Krautrock is a music genre ripe with underground acts such as Amon Duul, Seesselberg, Necronomicon, and German Oak. Many of these bands performed together for such a short period of time that in most cases all that remains are a few incredible recordings. A cloud of mystery often surrounds these groups, causing rabid fans to blend together fact and fiction in order to create and propagate the band’s legacy. Most fans would agree that one of the most sought after and fabled Krautrock albums is Zweistein’s “Trip, Flip out, Meditation” (Phillips 1970). In this case I feel that it is the avant-garde nature of the music contained on the album mixed with conflicting stories about the band which have made the album so popular. It is also helped by the fact that the title is alleged to represent the three stages which one encounters while on a drug trip.|
Over the years, Zweistein has garnered quite a cult following. The slightest mention of the group or its legendary triple-LP is enough to send any hard-core fan off on numerous tangents regarding the bands mysterious existence. After an hour or so of rabid rambling this fan is most likely to retreat to his computer where he performs his daily check of Ebay.com to see if anybody is auctioning their copy of the vinyl.
Musically, “Trip, Flip out, Meditation” is largely a sound collage containing massive amounts of studio effects wizardry. Listeners are bombarded with an hour and forty-six minutes (106 minutes) worth of
While doing a recent overview of the single for this website I decided to do a bit of research on Zweistein to see if I could dig up any additional information on the band. The single lists two names S. Doucet and P. Bruhn. While searching the internet, I located the website of New Age Music artist Suzanne Doucet, whom Keyboard Magazine states “has the most authoritative voice on New Age Music”. Suzanne began her music career in 1963 as a pop singer in Germany. Her website lists her single discography and in it I was amazed to find that she had performed on the Zweistein single along with her sister Diane. I finally had a few names that went with the faces on the picture sleeve.
Things got even more interesting when I received a CDR copy of the legendary triple-LP. While doing an image search on Google for the original album cover to “Trip, Flip out, Meditation” I was again led to Suzanne’s website. This time I found no direct link between her and the recording so I decided that I would email her to find out how much she could recall about Zweistein. Fully prepared to receive the “cold shoulder” treatment, I was knocked to the floor when I opened my inbox that evening and saw not one, but two emails in response.
I nearly flipped out when I opened Suzanne’s first email and read what she had written.
“Hello Doug. I am absolutely amazed that the ZWEISTEIN LPs/ triple album became so much of a ‘cult’ item. But if I look back and think about how it all happened it was quite magical I have to say and it would probably fill many pages, if I would tell the whole story...”
In 1969 I got my first portable cassette recorder which was a
revolution for anyone at the time who wanted to record while travelling
without having to rent and "schlepp" expensive equipment such as a
tape recorder (which was widely used for professional field
This was not a walkman yet, the size was more like a lap top computer
but for me it was the most exciting device besides my 8-mm film camera,
which I took everywhere as well. Between 1962 - 1969 it was mostly my
guitar that was a continuous companion but now the cassette recorder
camera went everywhere with me as well.
My half sister Diane, who had just moved from Switzerland to Munich and went to her last year of highschool (we graduate with a bachelor), and I experimented with psychedelics and went to see every avant garde band/group that came to Munich. I was a quite established pop star in Germany - hosting and moderating 2 popular TV shows with about 20 million viewers. I had several hit records under my belt and radio, TV and press coverage from all over Europe. But I was kind of fed up with the entire music industry, which was only interested in formula entertainment and not interested in real creative art. Since I was a child I was only interested in real art! Paintings, music, poems, literature, Theater, film, photography and technology that could be used to create new artforms were always in the foreground of my field of interest.
I was educated and trained in classical and modern music, had studied ballet and grew up with the best Theater and film actors and directors in Europe. My mother, a well known theater actress in Munich, was the daughter of a silent movie actress and my father, a writer, art and antique collector and para psychologist, had given me the opportunity to be educated in many artforms and since I was a multi talented person, I just soaked it all up and created as much as I could...