This massive double album is cosmic Krautrock at its finest hour, as visionary Walter Wegmuller leads a tour through the entire major arcane of the Tarot deck while the Cosmic Couriers -- basically Ash Ra Tempel, Wallenstein, and whoever else producer Rolf-Ulrich Kaiser could rope in -- create a remarkable soundtrack encompassing space rock, folk music, funk, psychedelia, and electronic music. Wegmuller's album followed in the footsteps of Timothy Leary's Seven Up, Ash Ra Tempel, and Sergius Golowin's Lord Krishna von Goloka, backed by Wallenstein, the duo Westripp-Witthuser, and keyboardist Klaus Schulze. Tarot, with almost all these musicians on the roster, is the culmination, a bizarre roller coaster ride through sonic soundscapes, while Wegmuller intones in his deep voice, sometimes augmented by more effects, though he often remains silent for long instrumental stretches. From the opening track, a funky number with blazing guitar and rolling piano over which a circus-barker voice announces the band with grand élan, to the side four track's nonstop blast into hallucinogenic after-burn, this one is a monster all the way. Shimmering Ash Ra Tempel guitar freakouts blend with Wallenstein's more rollicking psych rock, Schulze's deep space keyboards, and Westripp's cosmic folk to create strange blitzes of electronic weirdness. This album provide an incredible pallet of styles that all seem to gel in a cohesive mass of pure mystical wonder.
here is what I believe to be the absolutely crowning gem of the Krautrock movement. Walter Wegmuller's Tarot. Wegmuller was no musician -- he wasn't even German! -- he was a Swiss mystic. He and Timothy Leary were totally bros. while Leary was running away from the American authorities. Leary convinced Wegmuller -- who had been working intensely on creating his own deck of Tarot cards -- to record an album based on his deck. He was backed in the studio by members of Ash Ra Tempel and Wallenstein. Julian Cope writes in Krautrocksampler, "There’s no point in carrying on this ridiculous attempt. BUY THE ALBUM: IT’S THE SOUND OF THE COSMOS.