Witthüser & Westrupp – Trips Und Traume

Mentioning Krautrock usually dredges up chugging rhythms, heavy guitar and a particular bag of overtly psychedelic elements that tend to go hand in hand with many of the genre’s luminaries. Judging on the cover of Witthüser & Westrupp’s ’71 classic Trips Und Traume, it would be easy to imagine that what lies inside the melted faces on the gatefold are within that wheelhouse. However, what Bernd Witthüser and Walter Westrupp created was ostensibly one of the most gentle and folk-oriented entries into the canon of Krautrock. The album is pastoral, relying on rhythm sparingly and rarely with the kind of intensity that would mark their contemporaries. The magic came into play with the combination of Westrupp’s multi-instrumentalist talents, roping in flute, trombone, harmonium, ukulele and percussive elements, and Rolf Ulrich-Kaiser’s production that gave the record a spaciousness that rattled around the listeners’ headspace – an effect that’s especially prominent in headphones.

Unlike so many tales of ’60s albums relegated to collector’s lists, the group had a certain amount of popularity, at least in their native Germany. They produced two other studio albums and a live album by 1973 and would collaborate with renowned intellectual and counter-cultural confidant Sergius Golowin as well as fellow Krautrock auteur Walter Wegmüller. Though their pairing was brief, this debut still stands out as a testament to German Progressive being more than just a few trademark moves. Its both an important Krautrock link and a psychedelic folk touchstone that should appeal to fans of either camp. In a time when almost anything can find its way back to production, this has found its way back onto vinyl via Ohr/Pilz and its well worth the shelf space.




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