25 February 1937 (age 80)
Bern, Bern, Switzerland
Wegmuller was a mystic, artist and eccentric Gypsy. A sort of Swiss new age hippy. Some of the best artists of the cosmic Krautrock era backed him up on his one album, 'Tarot', which is generally considered a masterpiece of the genre. It pre-dates the releases of The Cosmic Jokers by a year or two; having been recorded before those sessions.
A contemporary and friend of Sergius Golowin and visual artist H.R. Giger, he met and hung out with Timothy Leary in the early seventies when Leary was hiding from U.S. authorities. Around this time Rolf-Ulrich Kaiser, head of a new label Kosmische Musik, had the idea of having various vocal (mostly spoken word) pieces by these gurus. Kaiser recorded 'Seven Up', which included Ash Ra Tempel with Leary in the Fall of 1972. Then work began on the second and third records, by Golowin and Wegmuller. By now Kaiser had gathered the cream of the German psychedelic-era musicians, which included members of Ash Ra Tempel and Wallenstein, Walter Westrupp, Jurgen Dollase and Klaus Schulze. In various different line-ups, the work on these various projects became known as the "Cosmic Couriers". In the following two years several others were recorded (mostly under the "Cosmic Jokers" banner).
Wegmuller's own self-designed set of handmade Tarot cards formed the concept for the album. The project started in the Fall of 1972, eventually ending up at Deiter Dierks studio in Germany. the 'Tarot' album itself, was released in early 1973, a double album in an elaborate box that included the tarot deck Wegmuller had painted. Each of the 22 cards represents a song on the release. Like the similar album by Golowin and Ash Ra's 'Seven Up', Wegmuller talks rather than sings, weaving his mystic symbolic parables with the esoteric divinity of the Tarot. Bizarre stuff. There are many lengthy cosmic instrumental sections- much of it improvised and in this writer's opinion some of the best Kosmiche Musik ever recorded in the genre.
The original lp releases (with a set of custom made cards by the artist) are quite collectable today.
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