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Witthuser and Westrupp

Prog Folk

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Witthuser and Westrupp Trips Und Traume album cover
3.80 | 36 ratings | 11 reviews | 22% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1971

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Laßt uns auf die Reise gehn (4:00)
2. Trippo Nova (8:55)
3. Orienta (7:35)
4. Illusion I (4:35)
5. Karlchen (9:05)
6. Englischer Walzer (1:38)
7. Nimm doch einen Joint, mein Freund (3:30)

Total Time: 39:18

Line-up / Musicians

- Bernd Witthuser / guitar, vocals, mandolin
- Walter Westrupp / guitar, vocals, zither, percussion, flute, trumpet
- Renee Zucker / vocals, percussion, flute
- Bernd Roland / bass, vocals

Releases information

CD Reissue OHRCD 556016 (1996)

Thanks to Philippe Blache for the addition
and to ProgLucky for the last updates
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WITTHUSER AND WESTRUPP Trips Und Traume ratings distribution

(36 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(22%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(44%)
Good, but non-essential (25%)
Collectors/fans only (6%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

WITTHUSER AND WESTRUPP Trips Und Traume reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by philippe
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Absolutely trippy, pastoral and gorgeous, this album belongs without restriction to these marvellous "acid" folk items which emerged from 70's German underground. It contains funny songs, cool explorations in bluesy psych folk and nice acoustic experiments. "Lasst Uns Auf Die Reise Gehn » is a folk ballad with a really popular German sensibility. "Trippo Nova" is one of these songs whose the two guys have the secret; a bluesy folk invention, acoustic "trip" with some dreamy aspects in the harmonies and German lyrics. A beautiful, relaxed and humorous atmosphere with catchy acoustic guitar parts. The rather calm tempo of the composition finally accelerates into a dancing improvisation dominated by acoustic percussions and folk guitars. "Orienta" is a psychedelic folk composition with a delicate, mysterious "eastern" felt. It starts with a simplistic, "moody" repetitive melody for the flute to progressively reach you into an oriental journey with voices in the background, a Celtic & traditional folk theme for the guitar. With this tune, Witthuser & Westrupp totally invent the concept of progressive folk. "Illusion I" is a beautiful, melancholic composition with a basic use of acoustic guitars and violin parts, its melody slowly grows in you. "Karlchen » is an other mysterious, transcendent mood with flute / guitar combinations and female recitatives. A high poetic, introspective moment with a nice "humorous" section for brass instruments. "Englischer Walzer" sounds as a drunken, traditional folk song with funny piano / violin parts. A nice listening experience and essential for all progressive-folk lovers.
Review by loserboy
3 stars This unassuming little album is pure magic delivering some lovely tripped out cosmic folk music. This was Witthuser + Westrupp's second release and is really hard to exactly peg but best parallel may be to imagine a more folky and slower moving ASH RA TEMPEL. In their day they were know to their fans as the "Cosmic Buskers" and built up quite a strong following. "Trips + TrÄume" is a very relaxed album and pretty well works on a cosmic folk acoustic base offering some great guitar and keyboard work. Vocals are sung in native German and suit the music quite well. Overall a superb bit of cosmic folk !
Review by Sean Trane
4 stars 4.5 stars really!!!

This German folk duo is almost by itself the inventor of Cosmic folk, but were also so typically "kraut-folk" (if you'll allow this genre invention of mine), being fairly close to Ougenweide, Emtidi and Parzival. And this second album (although the debut is attributed to only Witthuser, this was a duo effort) is of the calibre of the albums I mentioned just above. The duo will have the honour of having released albums on two of the most collectable labels of their country: the early Ohr label for their first two and then the really rare Pilz label.

Although it is not that easy to categorize this album because the styles oscillate between medieval, more traditional German folk, cosmic ambiances and a singer-songwriter approach. The cosmic ambiances mixed in with some slow acoustic blues of Trippo Nova are counterbalanced by the music-hall-like opening track, the medieval ambiances and the hippy feel of Orienta are giving an excellent, bizarre twist to the album (not that far from the Incredible String Band), while the superb Lord-like organs (reminiscent of the Purple's suite April) of Illusion I and the lengthy haunting flut lines underlining the German spoken monologue of Karlchen brings such a special atmosphere that no other albums even comes close (to my knowledge anyway). The last two shorter track are close to Baroque music and if that was not weird enough already, the last one veers into a weird barroom sing- along: Nimm Eine Joint is rolling a doobie and somehow resembles Fraternity Of Man's Don't Bogart Me track.

