WITTHÜSER & WESTRUP - Trips Und Träume

Despite what I just said about German space-rock, here is another example of the genre. This duo more or less invented cosmic folk, and this 1971 album is their masterpiece. Starting out as street buskers, they began recording together in 1970, and were soon described as a German version of the Incredible String Band! This could have been because they were a duo who stretched folk to the limits, although it is not really noticeable on the opening track 'Lasst Uns Auf Die Reise Gehn', which is a fairly straight-forward folk piece. The cosmic side of the band comes in on 'Trippo Nova' though, which, even though just guitar and drums, has a sort of trippiness to it that would have justified the comparison. 'Orienta' introduces a flute to the mix, and that helps the songs take off into the outer reaches of space. From here on in it is atmospheric space rock at its best - gentle, soothing, and yet strangely compelling. 'Englischer Waltzer' is at the same time the oddest track here, and also the most melodic, as they try their hand at an English waltz on bassoon. Once again, an album that I was in two minds about trying for some time, and one that turns out to be much better than I had feared. Out on CD for those adventurous enough to try it.