Released by the Cosmic Couriers in 1973, Wegmüller’s lone solo album, Tarot, is the document of a Krautrock supergroup that cooks food. Joining him are Ash Ra Tempel’s leader, Manuel Göttsching, and bassist, Hartmut Enke; Jürgen Dollase, Jerry Berkers, and Harald Grosskopf of Wallenstein; plus electronic composer Klaus Schulze and multi-instrumentalist Walter Westrupp.
The cutout Tarot cards that came with the album
You got 22 songs, one for each of the Major Arcana. The record came in a silver box containing two discs and a color print of cutout Tarot trumps. A dozen more cards bore credits, pictures of the musicians, and liner notes narrating The Fool’s metamorphosis into The World. In the abominable English of the CD booklet:
Hear, see, discover and travel
A TRIP THROUGH TAROT CARDS
of Walter Wegmüller
The travel starts with the madman. He is the beginning and the end at the same time. So you can hear, how he goes through his own world. He stumbles over earthly things and material obstacles and doesn’t know, that it can give. The wizard open the door himself. In triumph, he appears on the scene. There, he lets himself play during an endless eternity. In his scenic railway, he plays his own life into a brand new eternal one.(1) He opens the door which leads to all the secrets. The high priestess gives him the keys of the metamorphosis.(2) The he meets the princess (3). She shows and rules the infinite spaces of his all. Now he comes by the Prince (4). He rules the laws of the world. Now, the trip goes on with the high priest (5). He shows him the way to reach wisdom. And as he goes so through his travel, he stands up suddenly in front of the decision. Which way is the right way for him? Then he chooses the law of senses. The great travel. He gets into the car (7). He lives with good as he lives with evil in all the rides of his spirituality and sensuality. So he discovers the rules of harmony (8). Justice. He separates black from white and he is glimmering when he is seeing for wisdom (9). He leads the ship of chance (10). Field of energy (11); The complete inner world of the subconscious. The exercise (12). The sense and the brink of death (13). He sets up the new birth in a reasonable measure of moderation (14) of the big Pan, the devil, in front of the magic instinct (15). There, the game of female and male oscillates through him. Fight for power. Fight for wealth. The tower (16) grows. Love at first sight. Everything is destroyed. Fell again into spaces of eternity. The stars (17) play the play of plays. The moon (18) plays with them and lets it discover the ways to open dreams. And so the sun (19) shines on the center of life. So, the ancient life comes again. Justice (20); And you live your new space and time dancing world (21).
Thanks for clearing that up, Walt.
Inside the box (via Discogs)
There are compelling arguments for owning the digital version of Tarot. Each Arcanum is assigned its own track, so you can use your MP3 player’s shuffle function for divinatory purposes (iPodomancy!)—something you couldn’t have done even with the CD release, which divided the tracks up between two discs. And while the original vinyl box set with all the inserts would be the way to go, those currently start at $750; MP3s are competitively priced at $17.99.
Check out Arcana I and VII below.
“Der Magier” (“The Magician”):
“Der Wagen” (“The Chariot”):