Even if the genre cosmic folk is a bit doubtful, this album is one hell of a UFO , coming from outer space. I'd love to have smoked what these guys did back then.

Review by Dobermensch
4 stars One time street buskers and very obvious drug fiends Witthuser and Westrupp released 'Trips and Traume' in '71. It's an atmospheric cosmic folk record which is very laid back and acoustic in sound. Unless my ears deceive me there's a fair amount of 12 string guitar being played here - so they can't have been too smashed!

Everything has a kind of cosy, lazy vibe going on and the Germanic vocals work wonders on what would have been a very ordinary album without them. I can't think of too many comparisons, although the folkier side of 'Current 93' would be an obvious one. After the rather straightforward opener things get strange pretty much for for the duration. 'Trippo Nova' - despite utilising only guitars and drums has a very trippy feel.

'Karlchen' is probably the highlight and is also the longest track. A sexy sounding Renee Zucke waffles on in German as flutes, guitars and cymbals are used playfully, slowly and without urgency. Trumpets emerge half way through adding to the general strangeness before the unfathomable (to me) female vocals re-appear.

'Englischer Walzer' sounds like me and my pals trying to play music at 3.00am after a bucketload of booze. Sensibly they keep this one short, although it certainly contributes to the overall masterplan. The outro 'Nimm doch einen Joint, mein Freund' is reminiscent of German 70's superstar 'Heino' - that funny looking albino guy with the big glasses who sang lots of Christmas Carols.

An excellent and curious little album which sounds like it was recorded without a care in the world by two guys who were clearly away with the fairies.

Review by Neu!mann
4 stars Krautrock has always had its great partnerships: Ralf and Florian; Moebius and Roedelius; Rother and Dinger...and while the duo of Bernd Witthuser and Walter Westrupp may not have the same brand-name recognition, they still opened a unique path across otherwise familiar territory, approaching the psy-fi mind warp of the era from a more accessible folk music direction.

"Trips und Traume" was the name of their first official LP together, and fortunately the music leaned more toward the 'traume' (see the album "Der Jesuspilz" for a trippier side of their alliance). The lysergic cover illustration describes only part of the band's hybrid style: gently psychedelicized acoustic balladry tapping into older undercurrents of German folklore.

(On an unrelated side note, the artwork also recalls experiments made alongside my art- nerd classmates using the library Xerox machine in high school. Shift your face across the moving scanner and you'll get a similarly skewed self-portrait: see the CAN album 'Rite Time' for another example.)

Maybe the trips of the album title were more aesthetic than chemical (...yeah, right). Side One of the original vinyl follows what might have been a gradual musical epiphany, beginning with the more traditional Teutonic folk melody of "Laßt uns auf die Reise Gehn", beautifully illuminated by the evocative shimmer of Walter Westrupp's bowed zither. The bluesy, dreamlike aura of "Trippo Nova" (daffy Latin for "New Trip") signals the beginning of a celestial journey, reaching its apogee in "Orienta", where the mandolin and recorder set up a cosmic chant that works like secondhand smoke to your psyche.

The pipe dream continues on Side Two with "Illusion 1", a tune later recycled for WALTER WEGMÜLLER on his epic 1972 album "Tarot", and concludes with the dumb fun of "Nimm Doch Einen Joint, Mein Freund". Dopey is the obvious adjective for this last bit of nonsense: simply listening to it can put you at risk of a contact high.

The language barrier is clearly a bonus; otherwise the team would be just another pair of counterculture folk singers with a weakness for soft drugs. But anyone tuned in (or turned on) to the same wavelength will discover a fabulous pathway to the milder edge of the always subversive Krautrock spectrum.

Review by Guldbamsen
5 stars Leaving on a jet plane

This is without a doubt one of my favourite folk albums ever made! Deeply engulfed in the wobbly psychedelics of their home turf, Bernd Witthuser and Walter Westrupp offer up a slight twist to the rambunctious rock of their peers, and give to you something deliciously airy and sensitive. Trips Und Träume is chuck full of docile psychedelic auras that twinkle away under acoustic guitar strummings and a way with melodies that rivals even the good Sir Cliff Richard.

Laßt uns auf die Reise gehn starts off things with a jolly mood that evokes tall grasses and long lost summer days, where the air was so humid and lazy that all lederhosen affairs had been cancelled. The guitars sound warm and heartfelt, and if I didn't know any better I'd say they were the result of two 12 string entities making love beneath a shadowy bridge.

