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Witthuser and Westrupp - Trips Und Traume CD (album) cover


Witthuser and Westrupp


Prog Folk

3.80 | 36 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
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.

Neu!mann | 4/5 |


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