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Witthuser and Westrupp - Der Jesuspilz - Musik Vom Evangelium  CD (album) cover

DER JESUSPILZ - MUSIK VOM EVANGELIUM

Witthuser and Westrupp

 

Prog Folk

3.80 | 15 ratings

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Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Witthuser and Westrupp's sophomore LP was a concept album built around the notion that Christianity began as a magic mushroom cult, which is exactly the sort of crackpot idea that comes from too much of the stuff (drugs and/or religion, take your pick). Unlike their 1971 debut this one was more 'trip' than 'traume', showing all the visionary devotion and lysergic sloppiness of a hands-on psychedelic experience.

One can sense the guiding influence of R.U. Kaiser on these sessions. The WW duo had obviously become ardent acolytes of Kaiser's ongoing psy-fi revolution, and here they jumped head first onto his Cosmic Music bandwagon, dragging their plugged-in Folk Rock style behind them. The better tracks (the drifting "Schöpfung"; or the rolling minor-key acoustic guitars of "Besuch aus dem Kosmos") anticipated the loose Teutonic jamming and blissfully deadpan narrations of the Sergius Golowin and Walter Wegmüller albums, recorded around the same time with input from both Westrupp and Witthuser.

A guest appearance by Gille Lettmann (the Kaiser's own 'Starmaiden') further solidified the Kosmische Connection. Ditto the contributions of producer Dieter Dierks, who played the moody blue mellotron on the obvious album highlight, "Erleuchtung und Berufung": a psychedelic Baltic Sea shanty with a lively choir of small children (or are they Black Forest fairy folk? It's hard to tell...)

This one song was maybe the best example yet of the team's often uncanny acid-folk ethos, and is also one of the more tightly arranged selections here. Elsewhere on the album the slapdash lack of focus gives it more charm than was probably intended, and nowhere is this more obvious than during the ten-plus minutes of "Versammlung / Bekenntnis / Die Aussendung". The tripartite suite, accounting for almost one-third of an already brief album, has to be one of the most ramshackle mini-epics ever written, most of it devoted to a Witthuser clinic on how not to play the kazoo (memo to Bernd: you weren't supposed to smoke it).

All fun stuff to be sure, even if much of the album sounds like a gypsy caravan with mismatched wheels. I don't think the religious message was intended seriously (hard to tell, for a non-German speaker), but I'll take a tongue-in-cheek Krautrock gospel over the tormented soul-searching of born-again neo-proggers like Neal Morse any day of the week, including Sunday.

Neu!mann | 3/5 |

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