Unsolved Remained


Unsolved Remained is Masha Qrella's second solo album. When Luck came out, Masha already represented an indispensable presence, attitude and a distinctive sound within the Berlin music scene, as guitarist/bassist of the melancholic instrumental band Contriva and as keyboardist of the equally wordless, but more hyper Mina. Meanwhile, she co-founded NMFarner, another band, and was involved in two more releases. She played many concerts and went on tour frequently. And somehow, in the studio, at home between tours, at the sound check, working on remixes and after her concerts, Masha wrote her solo project, the intense, warm, rough, playful, and at times even bitter Unsolved Remained, which goes a couple of steps further than her debut. Compared to her other projects, Masha solo is mostly concerned with amplifying those aspects of her musical output that don't originate in the dynamics of a band, but make audible a feeling of the private. Here memories, hopes, disappointments, joy and regret are translated into songs, which sometimes are concrete enough to be intersubjectively comprehensible, but often point poetically into the intimacy of the singing voice and cannot be decoded directly, only be felt with intuitively. A dialogue emerges between Masha and the listener, between the "I" and the "you" of her lyrics, between her doubled voices on the two poles of the stereo panorama. And the question of how far the person of the songwriter reaches into the songs, how much she hides in them. When listening to Unsolved Remained closely it becomes apparent how elegantly attention towards the smallest details in sound is coupled with a feeling for the emotional impact of the songs. Of course, this impact originates exactly in the delicate production, the complex rhythm programming, the sometimes intentionally rough, mostly subtle use of effects, sounds, rooms and the accentuated guitars between acoustic and noise. Still, the songs remain more important than any obvious demonstration of (plentifully available) production skills. Also electronic and acoustic are no antagonisms that need to be reconciled, they are equally valuable means of expression. Unsolved Remained is sophisticated in the most positive and experimental sense of the word. Masha also added other musicians on this album: in addition to Norman Nitzsche who is responsible for the recording and production of this album, some room on this record was handed over to other musical voices as well. The snapping and crackling rhythm track on "Vertical Destination" was programmed by Berlin sound/visual-collective Rechenzentrum. Similarly, the laconically dragged out backing track of "I Can't Tell" was created in the laboratory of Henrik Johansson. Finally, in the four-and-a-half minute long "C.Bones," a sample from Iso68 finds itself respectfully integrated into the logic of Qrella's songwriting. Unsolved Remained uniquely continues to formulate Masha Qrella's world of sound, warmer, more confident and multi-layered than its predecessor, with a production that gives these 11 songs proper density as well as space.