Fred Red, Matthias Hetzer & Bernhard Hollinger – Waska

I have never taken Ayahuasca. And I dare say I never will. My brain is a complicated box that teeters on the edge of sanity/insanity and I’m not sure that messing around with the delicately balanced neural pathways within is the best of ideas. But I can’t help being fascinated by the spiritual medicine used amongst the indigenous people of the Amazonas. I think I’ll stick to vicariously watching those documentaries in which intrepid travellers head to Shamanic ceremonies to discover transcendental states and higher levels of consciousness. And are always horrifically sick in the purging process. 


For Fred Red, Bernhard Hollinger and Matthias Hetzer, Ayahuasca is still on the list. I confirm this when briefly connecting with Bernhard in advance of publishing this piece. Their collective curiosity about ‘Waska’ though has led to the production of a fine psychedelic groove. This is a track that will transport you to the Shamans; the delicious layers conjuring up all sorts of magical melody and Amazon spice. 

The simple video that accompanies Waska is also a fine watch. A static camera, perhaps set up as CCTV, observes a residential street in day-to-day operation. At first, it looks like very little is happening but gradually you get drawn in to the minutiae of the street scenes. You notice people going about their daily business and the animals that come out to play. I guess there’s a point to it all. As our mind focuses on the one scene, more and more is revealed. The ordinary becomes fascinating and we feel calm. Towards the end of the video, the scene somewhat abruptly ends and we observe more of the beautiful surroundings. The simplicity is transcendental. 

Fred Red, Bernhard Hollinger and Matthias Hetzer are now all living in Berlin. They were all born in Ingolstadt in the South of Germany. Fred produced ‘Waska’ whilst Bernhard recorded the bass, guitars, KeySolo and vocals. Matthias provided the tropical rhythm of the drums. I’m reliably told that each will be taking time out from their own projects to record together again before this year is out. 

When the combined curiosity is of such quality, it’s a no-brainer to suggest that I can hardly wait.