In the record shop featured in the 1986 film 'Pretty in Pink', why is it that the Laurie Anderson album on the wall is censored so you can't make out her name?'

They did the same to the Mighty Wah! Album as well changing the WAH! into WA8!. Why?

If John Hughes hadn't died last week we could have asked him. As it is it looks like this question will be filed along with the likes of 'Why are we here?' and 'What is the meaning of life?' under 'Things to ask God or similar seemingly knowledgeable higher powers.'

Safe in the knowledge that this quest is all but lost, that I will never find my answer I reach for the on-switch of my turntable.

If my German is anything to go by this album is called 'The Holy Salmon', but don't let that put you off. I had something of a false start with Popol Vuh spending a fair amount of money on a series of earlier records that sounded to my admittedly at times unappreciative ear a lot like new age meditation cassettes. You know, the ones you used to see advertised on television. K -Tel presents '100 Most relaxing songs ever played on the synthesizer'.

Anyway, armed with the opinion that Popol Vuh were in fact wishy washy wank I very nearly didn't bother with this album. Needless to say, I am glad that I did. The thing that swayed me was the inclusion of the bands very own Yoko Ono type - Djong Yun. The tracks that she appears on almost jump from the album. Amazing what some dischordant moaning will do to a record. Even the instrumental tracks are a lot stronger here than anything on 'Aguirre' or 'In The Garden of the Pharoahs'. Popol Vuh actually sound like a band rather than a constant and endless jangle-tone.

Another problem with Popol Vuh, certainly on vinyl is that they are a quiet lot. Unless you manage to score a very clean copy you can easily find any music taking second place to what can sound like a car driving in circles on a field full of gravel. I got lucky, my copy is particularly tidy and cost less than a round of four nameless home brewed shampoo tasting German beers. (14.00 Euros)

'Das Hohelied Salomos' has actually succeeded in totally changed my opinion of the band and whilst this is not to the extent of shelling out 12o quid or more for a copy of 'Affenstunde' I am now willing to do more than just skip the entire section next time I am out and looking.

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