Then Tripo Nova comes in and we're instantly reminded of the great big Krautrock flares. With simple instrumentation the duo manages to erect a larger than life sonic structure that ever so gently washes over you with the force of a small mountain.

Just between these two tracks you get a sense of a singer-song writers wet dream caught in the up- draft of Krautrock's more direct persuasive methods. The music is infinitely easy going and gentle, yet somehow the end result sparkles it's way through your living room like a continuous stream of floating shimmering diamonds.

The rest of the album continues this path, and while most of the people picking up this baby naturally have an affinity for the wilder side of the German scene, the bits and pieces of smouldering laissez faire instrumentation are still more than likely enough to nurse a fleeting semi-boner in your trouser department. Personally I'd call this Krautfolk. The inclusion of mandolin, trumpet, zither, flute and some aptly placed bongos lift the album up from the mundane oceans of everyday 70s folk rock. Hell, this isn't even rock. There are no drums, no stomping sections or wild spiralling guitar solos, but what you get in turn, is a natural sounding concoction of breezy psychedelic music that evolves around the German singing that both feels rural and masculine while at the same time coming off rather enigmatic in a Bob Dylanesque kind of manner.

This album is filled to the brim with head turning moments, but with everything else on this release, they are conveyed in a subtle way. There's a gentleness about these pieces. A soft genuine persona engrained in it's very being. The acoustic guitars are surely testimony to this, and you'll often hear them duetting with each other during the longer rhythm sections, where the music suddenly lifts off in a calculated attempt to reach the very confines of our planetary borders. These are my favourite parts of this album. Put on Illusion 1 or the following Karlchen and catch this fragile beauty in it's purest form.

I heard this album while on an air plain to Rhodes. I zoomed out every obnoxious kid, every amphetamine fuelled stewardess and took off before the plain had reached it's runway. The bright sunlight peeping in from the tiny windows created a mosaic of white patterns inside of our flying box, and I felt an enormous symbiosis happening between the music and the bizarre alternating surroundings. I was leaving on a jet plain, didn't know when I'd be back again. Oh babe I love to go.

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars WITTHUSER AND WESTRUPP are a duo i've checked into many times over the years but I never pulled the trigger because each time I saw them listed under Folk and not Krautrock. Well then I saw Guldbamsen's review of this record and I was convinced I needed this. This band's music has been described as Cosmic Folk or Psychedelic Folk for a reason and check out the album cover for evidence of that. Also Witthuser was part of the insanity that was Walter Wegmuller's "Tarot" recording. Yes these guys liked to consume psychedelics and then play music much like the COSMIC JOKERS and many other bands back then. This was recorded at Dieter Dierks studio and released originally by the Ohr label.

Up first is "Lasst Uns Auf Die Reise Gehn" which is such a moving tune for me. Reserved vocals, picked guitar, flute, zither and more. The vocals are in German but i'm just so touched by this song. No words. "Trippo Nova" is almost 9 minutes in length and it starts off slowly and builds. It sounds like female vocal melodies helping out in an almost haunting manner throughout. Reserved male vocals after 2 1/2 minutes almost speaking the words in German. An outburst 4 minutes in as the acoustic guitars take the lead, some percussion too. The vocals remind me of Mooney(CAN) here when he's almost speaking the words. It picks up again as contrasts continue. "Orienta" opens with a flute solo for almost a minute then calming guitar notes join in as the flute continues. Strummed guitar also joins in before 2 minutes. It becomes Eastern sounding before the vocals join in speaking the words. Cool stuff. Backing vocals 3 1/2 minutes in including female vocals. This is transcendental music right here reminding me of POPOL VUH. Great tune !

"Illusion I" is an instrumental that opens with strummed guitar, soon we have two of them playing then bass. It continues to build including some organ. Nice. Another beautiful feel good tune. "Karlchen" is the longest track at over 9 minutes. Guitar expressions slowly come and go to start as flute and cymbals create atmosphere. This goes on for 2 1/2 minutes when spoken female vocals join in speaking in German. This is so good. A change before 4 1/2 minutes as she stops and the music changes to an almost waltz-like rhythm. Trumpet comes in and dominates. Those spoken female vocals are back as the trumpet stops before 7 minutes. Flute is added to the slowly strummed guitar as we get the same soundscape as earlier. Great tune ! "Englischer Walzer" is a short instrumental with piano and more. "Nimm Doch Einen Joint, Mein Freund" is a cover(sort of) of THE FRATERNITY OF MAN"S "Don't Bogart Me" made popular by it's inclusion in the film "Easy Rider". This version is such a blast as we get English vocals for the first time as they sing about sharing weed and singing about hash and lsd. Humerous stuff.

