The exchanging of glances and the interchanging of instruments. That is part of what stays in one’s memory of Contriva. At least after having seen them on stage once. These four are friends from schooldays on. Back from the days when a guitar was meant to be a big promise. And when a guitar was meant to be the rails that guide four biographies. Masha Qrella, Max Punktezahl, Rike Schuberty and Hannes Lehmann followed these rails. They would not have reached the places where they are now without Contriva. Similarly, Contriva wouldn’t exist any longer, if it weren’t an affair of the heart of these four friends.
It all started in Berlin in 1997. One could watch Berlin fashions come and pass over again.
Sometimes Contriva was part of it, played concerts in private living rooms, when Quiet was becoming the new Loud. Most of the time, however, Contriva watched these colourful bubbles sceptically. In their deep mistrust of urban hypes Contriva remained true to themselves up to today. On three albums and four EPs. On various singles and contributions to samplers – a band’s oeuvre that plays around its small, big theme: the perfect indiepopsong, with or without singing.
They do it in such a timeless and precise way as known for instance from Yo la tengo on the other side of the big ocean. According to Max Punktezahl Contriva shares with the latter another demand. Their repertoire live on stage still includes a lot of tracks of the 10-year-old band history: “There are so many among these songs that are still important to us today.”
Gradually new minor and major occupations appeared. Hannes Lehmann and Masha Qrella belong to Mina, since 1997 already. Masha Qrella publishes laconic-intense songwriter-music –on Morr Music as well – since 2003. Max Punktezahl founded the pop band Jersey and not only while playing live on stage he is part of the extended Notwist-family. Contriva make pauses in order to find themselves again and again more intensely.
Carefully arranged sounds. Instrumental attention. That is also what Contriva stands for, changing from prudent to opulent within moments, when guitars ensnare themselves. It has been that way on their tentative debut “Zimt” released in 1997 (the label lok musik was founded on that occasion). Or on “If you had stayed …” (Monika/lok musik 2003), their most melancholy plumbing of sound and space up to now. In between great and important things happened. Their version of the Blumfeld-track “Eintragung ins Nichts” was released on the EP “Wellen der Liebe” by Blumfeld. Or an interpretation of the Depeche-Mode-classic “Things you’ve said”, published by themselves.
By means of “Separate Chambers” Contriva have marked themselves on the Morr Music map. In the summer of a band that will stay for a long time. No doubt. rememberable guitar and bass parts.
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