A must for you space cadets out there who don't mind folky music with a psychedelic twist. Probably closer to 4.5 stars.

Review by Warthur
3 stars Lyrically crammed with overt drug references, Trips und Traume by Witthüser & Westrupp is not exactly a shy, coy, or subtle release. Essentially a psychedelic folk release, it is distinguished from similar efforts by extensive influence from the krautrock scene; in particular, I am reminded of Popol Vuh's Krautrock treatments of traditional musical forms and incorporation of ideas from diverse musical traditions from all over the world. The unique blend makes this one of the more progressive and intricate prog folk albums out there - or, if you prefer, one of the more acoustic and comedic krautrock albums you could hear; however you categorise it, it's certainly an interesting experience, though perhaps not a truly groundbreaking one.
Review by stefro
4 stars One can be forgiven for expecting something slightly meatier after first glancing at the cover of this highly- regarded krautrock record, yet instead of densely-cosmic rock what you have is a mainly acoustic blend of acid-folk and psychedelia. Formed in Munich during 1968, the duo of Bernd Witthuser and Walter Westrupp both had backgrounds in the burgeoning folk scene, though Westrupp had also featured in a couple of early skiffle groups. With the flowering of psychedelia during the late-sixties, the duo's sound began to take on more expansive elements, adding Eastern melodies and occasional cosmic effects to their progressively esoteric psych-folk style. Their second album overall, and also the second to be issued in 1971, 'Trips Und Traume' remains the pair's defining musical statement, a hazy, lazy, trippy concoction of sitar-like acoustic guitars, slow rhythmic pulses and occasonal sojourns into more psychedelic territory. Now more-or-less considered an established member of the top 100 krautrock records club, this ethereal album is yet another example of the febrile creativity the existed throughout the German music scene of the early-seventies, matching the likes of 'Tarot' by Walter Wegmuller and Yatha Sidhra's 'A Meditation Mass' for pure, ethnic-tinged underground ambience(funnily enough Westrupp actually featured on 'Tarot', whilst also playing on Sergius Golowin's equaly-trippy 'Lord Krishna Von Goloka'). If it's seriously cosmic krautrock you're after - only for a softer, more acoustic hue - then look no further than 'Trips Und Traume'. Imagine Fairport Convention on acid and you kind of get the idea.... STEFAN TURNER, STOKE NEWINGTON, 2014
Review by kenethlevine
2 stars It's starting to become difficult for me to distinguish one stoned German prog folk duo from another, but, as one of the better known and respected, WITTHUSER AND WESTRUPP deserve at least equal time. It seems that every recording in their early 1970s run offered a distinct perspective, from barely rehearsed noodling to schlager music. "Trips und Traume" includes aspects of both, with an accent on ostensibly dream like workouts for which neither the journey nor the destination are exhilarating or even satiating. It doesn't impress as meditative music because it's not hypnotic enough, while it doesn't deliver as an active listen because, well, it's a bit too hypnotic. When I do hear the message, or at least the portion that I am able to grasp, the occasional blissful moments on zither, flute and guitar are marred by excessive repetition of themes that were barely supportive the first time.

The only superlative piece is "Illusion 1", which hugs a sparkling guitar/zither melody, for a wondrous 4:47. While "Trippo Nova" and "Orienta" both offer appealing passages, particular the latter, they are overall overlong. It's telling that the opening and closing tracks, closer in spirit to OUGENWEIDE, are probably the other real highlights. In contrast to this energetic excursion, "Karlchen" is annihilated by irritating spoken segments courtesy of Renee Zucker, while the backing acoustic riff, pleasant for 20 seconds, barely shifts in 9 minutes.

Trips und Traume plays like last night's dream, you know, the one you tried so hard to remember, because you were so sure it held something sacred for you to learn from and grow. Unfortunately, when your recollection is triggered by a mundane event at the office, you discover that the dream was not even that interesting. Maybe that's where the drugs come in.

Latest members reviews

4 stars Very great psychedelic folk delight, Witthuser And Westrupp used to play some excellent acoustic melodic tunes in their german mother tongue language, while Witthuser concentrated on his acoustic guitar, his very creative friend westrupp is a terrific multi-instrumentist playing banjo, flute, xyl ... (read more)

Report this review (#111523) | Posted by samhob | Saturday, February 10, 2007 | Review Permanlink

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